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What is Anger Management ?

Adults and children get angry at various intervals. A feeling of anger arises due to happenings that are not expected or those that are not liked by the individual. Anger can be towards self or others depending on the situation. Controlling this anger becomes all-important and this is where anger management comes about.

Anger is always due to a specific trigger, and is an emotion, or action, that is emitted to combat this trigger. Anger management thus refers to ways and means of controlling the anger. Various psychological and therapeutic techniques can be used to combat anger.

As anger has many manifestations in the form of verbal, physical, or emotional, it has to be managed in different ways, as each type of anger will require a different form of management.

Similarly, anger has various levels of intensity. Each level will require different degrees of management. Further, anger can be managed both at a conscious and unconscious level.

An individual himself can do anger management by using self-control techniques or it can be administered by another person or professional group. The management techniques could be self-developed through a trial and error method, or can be learnt through a specified course conducted by certified trainers. An individual who gets angry infrequently can do anger management himself; but those who are perpetually in anger, or lose their temper quickly, may need to take professional help.

Managing anger is a difficult proposition as it is an emotion that, at times, cannot be controlled. The level of control and manageability is subjective to individual personalities. A strong-headed and stubborn person will not be able to mould his/her ways in order to combat anger whereas a more malleable person will see reason quicker.

Anger management can be done in different realms depending upon the type of anger:

  • Physical expression of anger
  • If anger has manifest itself in a physical form (aggression and violence) then physical intervention may be needed. The person’s aggression will have to be managed through counselling and control therapy. In the study of social criminology, the control theories become important in anger management and self-control.

  • Anger with self
  • When a person gets angry with himself, he alone can manage this anger unless he expresses it outwardly to someone else. The internal feeling has to be controlled internally itself. Self-counseling, meditation and deep breathing work well in tackling anger towards oneself. The emotion of anger is so intrinsic to a person that he himself must develop the manner in which he can control these feelings.

    Though anger management can be done in several ways, there are three basic methods that are used, and can be referred to as the Three Cs– Communicate (express), Control (suppress) and Calm (soothe).

  • Communicate
  • Anger is an emotion that can be retained internally or can be expressed unto others. This expression can be done in various ways- subtle, verbal, or physical. It need not mean harm to a person and can be just an articulation of the feeling.

  • Control
  • Anger can be suppressed (or held back). When a person feels angry, he has an option to restrain himself from expressing the anger unto others. On applying restraint, the person either deals with his anger by thinking positively or diverts it towards some other constructive thought or action. Suppressing anger, though beneficial at times, can also cause harm to the individual himself as he keeps it contained inside.

  • Calm
  • In this scenario, a person cools down his anger internally and soothes his ruffled emotions. No outward behaviour is demonstrated in this case.

Whichever methodology is used, an important sequel to anger is anger management.