Anger | Anger Management

Anger Management | Marriage Counselling | Anger

In this article, Sanam Naran, a Counselling Psychologist provides very important guidance on identifying anger and the best anger management methods you can use. These are very useful tools for relationship counselling and generally for one’s self.


Anger is a secondary emotion, reflecting some unmet expectation or need. Anger often arises from an underlying feeling of FEAR or PAIN. Here’s an example:

So my anger at being called a rude name may have its roots in my fear of being humiliated or from my pain over someone’s unkindness. Car suddenly pulls in front of me = initial fear that I might crash into the back of their car instead of anger over their bad driving.”

I want you to ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time you felt angry or had an angry outburst that was probably related to fear of losing face or looking weak? When was the last time you felt angry or had an angry outburst that was probably related to pain—being hurt by someone’s words or actions?


There are two versions of anger, namely: Anger in and Anger out.

Anger In

This is anger that is directed inward to oneself

Fear of hurting/offending

Fear of being disliked or rejected

Fear of losing control

Feeling its inappropriate to be angry

Unable to cope with strong intense emotions

Fear of damaging or losing a relationship


Anger Out

This is anger or feelings directed toward other persons or things occurs when you want to:

Appear powerful

Hide other emotions


Passive aggressive


What Are Some of The Costs of Anger?

You may develop high blood pressure. You may ruin relationships with others. You may lose a job or a mate. You spend less time in achieving happiness for yourself. You spend time thinking of the unpleasant acts of others. (This, of course, is the opposite of happiness.) You may commit violent acts while enraged.

And Then What Are The Benefits of Anger?

When you are depressed, your anger can feel better than your depression. You may feel good in your belief that you’re better than someone else, i.e., the person at whom you’re angry. It may work for you in the short run – like addictive behaviors. People may stop behaving in a way that bothers you. (But in the medium and long run they avoid you or, worse, they may wait to take their revenge when they get a chance.)


Is Anger Normal?

Anger is part of being human. The ability to feel anger is something we are all born with—even babies get mad. All of us are entitled to our angry feelings. How we go about expressing our anger is another issue. We are not entitled to express our anger in ways that violate other people’s rights or safety. We may choose to do so—and we’re responsible for the consequences when we do. If our expressions of anger drive away the people we love, cut us off from support, make us feel guilty, or hurt us on the job, it’s time to consider some changes.


Journal Prompt:

What do you like best about the way you deal with anger? What do you like least about the way you deal with anger? What would you like to do differently when you’re angry?


So, What Can I Do With My Anger?

Once we are aware of feeling angry, the next thing to do is to express it in a healthy way, and then resolve it. It’s not healthy to “swallow” anger or let it go unresolved. When we swallow our anger we may begin to feel resentment or hostility. There’s even some evidence that holding back anger causes health problems such as stress or high blood pressure. When we express our anger, we have two choices about how we do it. We can respect the rights of others, or we can step on the rights of others. These two types of anger expression are very different.

Strategies To Control Anger:

The best way to deal with anger is of course to seek therapy or counselling by a registered psychologist. However, if you need something more practical, try these (Bare in mind that they will not address the core of the anger like therapy would):

  • Keep your voice low
  • Breath slowly, use relaxation techniques
  • Count to ten
  • Think before you react
  • Ask yourself “Is my level of anger justified?”
  • Hit a pillow or cushion
  • Throw safe items into a container
  • Go for a walk
  • Write/draw your feelings, tear them up & throw them away.
  • Tear up old newspapers
  • Shout in a safe place
  • Pretend to talk to the person who makes you angry
  • Remember, it is healthy to let anger out in a safe way!


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