Recognizing & Managing Anger

9. Discharge the Anger

First, foremost, and always, don’t hide anger. You’ll probably not be successful, anyway. Anger demands expression. If you have recognized it and owned it, then you will have a choice of when, where, and how you may express it.

The trick is learning how to:

  • Release the anger appropriately
  • Confide in someone
  • Write an anger inventory list

One of the best methods for building rapport, addressing a problem, or showing anger in a constructive way is the AAA Way.

Release the Anger Appropriately

Just saying “That makes me angry,” or “I do not like it when… ” may not be as satisfying as bashing someone, but it is far more satisfying and helpful than saying and doing nothing. The appropriate release of anger will be linked directly to your own communication style.

Acknowledge your ownership with statements like:

  • I am/feel angry because I am afraid that
  • I am/feel angry because I am threatened that
  • I am/feel angry because I will lose
  • I am/feel angry because I will be
  • I am/feel angry because you will
  • I am/feel angry because you won’t
  • I am/feel angry because you might

Take the time to complete the sentences. Review your day and see if there are some situations at home or work to which you can apply these examples.

Confide in Someone

There are, in reality, a few situations in which it is to your best interest to delay your expression of anger. But there is no situation where you can afford to delay recognition or owning of the anger.

An excellent way to own and recognize the anger is to confide in someone. Think of all the times you have confided in someone when you were angry and facing a problem or a dilemma. Confiding in someone you trust is one way to discharge anger in a positive way. Often it can serve to provide an anger reality check.

In society, women have more social permission to confide anger with friends and confidants. Men are reluctant to confide in someone else, especially with other men, for fear they will be viewed as weak and vulnerable. However, regardless of your gender, it is important to find someone you trust at work or know socially to whom you can confide your anger. Finding a support system is beyond price. Disclosure moves you out of the anger squirrel cage. For many, it is an easy remedy for dispersing anger.

Write an Anger Inventory List

If anger is a serious and chronic problem for you, assign yourself the task of maintaining an inventory of the people and situations affecting you when you experience anger. This method will help you discover the underlying feelings and uncover the patterns of your anger. A written “on the spot” inventory can often clarify what is happening when anger is getting the best of you.