Saturday, July 01, 2006

dealing with anger

I read the following in the paper and thought it was something to chew on. Anger is bad but even worse than anger is not knowing how to deal with it in a healthy way.

Put a lid on anger before it boils over

Doug Worgul
The Kansas City Star

You can nurture a relationship for years and ruin it in a moment, if you can't control your temper. Here are some tried and true tactics for keeping cool when tempers get hot from experts at The American Psychological Association (, Mayo Clinic ( and Center for the Advancement of Health (

1 -- The best way to keep your head is to hold your tongue. When you're angry, anything you say can and will be used against you. If not now, in some future argument. Better to just say nothing. Don't be goaded into saying something mean or hurtful. It won't help. And you'll regret it.

2 -- Ask for more information. Many arguments stem from poor communication. Clarification is better than confrontation.

3 -- Avoid using inflammatory language. If you must speak, don't curse, don't insult, don't question motives or intelligence, and don't bring up past offenses.

4 -- Take the high road. Admit you were wrong, even if you weren't. Promise to try harder. Say you're sorry.

5 -- Get a second opinion. Talk to someone about the argument to get a more objective perspective on the disagreement.

6 -- Know thyself. Know the issues and circumstances to which you respond with anger or frustration. If you can't avoid these, devise a plan for responding calmly.

7 -- Take a deep breath and smile. This will help you stay in control and drain away ill will.

8 -- Consider what's at stake. Maybe it's your marriage, your job or your relationship with a child, sibling or friend. Ask yourself if the expression of your temporary feelings of anger are worth the risk of permanently damaging a relationship you value.

9 -- Work it out. Go for a long walk or bike ride. Go play a game of racquetball. Go lift weights. Use exercise to exorcise those bad feelings.

10 -- Get a good night's sleep. You're more likely to get mad or feel attacked when you've not had enough rest. You're also less able to control your tongue. See item No. 1.

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