Anger is an emotion, and as such, it is neither positive nor negative. From the time we are small, the adults around us categorize the emotions we feel in terms of positive and negative. Those that are considered negative are often taught to be repressed because they are not “appropriate”.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, Anger is a strong feeling that makes you want to hurt someone or be unpleasant because of something unfair or unkind that has happened.
Anger is socially considered inappropriate, so it cannot be expressed. But anger allows us to show our discomfort or disagreement with some situation, act, or opinion of another person. These feelings are valid, and if we learn to recognize and manage them properly, we can channel anger differently.
Table of Contents
- What types of anger exist? How to control anger and aggression?
- Should we express anger and annoyance?
- 7 Tips to control anger
What types of anger exist? How to control anger and aggression?
When we feel that it dominates us and we are overwhelmed, when we direct it disproportionately towards other people, when the well-being of others and our own is compromised or when it appears in situations that are not important, then we speak of problematic or non-adaptive anger.
When it appears impulsively and immediately in response to a situation, an object or a person that causes us discomfort or displeasure, either because we consider it an injustice, an insult, or aggression.
Negative feelings are expressed through actions or words but indirectly towards another person. A clear example is when we speak ill of another person without that person being present, or we withdraw the word.
We act as if everything is fine when we are really upset. There are even people who are not always able to recognize when something bothers them. But this type of anger is internalized, repressing the corresponding feeling, which in the long run has a negative impact on us.
We admit that we are upset or annoyed by something but we express it in a rational, constructive, and assertive way. We do not generate conflict and we are able to alleviate our discomfort in an appropriate way.
Should we express anger and annoyance?
Is it then necessary to express it freely? It is not easy to answer this question, since expressing our feelings of anger can lead to hurting other people. We cannot forget that anger can lead to aggression, either verbal or physical. Therefore, it is much better for us to be able to evaluate the situations that upset us. If we do this rationally, we will see that on many occasions we react disproportionately and we can lessen the impact of our emotions.
7 Tips to control anger
1.- Learn to relax
Take a deep breath. Then mentally repeat to yourself phrases that reassure and encourage you. Think of something or someone that generates positive emotions. Here you can read more about relaxation techniques.
2.- Think before you speak
In a moment of anger, it’s easy to say something you’ll regret later. Take a few moments to gather your thoughts before you say something, and allow the other people involved in the situation to do the same.
3.- Change your mindset and take time to reflect
Change your thoughts, evaluate if they are rational, do not put yourself in extremes, not everything is black and white.
Time to reflect is not just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few quiet moments can help you feel better prepared to handle what happens next without getting irritated or angry.
4.- Be assertive
You have the right to express your rights, desires, emotions, and points of view but without offending others. It is good to learn to listen to others and to reinforce our tolerance.
As soon as you can think clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational manner. Communicate your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
5.- Deal with situations
Sometimes the solution is not in solving the problem but in handling the situation. Be patient and also accept that not all problems can be solved.
6.- Communicate better
Do not shout, modulate your tone of voice, do not focus on the negative. Don’t jump to conclusions and don’t use words that may hurt others.
7- Sense of humor
Observe yourself from the outside, try to apply humor to some expression you have used, or turn around situations that have bothered you.
8.- Time out
9.- Get some physical activity
10.- Identify possible solutions
Instead of focusing on what made you angry, strive to solve the problem at hand. Does it drive you crazy that your child’s room is messy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening or agree to eat only a few times a week. Remember that anger doesn’t solve anything and could only make everything worse.
11.- Don’t hold grudges
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to replace positive ones, you may find that your own bitterness or sense of injustice overwhelms you. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you may both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.
12.- Know when you need help
Sometimes learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone. If your anger seems out of control, forces you to do things you regret, or hurts those around you, seek help.