IS FEELING ANGRY WRONG?It is OK to be angry. Anger is a natural emotion. Anger can be a very positive tool if it moves us to stand up against injustice or wrong. However, when we lose control of our emotions, then anger becomes destructive.
- We may say things in the heat of the moment that we can’t take back.
- We may lash out and physically hurt another person or ourselves.
- We become a negative example to our children.
- Kids may become fearful and feel insecure.
- By lashing out, we make the situation worse instead of better.
- Unless we learn to control our anger we automatically default into the continued pattern of ‘losing it’.
WHY DO PEOPLE LOSE THEIR TEMPER?1. To be in control. “Nobody is going to challenge my control over the situation.” This person
will create fear through intimidation (bullying tactics), shouting, getting into someone’s
face or whatever it takes to make another person back off. “I am in charge!”
2. Selfishness. The big “I”. It is all I, I, I, and me, me, me. “Nobody is going to tell me what to
do!” “Don’t you touch me or boss me around!” "I am right and you are wrong!” ”I don’t have
to do anything you say!” “You’re not my mother!”
3. Unwillingness or inability to control emotions: Some people have received poor role-modelling
from their parents or significant others and have never learned any other way of dealing with
HOW DO YOU CONTROL YOUR ANGER?Preventative action:
1. Recognize your own anger levels and use the measures listed below to better control your
2. Work out what your anger buttons are and decide whether your reaction is worth the energy
it causes to become angry.
3. Create a list of disciplinary consequences for when your children misbehave. This will save
you from getting angry.
Whenever you feel you are getting to boiling point:
1. Stop what you are doing or thinking immediately.
2. Assess the situation.
3. Count to 25. (Many experts say that a person gets to the peak of their anger in about 19 seconds
before it starts to diminish. By counting to 25 you should be past the peak and be able to
think more rationally.)
4. An alternative is to remove yourself from the situation, cool off, and return only when you
think you are more rational.
5. Now, deal with the issue using the list of consequences that you have already created as
disciplinary measures. Your child has chosen to be disobedient so you are merely applying
After the episode:
1. Put things into perspective after your anger has subsided. Say to yourself, “In terms of one day,
one week or one year, is this thing I am so angry about really worth getting this upset or
2. Ask yourself, ‘What could have prevented this situation occurring in the first place?’ Discuss
the effects of the situation with the other person involved.
3. Decide together how the situation will be managed next time.
4. Apologize to the other person for losing your temper and retract any rash words that might
have been said.
ANGRY WORDS ARE NEVER FORGOTTEN
- “I wish you had never been born!”
- “You were a mistake!”
- "You will never amount to anything."
- “Why can’t you be smart like your brother?”
- "Can't you do anything right?"
- “You are a stupid waste of space!”
- “Go away! I never want to speak to you or see you again!”
- “You are a big, fat lazy lump!”
- “Stupid, dumb idiot!”
YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR NEGATIVE REACTIONSWhen you have recognized your own anger reactions, uncovered what your triggers are AND worked out how to control your emotions:
- You will be a good model for your children.
- Your home will be peaceful.
- Your children will learn to take responsibility for their own actions and their own feelings.
- They will become self-controlled.
- They will be great models for their own children in the future.
Written by Sally and Brian Burgess, Forefront Families