Challenge 04

Dealing with Anger.


Anger is one of the most negative and disruptive of all human behaviours today. It is often fuelled by a self cantered, undisciplined, negative life style that manifests in aggression towards others. To learn how to use this power in a positive productive way will change your life.

Do you know that anger is not really a problem it’s the negative expression of aggression that makes anger so difficult for a lot of people today.

Anger is for us to use in a positive way but unfortunately most times it is expressed in a negative way

The Wolf And The Eagle.


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that was going on inside himself.

He said, “My son, it is between a wolf and a eagle. The wolf is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.”


“The eagle is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith...”


The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which one wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one I feed.”


So Calm Down and Name the Problem, Look For the Solution and Find the Best One.

How you can manage your anger but HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Skills you will need as you deal with your anger:

1. Identify a range of feelings which includes anger, and then determine appropriate action by yourself and other people.

2. Identify the potential consequences to yourself and to others from these aggressive actions.

3. Learn to understand what self-destructive behaviour is for you, as we all have different things that set us off.

4. Analyse what the thoughts you had prior to your aggressive acts.

5. Identify internal clues as to why you had those feelings of anger

Forms of Self-Destructive Behaviour.

Self-destructive behaviour is often considered to be the same as self-harm, but this is not accurate. Self-harm is an extreme form of self-destructive behaviour, but it may appear in many other guises.

Self-destructive behaviour may be used as a coping mechanism, when things get ‘too much’. For example, faced with a pressing school assignment, someone may choose to sabotage their work rather than cope with the stress. This would make submission of (or passing) the assignment impossible, but remove the worry associated with it.

Self-destructive behaviour may also manifest itself in an active attempt to drive away other people. It may be used to end a romantic relationship in this way. Often, the person so acting feels that for whatever reason they are incapable of, or undeserving of, a relationship with the person they seek to drive away. They often hold this person in particularly high esteem, but do not wish to ‘harm’ them by creating or maintaining a connection with them.

An important aspect of self-destructive behaviour is the inability to handle the stress stemming from an individual’s lack of self confidence- e.g. in a relationship, where the other person is truly faithful (“how can they love someone like me?”); at work or school, whether the realisation of assignments and deadlines is possible (“there is no way I can complete all my work on time”).

Successful individuals may self-destructively sabotage their own achievements; this may stem from a feeling of unworthiness or from a desire to repeat the “climb to the top”.

More obvious forms of self-destruction are eating disorders, alcohol abuse, drug addictions, self-injury and suicide attempts.

Once you have identified these feelings then to put in place the coping mechanisms for dealing with anger, so that you can express anger without loss of control.

Let’s look at a range of emotions that can help you identify what brings out Anger in you, they could be embarrassment, excitement, disappointment, dissatisfaction, misfortune, frustration, regret, distress, a setback, failure, being let-down, being disillusioned, pain, anguish, worry, feeling tormented, believing you are ugly inside, jealousy, fear, feeling helpless, sadness and being left-out.

Who Is In Charge Of Your Feelings?
You alone own your feelings; it is OK to feel angry being angry is part of being human. What all we humans need to find is how to express our anger in positive ways. When we can identify aggressive behaviour shown by yourself and others we can then do something positive about it.

What are Some of Those Negative Behaviours?
Throwing something, kicking someone or something, getting in someone’s face, shoving, grabbing, hitting, breaking something, name calling, giving a dirty look or the silent treatment are some negative behaviour. Sometimes it spreads to getting others to gang up on another person or even spreading rumours about others.

Making a determined effort to choose to feel good about yourself through expressing your feelings positively. Therefore learning how to express angry feelings in ways that are fair to others and yourself. The more you learn to take care of your anger the more powerful you will become. Controlling what you do with your anger is important, in how you let your anger out. Deep regulated breathing will help in you in cooling off, but don’t forget to watch your thoughts and keep them productive. Remembering that negative thoughts will become negative expression.

It is important to know the difference between anger and aggression, anger is an emotion so it is OK to be angry, but acting out inappropriately as aggression, is not OK,

Learn to Check Your Aggression and Express Your Anger Appropriately.

Here are some hints that will help you:

Get good physical exercise every day.

Eat good wholesome food.

Get enough sleep and learn to relax.

Get to know your feelings; you could also keep a journal about your feelings.

Find a quiet place where you can be just by yourself.

Take time out to help recharge your batteries and find some fun things to do.

Make good decisions about what you see and hear, choose friends who make you feel good and learn how to forgive and forget.

