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Managing Anger

So I've been dealing with anger issues since I was a small child, it's been about 8 years. I have a really good hold on my temper these days, I still get angry, but I'm much slower to anger, can calm myself down and in three years I have only thrown a single punch in anger, still to many in my book, but one is better than two or more. I'm a pretty chilled guy most of the time, but in the past year I've found that I find it much more difficult to keep my temper in check when it is a family member who I am angry at. I don't know why it is and I would never hurt any of my family, but I just get so angry and I know I've come very close to lashing out quite recently, I'm scared that I'm losing a hold on my anger and that if I can't find some way to reign it back in I may hurt someone; I don't want to do that and I never want to resort to violence out of anger again, it makes me feel awful. I practice marshall arts which works at teaching me discipline and a an outlet, but lately I just find in regards to my family, my temper is getting shorter and shorter, please help.

Re: Managing Anger

I hear you @Mr-Brightside - I like to think I'm a pretty laid-back person but certain family members really know how to push my buttons and piss me off. Sometimes I think they even do it deliberately because they know me so well.

 

Anger is a normal emotion, sometimes things just make us angry even when we try to avoid known catalysts. It's how we express that anger that matters, and if it's in a unhealthy way (like physical violence towards others) then obviously things need to change. It's really cool that you've acknowledged you had issues expressing your rage and worked towards being calmer. Aside from martial arts, which I've heard can be a fantastic tool for this, what other techniques do you use to keep your cool? We have some self-help techniques here on Reach Out that can be really helpful, like counting to 100. There comes a point though where it's worth seeking outside help - whether it's online counselling or as part of an anger management group. Is that something you would consider?

Re: Managing Anger

I try to take a step back and analyse what's happening, rationally think about why I am angry and if that anger is warranted, most of the time I find it's something that is in reality trivial and I either reason out my anger or, if I can't I try to just walk away. I've seen someone once about my anger (but that was about 4 or 5 years ago and I only went because I was going to lose it in class. I might go but I prefer to try and sort these things out by myself, or with a little help from my friends (anyone get the Beatles reference? Also, I found it quite difficult to make my first post here, I can be stubborn) I don't think I would do group therapy/an anger management group, I would consider a one on one with my school councillor though.

Re: Managing Anger

That sounds like a really handy technique @Mr-Brightside - it must take a lot of inner strength to be able to step outside yourself for a minute there and try to analyse the situation rationally. It's alright if you're not ready to see anyone one-on-one yet. It's usually something people work up to, starting with chatting to online counsellors or someone you trust first - like your school counsellor. Totally got the Beatles reference btw Smiley Happy

Re: Managing Anger

Thank you and awesome Smiley Very Happy I love reachout, anytime I have an issue or am curious about something or need to know something or just want to chat you guys and this site are amazing and always helpful, thank you for being awesome

Re: Managing Anger

Aww that's what we're here for @Mr-Brightside!

Re: Managing Anger

Hey @Mr-Brightside the thing I always try and remember about anger is it's actually not the anger that you need to manage but the behaviour (what you do because of the anger).

Anger is normal and healthy, but lashing out at loved ones is not! Congrats on working on this and making changes in your life over the years (even if it's a struggle still sometimes, you've made great changes)

Is it just martial arts that's helped you get a hold on your temper, or other things too?

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

Re: Managing Anger

@Sophie-RO While my training has definitely helped it is recent, I only started about two years ago. I do use other strategies yes, as I mentioned before I try to rationally think about the situation and my options, I try focusing on lowering my heart rate and calming my breathing. I also try to resolve any issue I have with a person to remove negative feelings I have toward them so that those feelings don't turn to anger, of course, there are people I just plain do not like (although I get along with most everybody) so I tend to avoid them. I also play the bass guitar which has been really great for adding to my mental discipline and giving me a creative outlet, listening to music helps too. When I was younger I usually just tried to think about any possible consequences for any action I might take, literally thinking before I acted (however, due to my lack of mental discipline this was extremely hard and often didn't work). If anyone else has trouble controlling their anger and their reactions I would encourage them to find a positive outlet and not bottle up there anger, that never ends well. I would also highly recommend they find somethibg to increase mental discipline, whether that be martial arts, some other sport or a musical instrument. I know the two best things I ever bought were a bass guitar/amp and a punching bag. Also great point about actions being the problem and not just the emotions, I'll definitely remember to think of that if the need arises.

Re: Managing Anger

Wow @Mr-Brightside – love your insightful post! Thinking through possible consequences is incredibly smart and requires a lot of control in the moment. Well done for at least trying this. I also really like your advice to 'find a positive outlet'. Bottling up anger can really affect your health and as you said, that never ends well!

Re: Managing Anger

Thank you, you've all been of great help to me and I would love if someone else read anything I have said and could benefit from it. I really love this website, such a strong and proactive community, I am always amazed at how much the things you all say help and at how quickly you respond.