- Know that you have a right to feel angry. Allow yourself the space to feel it and act on it.
- Evaluate the extent of your anger. How angry are you? Are you enraged, furious or mildly angry? What made you angry? How would you like things to be different?
- Decide what you will do. Is it worth it to act on your anger or should you let it pass. Do you need to express it directly or vent it indirectly? Do you need to get out of a situation that is constantly making you angry or is it better to confront it? Which approach will you use; Self assertion, confrontation, self defense, indirect aggression such as beating a pillow, political action, direct aggression or aggressive self defense (only to be used in extreme or life threatening situations). Use the most diplomatic approach first whenever possible.
- Assert yourself. Own your anger by expressing it with"I" statements: "I really get mad when you leave dirty dishes in the sink." "I feel invisible when you ignore my communication needs." Express what you need. Express what you think might help remedy the situation. Use the sandwich approach (warning - this approach can seem confusing, insulting or insincere if your complaint is not made clear)ie: First compliment, then make a complaint, finally, express appreciation with another compliment for taking the time to listen or remedying the situation. "You are really considerate most of the time, but right now I am frustrated because I think you took advantage of my kindness. I prefer you to ask me first before inviting hearing friends over and expecting me to be socially available and help clean up their mess."
- Listen. Stay open. Allow yourself to know and understand what is being communicated before you respond with anger. Get as much information as you can. Avoid jumping to conclusions, making snap judgments or false accusations.
- When your anger does not go away, confide in others. Talk to close friends about it. Choose a confidant.
- Vent your anger by doing something physical. Ride a bike. Take a walk. Get some fresh air. Scream into a pillow... Go dancing, running or swimming. Take a self-defense class. (Some classes provide interpreters)
- Have compassion for your angry self. Learn positive self talk. Imagine gentle, loving hands talking to you from inside your heart, or imagine a soothing inner voice. Practice being gentle with yourself and others.
- Give yourself space. Distract yourself. Distance yourself from the things that make you feel angry. Get away temporarily until you calm down.
- After you have expressed your anger, allow yourself to calm down with meditation, a hot bath, yoga, deep breathing, candles, hot tea or a massage.
- Develop empathy. Put yourself in the other person's position.
- Be nonjudgmental.
- Laugh about it.
- Be trusting.
- Be tolerant.
- Be forgiving. Start with small things.
- Be an activist. Advocate for positive changes that you believe in.
- Take on a community service.
- Care for a pet.
- Congratulate yourself for handling your anger in the best possible way.
Ten Things To Avoid
In Close Relationships
- Cynical mistrust
- Shaming tone or body language
- Not listening
- Dumping or going off on tangents
- Bringing up the past
- Name calling or insults
- Yelling or hitting