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How to Help Someone with Anger Management

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How to Help Someone with Anger Management

            Anger is a natural human emotion felt by everyone at one point or another. It is not uncommon to deal with feelings of anger when you have been wronged, threatened, or mistreated. In fact, we can even go as far to say anger is a healthy emotion. However, anger can become an issue if you are expressing it in a way that harms yourself or others.  If you feel your personal success suffering from your anger outbursts, it is important to find techniques to better manage your anger. This does not mean suppressing your anger or invalidating it. We all have a right to everything we feel, but gaining clarity on the sources of our anger and developing more constructive ways to react can help us lead a more fulfilling life. Effective anger management can be difficult to understand. It takes practice, maybe even some guidance. Following is a list of key questions to begin helping someone with anger management:

Key Anger Management Questions:

  • “How important is it in the grand scheme of things?” – First, in anger management, it is important to recognize what level of anger is appropriate for the given situation. Taking a breath and truly assessing the significance of the event causing your anger will help to avoid harmful overreactions. It may seem like a huge deal at the moment, but think, is it really worth getting so angry about? Will the situation continue to have a detrimental effect on your life?
  • “What exactly is making you angry?” – Defining the true source of anger can uncover toxic lifelong patterns of dealing with anger. Through research done by the National Center for PTSD, a clear link between anger as a survivor’s response to trauma has been established. Anger is a core piece to the human survival response. When our livelihood is threatened, anger works as a coping mechanism by giving us energy, and adrenaline, to persevere through life’s stresses. Childhood trauma, exploitation, violence, extreme stress, can all hinder a person’s natural ability to regulate anger. Properly working through built up trauma and resentment can help you better understand your anger triggers and why they affect you. Anger management, and defining anger sources, allows you to work towards rewiring your brain’s reaction to triggering situations.
  • “When I am angry, how can I communicate my point of view without becoming defensive or attacking?” – When you feel yourself getting angry, take a minute before speaking. A huge piece of anger management is being able to identify warning signs that your anger is increasing.  It is easy to say something regretful in the heat of the moment. Taking a breath to calm yourself down will help you think more clearly. Once calm, explain your frustrations and needs clearly in a non-confrontational manner. Stick to ‘I’ statements to avoid criticizing or placing blame. Use the situation as a growing opportunity rather than an opportunity to attack and harm someone else.
  • “Is there anything I can do about it?” – Instead of focusing on what has made you mad, focus on resolving the issue at hand. Taking energy away from the anger inducing situation and putting it into finding a viable solution will help to calm you down. It will also allow you to think about what you actually want from the situation. What is your anger telling you? Is there a way to avoid facing this situation continuously? Anger management is also about anger prevention. Resolving common issues that cause you anger can eliminate the amount of anger you experience in your day to day life.
  • “If getting angry is not working for me, what can I do differently?” – If your anger is hindering your ability to succeed, it is time to make a change. Reflecting on anger and its effects on you personally can help you develop an effective anger management plan. Oftentimes, anger issues can result in self-esteem issues and strained relationships. This can lead to a slew of other issues, personally and professionally. Take the time to reflect on how your life has been affected by your anger outbursts, thinking about how, specifically, you would like for this to be different.

Know When to Get Help!

            These are just a few of the helpful, constructive questions to ask yourself when you are angry. Anger management is a process, not an easy fix. It can be difficult to dive into the root causes of your anger, as well as come to terms with the detrimental effects extreme anger can have on your life. Seek help if your anger is causing you to harm others, frequently act in ways you regret, or becoming too difficult to manage on your own. Chriselda Santos, a licensed psychotherapist with a certification in life coaching is dedicated to helping patients reframe their ways of thinking and better cope with their personal struggles. If you want to get your anger under control, or would like to learn more about her work with anger management, contact Chriselda at 210-549-6663. You can also reach her by email at [email protected]. Visit her website for more details: