Some professionals suggest that expressing anger is the best way of dealing with it. But when you express anger, it’s virtually impossible to express it without conveying it. In other words, you hand-off your anger to the other person. This usually makes the situation worse. When you lose your temper or try to pretend that you are in control of your temper, the other person always knows what’s going on. No matter how hard you try to hide it the other person KNOWS you are angry.

As the result of an exchange like this you usually feel somewhat awkward, embarrassed, or perhaps even angrier than you were before. In fact, getting angry has the odd effect of helping you justify being angry.

When you think about it, getting angry rarely gets you what you want. You think your anger is going to change another person’s behaviour but it rarely does. Most people you get angry with, just walk away angry themselves. So instead of solving the problem, it often just makes the situation worse.

And to further complicate matters, the person you were angry with may hold a grudge, or get angry with someone else who you have to work with and this radiated anger may come back to haunt you in ways you can’t always foresee or predict.

The next time you feel like expressing anger, think twice. Venting your emotions may:

1. Make you feel worse.
2. Make your situation worse.
3. Cause additional problems you’ll have to fix later.

There are other ways of dealing with anger that don’t involve a confrontation. When you find yourself in a tense situation, try walking away. Don’t let it escalate. Another thing you can do is to talk the situation over with a neutral third party (like a relative, co-worker, supervisor or trusted friend). That third party can help give you some perspective.

And finally, avoid blame. Blaming others ultimately leaves you feeling helpless. By honestly admitting your own role in the conflict you will feel more in control and better able to correct the situation going forward.

Five ways to help you deal with anger:

  1. Think twice before losing your temper.
    Angry outbursts usually leave you feeling worse.
  2. Ask objective friends if your anger is justified.
    If they don’t agree with you 100%, let it go.
  3. Is it worth getting angry over?
    Before expressing anger, ask yourself: Am I truly inconvenienced by this situation? If not, it isn’t worth getting angry over.
  4. Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
    Assume they had a good reason for doing what they did and talk it out on that basis.
  5. Avoid blame.
    Blame only makes you feel helpless and more upset. Take responsibility instead for any role you might have had in creating the situation.