Anger: a personal reflection on how to deal with anger positively

At the moment I feel angry. Angry. Angry. Angry.

So angry that I can not sleep.

So angry that I have been lashing out at my husband and myself for insignificant and unrelated reasons.

Over the past few weeks I have thought about my famous temper and how at 30 I have been able to pretty much tame it. Seeing as I am currently angry I thought it would only be appropriate to share my secrets on how to deal with anger.

1. Understand that anger is an expression of “not getting what you need”. This is something someone told me a while ago. He explained to me that all anger stems from hurt. Now when I am angry I try to think of what is really making me feel this way and why I feel hurt. By acknowledging and dealing with the hurt I am then able to dissipate the anger.

2. The same person told me that anger is o.k. Yes it is ugly but sometimes we have a right to be angry and that we should feel angry. By feeling angry we will be able to acknowledge and start dealing with whatever is causing us to feel so upset.

3. Now if I am angry I try to deal with my emotions positively. That means no heated confrontations or negative exchanges. Instead I try to confide in a friend and let things simmer down. No angry emails. No angry phone calls.

4. People don’t respect angry people. No matter how valid your concerns are if you are angry you will not be listened to.

5. Stay away from your mother or others who will only encourage negative feeling. My mother, (who I love dearly), has a way of inciting my anger. She will just put things in a certain way which will somehow make me see red. Now I try to keep things neutral around her if I know I am feeling upset.

6. If you do get angry acknowledge it immediately and apologize. Say that you were feeling hurt and are sorry for getting angry. It’s the right thing to do and can start a positive dialogue to repair the issue at hand.

7. Forgive your own anger. Forgive others for their mistakes. Get over it. Move on and be happy!


5 Responses to “Anger: a personal reflection on how to deal with anger positively”

  1. March 30, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Your famous temper deserves respect! I’ve always been slightly awed when chance allowed me a glimpse….

    We all have anger, we all deal differently, but there’s something to be said for those moments of seeing red!!

    Life’s myriad rainbow of emotions reflected in colours! I hope whatever made you angry goes away quickly, and I hope whatever discomfort you are feeling is replaced by humour ~ you have a great laugh afterall.


  2. 2 Luke Clifford
    April 1, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Hello joanna!

    I enjoy reading your reflections of life that you put in your blog.

    You voice your thoughts so clearly in text that it brings great respect of your path you choose and what demons we all have and how we deal with them.

    Your right, anger is not getting what you want. We all remember seeing ‘Timmy, freaking out at his mother, just because she is not listening at that one second”. Anger is an emotion and by definition emotions are great! They allow us to communicate with people around us in more effective ways than simple one toned spoken words. Use that red flag waving in front of your horns in a positive way. Turn that energy into something positive. Know when people are trying to push your buttons. You said that certain people can push your buttons so easily just by the way they say things. Did you know that you are the only one that ever chooses to get mad? Nobody can ever make you mad against your will. When the flames of anger appear always remember you are choosing to fuel those flames. Nobody can do anything to do you without your consent.

    There is a saying that i believe in hole heartedly. It goes something like this….The madder you get, the dumber you look. When you are mad…emotion is in control and you will do almost anything, and say almost anything depending how mad you are or the respect in question of the traget of emotional outburst.

    Sure getting mad is a form of release of pent up emotions…but there is always betters ways to release this energy. Sex, excercise, you name it….anything is better and more healthy..for the soul.

    Kindest Regards,

  3. 3 Roslyn
    May 26, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Anger and Hurt

    This morning I recieved some news about my family is giving a party/dinner for my sister for her upcoming birthday. I told the person I am not going to attend due to the fact that
    1. My birthday had past and no one had never even thought about giving me anything.
    2. My sister and I always had conflicts in the past, and by getting older, I thought things would get better. Over all I’ve always felt that she was treated diffrently because she’s married to a man and I am a lesbian who is no longer in a relationship. I’m always pleasing my family, i am nice, pleasant mannerable to others… I do suppress my feelings with a Large Unresolved Anger Fund. Lately, I’ve been feeling hot water boiling with a low flame, hearing the news this morning I felt like the flame was turned up a little higher. Reminding myself other things are going on in the family but I choose to stay away and people wonder why…on top of that i’m still dealing with a 13 yr relationship that went sour 4 years ago, and I’m still hurting behind that…When I get angry I have temper tamtrum’s, i don’t want to hurt anyone, i just throw things around and punch and kick holes in walls or doors. I let the anger control me whenever I am out of control. Than I began to look crazy in other peoples eyes.

  4. 4 Someguy
    May 30, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Many of us are apt to be dominated by one of the poisons. Even when one dominates the other two are always lying dormant, like dry seeds that can sprout whenever nourished. If one is dominated by anger, one tends to be depressed or obsessed over political views, real or imagined enemies, or any of life’s negative realities. If the dominating poison is greed, then it can be manifested by stinginess, lack of compassion, hoarding or self-indulgence. One tends to be attached to material things, thinking that more is better and that getting things will bring happiness. When we are ignorant, we are not realizing our potential for true happiness, which is our true nature, our Buddha nature. Ignorance causes insecurity and a feeling of weakness, powerlessness and apathy.


    Remember that Personality Disorders are formed after repeated and continuous failures of caregivers to provide a safe, accepting, welcoming, non-intrusive yet stimulating, caring environment, with appropriate freedom and boundaries, over time. And none of us are taught this art in schools! We learn our parenting skills from the often inadequate role-modelling by our own parents, early teachers and other caregivers. And if there is a severe enough failure to provide such a safe and nurturing environment by even one “big person” [such as being emotionally abused by a teacher or sexually molested by a family member], not even the best efforts of relatively good parents may be sufficient to ward off severe defensive traits or even disorders of the personality………..

    So, generally “difficult” people can become “nicer” people if they get a chance to have these basic developmental needs consistently met at some stage in their life, for instance in therapy. In interaction it nay be useful to remember that the “difficult” behaviour in any specific moment points to a fear of a perceived threat: If Alex suddenly becomes bombastic / grandiose/ arrogant, it’s likely that someone has done something [or Alex believes in fantasy that this has been done!] to make her/him feel small, powerless, disrespected, ignored, diminished, worthless, unheard… [for instance, in ignoring his/her contribution to a discussion].

    The answer to the question of how to change his/her defensive behaviour seems obvious: to acknowledge that s/he is worth some positive regard. Similarly, if Ashley is acting in an over-controlling manner, it is likely that more structure or safeguards are necessary in the situation/s that evoke the behaviour. But such “therapeutic” responses are hard to sustain in practice with a “difficult” person, who may often have the effect on others to suggest or make them feel “mad, bad, or sad”!



    I find that people are pretty predictable and you can usually shoe box them in a psychology article. Buddhism is usually encouraged by psychologists.

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