Article (October-2019)


Self Management Winning over the anger

Kamya Kukreti

Designation : -   Counselor

Organization : -  metaphor therapist and Hypnotherapy practitioner, Jaipur


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For a lot of people around the globe anger is a negative emotion. They would do anything to control and avoid this one emotion. Even as a child when we express our anger more or less we are either scolded or asked not to be angry or that our anger is not justified; and specifically if this anger is directed towards elders or someone in authority then it is absolutely wrong.

Anger is an emotion we feel due to the mixture or as a presenting emotion of many other emotions what we miss to see is that core emotion or core issue causing this anger in us.

Anger is a reaction to the situation not a response we will call it reaction instead of response because we just don't interpret and see the actual situation or emotion causing action we just act.

Now let's understand above stated statement with some situations and examples :-

a. When someone scolds us we get angry - Now if we see this situation on a deeper level then we will realize that it is not just anger we felt. We felt insulted, or we felt that whatever we did was right and we are wronged. Now if we would have understood this situation and core emotions earlier we would have responded instead of reacting with anger.

b. When we feel betrayed - Now the core emotion is hurt in a situation is anger. But what we see and realize is anger because it is easier to get angry and direct it to someone else is much easier than acknowledging that you are hurt or sad.

c. When we miss a good opportunity - Now as we all know anger is not only directed towards others but sometimes we are mad at ourselves as well, but the core emotion behind this is regret and guilt. But we just see and get angry.

d. When we don't get what we want - In the following situation more or less we are either frustrated because we are mad at our own flaws (because of which we couldn't get what we wanted) or we are mad at the situation (which mean core emotion is helplessness).

e. When someone threatens us or hurt us - In the present scenario anger hierarchy is a real issue; boss yells at the sub ordinate that sub ordinate will go home and scold his/her kids or would drink or do some other thing to release that stress or anger he felt at the moment.

Now this is a clear form of displaced anger. But what that subordinate and boss didn't realized at the moment it wasn't anger on their kids or subordinate respectively, they felt pressured and stressed and they took it out on someone else etc.

When we understand the concept of core emotion behind the anger we need to bring a change in the way we approach our anger or the anger of the loved one. Before we handle anger we need to understand how different individuals show their anger as there is not just one way of doing it.

Ways of expressing anger; symptoms you could check with :-

a. Passive : Some people express their anger passively, in a covert manner.

1. Dispassion : Giving cold shoulder, over sleeping, alcohol, talking of frustration but showing no feelings, etc.

2. Evasiveness : Avoiding conflict and confrontation.

3. Secretive behaviour : piling up anger and resentment and then back bitching behind their back, gossiping,

4. Self- harm tendency.

5. Not eating, skipping meals or over eating.

6. Emotional or blackmailing through other resources, false tearfulness, sabotaging relationship etc.

b. Aggressive way of expressing anger

1. Bullying.

2. Showing aggression by words or any type of action.

3. Destruction.

4. Grandiosity.

5. Violence.

6. Selfishness.

7. Giving too much threats.

Ways of handling anger :-

1. Breathe in from nose and breathe out all the anger from mouth. Just feel and tell yourself that the moment you will exhale all anger would be out

2. Drink cold water

3. Get soft balls; whenever you angry just squeeze and take out anger on it

4. Take papers and tear them.

5. Write down whole incidents that made you angry and tear the page.

After handing anger in the immediate situation reaching to the main issue

1. Accept that anger is a normal emotion but at the same time don't use it as an excuse for being mean or ignoring the real issue.

Example : A person who lost a loved one takes out his/her anger on the sub ordinates; a person who is not able to lead a team takes out his/her anger on team mates. Now in the following scenario individual would have valid reasons to be angry but when this person would analyze or consult a counselor the core emotion would be sadness due to bereavement and self - inefficiency.

So, first step is to understand the source of your own anger using your rationality.

For this purpose you can begin with making a daily log for your anger.

Log with examples :

Now this is something you can do on daily basis for a month or in the beginning if you can't find core emotion just make this log and reflect on the instance.

Realize that there is always another way other than anger to resolve the issue.

2. After acknowledging real issue start consciously bringing the shift in your behaviour. Just having this awareness would be a great help.

3. Because it takes 21 days to make a habit so if for a whole month you are countering your own thought process by a valid reason you can create a new habit of dealing with it.

4. If can't handle, just consult a counselor. As a counselor is just not someone who would listen and guide you, they reach to your core issue and help you in handling your anger in a better and more efficient way.

Anger in itself is not a negative or positive emotion but what makes it negative or positive is the way we express it. Anger is just a presenting emotion for the feelings we have so instead of ignoring anger or labeling it as wrong we need to learn healthy way of expressing it and understanding it.