Identify potential consequences of your anger to others and yourself…what that can mean for you? Physical harm to someone or yourself, destruction of property, loss of family/friends, loss of job, loss of social privileges like going to jail or getting a bad reputation.

Look out for self-destructive behaviour, ask yourself, how does that help or hurt you?

Watch out for negative self-talk, blaming everyone else, taking everything personally, assuming, overeating, drinking to excess, driving recklessly, taking mind altering drugs, looking for fights and feeling outraged.

Don’t blame others and yourself, as blaming only keeps people upset, blaming is a way of not respecting people.

Express your feelings and then try to work things out.

Remember: “Fix the problem not the blame”

It is very important to identify thoughts you have prior to aggressive acts. Some of those thoughts could be:

You did that on purpose.
You wanted to hurt me.
You deserve this.
You never even asked me.
You’re being unreasonable.
You think you’re so good.
I’ll show you.
You started it.
There’s no justice.

There is a need to establish what is happening inside you prior to the expression of anger, stomach gets tight and upset, heart is beating faster, your fists are clenched, feel yourself getting flushed, pressure on your temples, sweaty palms, or a clenched fist.

You don’t have to hold on to your anger, find ways to let it go, talk about your hurt and angry feelings, look for someone you can trust to discuss your anger with and talk about your words and actions that hurt others.

How Can This Anger Be Tamed?


Learn what pushes your buttons; learn your body’s anger signs, learn to stop and think! Learn to cage your rage; you have the power to choose.

Take the power and stand up against yourself and others being hurt. Learn to defeat negative self-talk, so you can feel good about yourself. You are strong when you use fair and firm words instead of fists.

It is really important to remember that people are precious and relationships are most important.

Watch your thoughts, words, and actions and stop hurting people with your words and actions.

Take ownership of the hurtful things you do and say.

Remember “Bullying” hurts everyone.

So calm down and name the problem, look for the solution and find the best one. Congratulate yourself and evaluate the solution and make changes where necessary.

Unforgiveness is like a spiritual cancer that will eat you up inside.

These steps will help you in resolving conflict, controlling your anger and avoiding aggressive behaviour?

Calm down.

Show mutual respect.

Name the problem.

Find solutions.

Choose the best solution.

Congratulate yourself.

Review the solution that was picked.

Many of Us Cannot Forgive Those Who Have Wronged Us.

Something below the level of our conscious awareness prevents us from relieving our residual anger by forgiving the other person and we then carry a grudge in our hearts for many years! This unresolved anger will poison your relationship with your friends and loved ones. It even spoils our relationship with ourselves! We make our own lives mean and miserable instead of happy and full.

Very often the feeling is, “Why should I forgive them? What they did was WRONG!”

But, is forgiveness for those who only do us right? Most people have a hard time forgiving others simply because they have a wrong understanding of what forgiveness is! When you forgive someone, it does not mean that you condone or are legitimizing their behaviour toward you.

To forgive them means that you refuse to carry painful and debilitating grudges around with you for the rest of your life! You are ‘refusing’ to cling to the resentment of them having done you wrong. You are giving yourself some immediate relief from your OWN anger! You can be free from guilt and fear allowing you to enjoy life.

To forgive, then, is an act that we do on our OWN behalf.

It has nothing to do with ‘lifting’ the other person’s guilt! You are not doing it for their sake. You are doing it for yourself. This is a choice you are making on your OWN terms in order to relieve your OWN pent-up emotions.



This prison has no walls at all,
This prison’s not a cage,
This prison’s not a working farm,
But there’s still hate and rage.

This prison’s name is anger,
No walls it ever needs,
It eats away at your insides,
And on your fear it feeds.

And if you’re in this prison,
Then you will need no guards,
There won’t be any fences,
Or inmates in the yards.

There won’t be any razor wire,
No bluestone walls you’ll see,
You’ll be there on your pat malone,
And longing to be free.

Now anger’s cold and heartless,
Internment is its goal,
It longs to hold you captive,
To steal your very soul.

But a Higher Power can help you,
Can bring about release,
If you give Him your anger,
He’ll give you perfect peace.

© Gary Ivin ‘96

Are you expressing your anger in a positive manner that is non destructive?

Where on the scale below would you say you are right now
Lowest 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Highest
What would it take to move you one number higher?

(It is important that you include your answer on the line)

Seeing that you can’t write your answer here. I would suggest that you download the word document from the link below.

This would also allow you to add notes about thoughts and feelings that you could review at a later date and see if or how they have changed.

Click to Download as a Word Document.
Note: If you are using Windows 7 and you Click On ‘Open’
you may get this.
Window Security Tag.
Just click on Cancel and the download should continue.

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