ACA Blog

Michael Walters
Jul 18, 2011

Five Anger Management Options

According to most denotations, anger is defined as follows: Anger is a feeling of great annoyance, antagonism, or rage as the result of some real or supposed grievance. At a personal level, if you experience injustice, insults, frustration, loss of control, mistreatment, or sense of being ignored, anger is the name of emotion that you are likely to feel. However, notice that anger is usually preceded by disappointment, rejection, or devaluation of your personal worth, needs, or convictions. On the other hand, the opposite conditions exist before someone is angered. For example, if you feel accepted, understood, recognized, valued, treated fairly, and have a sense of control, you most likely have the positive emotions of happiness and peace. In daily life, the ability to balance positive and negative emotions takes skill.

Consequently, how we express our anger is a crucial skill to learn for our wellness and the wellness of others. The goal of this blog entry is to examine five anger management options and to emphasize that all angry expressions, good or bad, are the result of choices.

Here are five anger management options:

1.Suppressing Anger: In this option, the person pretends not to be angry or denies being angry. Such a person may have a belief that all anger is bad. However, suppressing anger ultimately does nothing to eliminate it. So, even though suppression is a choice, it is not the most desirable one.

2.Open Aggression: In this option, the person expresses anger through words and actions that include intimidation, blame, rage, and explosiveness. Open aggression is another option for expressing anger, but such a choice of expressing anger is virtually guaranteed to cause injury to others and self as well as setting up recurring power struggles in relationships.

3.Passive Aggression: In this option, the person is opposed to open aggression. Instead of open aggressive attacks, passive aggression is used to frustrate others by subtle sabotage. Such a person may refuse to do someone a favor, knowing this will irritate him or her. Like the openly aggressive person, the passive aggressive person is engaged in a battle for superiority. This option will perpetuate unwanted tension and foster unhealthy relationships. So the passive aggression choice is another undesirable choice.

4.Assertive Anger: In this option, the person chooses express anger through words that convey respect and dignity for oneself and for others. In expressing anger assertively, it is important to be aware that a person’s voice tone can help create an atmosphere of respect for others. In essence, expressing anger assertively is not always easy. It requires self-discipline and respect for the dignity of others. It is not pushy or abrasive. Yet it is strong and respectful. Expressing anger assertively is an anger management option that is a constructive choice to reduce tensions in relationships.

5.Dropping Anger: In this option, the person accepts that expressing anger assertively may not work. Consequently, dropping anger is not easy. This option includes tolerance for differences as well as choosing to forgive. However, the person who chooses to let go of anger is aware that grudges are an option, but the person chooses instead to opt for a more harmonious life based on kindness.

Summing up, conditions causing anger are continuously occurring in daily life. So it can be extremely difficult to manage anger. However, the option we choose to manage anger impacts our overall wellness and the wellness of others.

Michael Walters is a high school counselor and a licensed professional counselor. He has a special interest in strengthening family relationships and empowering individuals to reach their goals.

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