Easy ways to deal with anger

Would you say you are an angry person? If you’re not you must still (very naturally) become angry. Anger is made up of passive and aggressive forms, of these it can be hard to know which is the most detrimental to you and most infuriating to others.

Passive aggression comes from our primal response. In essence we are angry but internationalise it, and demonstrate it through our body language and things we don’t do, which could be seen as a form of denial. Aggressive behaviour is associated with our response. We use both our physical and verbal power to overthrow others and assert ourselves.

In essence we are a mixture of both and react due to physiological, environment, attachment, situational and emotional stimuli when angry but by knowing who we are we can be more self-aware of the impact we have on others and destructive consequences for ourselves.

Our behaviour can be made up of several different types of presentation. Do you rage when angry and feel yourself burning up, do you identify with any of these behaviours: Threatening, hurtful, destructive, bullying, unjustly blame others, manic, grandiose (It’s all about me!), selfish, revengeful and unpredictable.

These are what we commonly think of as angry people, however passive anger is just as destructive and gets in the way of our rational choice making too.

Passive presentations include behaviour that is:

  • Secretive - do you complain anonymously, write mean things, troll, avoid eye contact and spread malicious rumours?
  • Manipulative – do you spread rumours, emotionally blackmail others, sabotage relationships and use sexual provocation?
  • Self-blaming - “I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry – I'm such a bad bad person!”
  • Selfless – overly helpful and makes friendly digs and sighs.
  • Catastrophising – making mountains out of molehills, being cool and giving people the cold shoulder treatment.
  • Obsessive – diets, exercise, food, cleanliness – whatever your poison of choice, you're addicted.
  • Evasive – do you let the phone ring and block people out to teach them a lesson?

It's OK to tackle things we don’t agree with and be assertive. Assertiveness can really boost our self-esteem. A starting point is to be direct – express your anger to the person who has made you angry and tell them directly what you're angry about. Speak of yourself, never use “you made me...”, be honourable and clear, not bullish or abusive, focus and stand your ground – repeating your point until it's heard but be clear about what this issue is.

Most importantly forgive. Give others the benefit of the doubt, work towards change and moving forward, hear other outs, wipe the slate clean and remind yourself that we all make mistakes - forgive and grow.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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BIRMINGHAM, West Midlands, B30
Written by Eleni Kypridemos, MA; MBACP Accred; PGCert; BScHons; EMDR
BIRMINGHAM, West Midlands, B30

Having been in practice since 2008 I am used to guiding someone through the initial first steps of therapy, and helping them to explore and address their worries and concerns. For me, counselling is vocational. I feel passionately that everyone should be able to access therapeutic services of a high...

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