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Anger Management


Why do you think we have the ability to become angry?……..












If you were thinking, “to protect us from physical or psychological threat,” you were right!! Anger serves as a signal to an unmet need within us.  Much like the “check engine” light in your car.  Ignoring it could lead to bigger problems down the road.  Our unmet needs usually involve three areas: our sense of safety, control and belonging. If avoiding, or acting upon our anger is our primary response when these areas are threatened in our lives, our self care and relationships suffer.  Much like the addiction cycle, or other unwanted habits, unsuccessful attempts at controlling our anger can create feelings of shame and discouragement, making us susceptible to more anger.  Unfortunately, angry thoughts lead to more angry feelings.

Immediate, short term coping strategies include:

  • taking deep abdominal breaths

  • walking away from a situation

  • “what was my plan again?”

  • call a friend

  • journal your thoughts & feelings

  • take a walk

  • sing a song

  • think of what someone your trust, or a role model might do or say to you in this situation

  • say a prayer

  • positive self talk (“I am in control of what I choose to do,” “I don’t always have to get my way,” “When I am calm, I will revisit this,” “These intense feelings don’t diminish my value as a person.”

  • be patient with yourself until you can restore calm


Long term strategies include:

  • encouraging vs blocking feedback

  • pausing vs reacting

  • experience new behaviors vs repeating behaviors

  • listening vs talking

  • looking inward vs blaming

  • being vulnerable vs protecting

  • tolerate uncomfortable feelings vs avoiding or attacking

  • use your value system as an anchor vs drifting without direction

  • become an expert on yourself vs remaining unaware of your needs

  • forgiving yourself vs condemning yourself


Even with all this effort, we will always fall short, we are human.

When we do, heeding Randy Pausch’s advice on apologies from, “The Last Lecture,” would serve us all well.

  1. “I’m sorry for what I did.”

  2. "I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”

  3. “What can I do to make it better?”


Please remember, you can offer this apology to yourself when you forget to show yourself the self respect you deserve:)


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