A man who needs anger management tips putting his fists on a table.

Why is it so easy to give in to anger? Do you know how to stop being angry?

According to Wayne W. Dyer, you get angry when things don’t go your way, whether it’s because people don’t behave as you’d like them to or you’re in a frustrating situation. You may show your anger by lashing out, being sarcastic, or giving others the silent treatment.

Let’s look at why you might get angry so easily, and a few anger management tips.

Why Do We Get Angry?

Before providing anger management tips, Dyer breaks down the emotion. He says that anger isn’t conducive to communication, and it erodes relationships, yet you may still hold onto it because it enables you to instill fear in others and get them to do what you want to do.

(Shortform note: In Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown similarly describes anger as what we feel when something gets in the way of what we want or disrupts the way we think things should be. But she goes further, describing other emotions that are similar to or build on anger: There’s disgust, which is a strong aversion to something or someone else; contempt, which is a combination of anger and disgust; and hate, which is a combination of contempt and fear of those we believe are truly evil. The antidote to these emotions, says Brown, is empathy, compassion, love, trust, and vulnerability—all of which help you form deeper connections.)

As with other erroneous zones, you might use anger as the easy path, writes Dyer: Instead of doing the hard work of keeping your anger in check, you might tell yourself that being angry is a normal and valid human reaction. While Dyer accepts that letting off steam might be healthier than bottling up your rage, he argues that anger isn’t natural. To him, the best option is to not be angry at all. 

(Shortform note: Dyer says that anger isn’t natural, but other experts counter that it’s a natural response to threats. It tells us to protect ourselves when we feel attacked, so it’s crucial to our survival. However, experts do agree that some displays of anger can heighten aggressive feelings rather than relieve them, so we should learn to manage anger. One way to do this is through deep breathing.)

How to Stop Being Angry

Dyer offers anger management tips so you can stop letting anger control you:

1) Delay your anger. Dyer says that when you feel the urge to have an outburst, give yourself a few seconds before you lash out, building up the time each time something triggers you. In time, he writes, you’ll be able to get your anger under control. (Shortform note: Dyer’s advice to give yourself a few seconds before lashing out is similar to other expert advice of counting to 10, which helps you manage your anger. Counting is effective because it forces you to focus on something else rather than stew in your negative feelings.)

2) Have an anger accountability buddy. This person can either call your attention to your anger or hold your hand when your temper flares up—Dyer says that linking hands with a loved one can have a calming effect. (Shortform note: What if you’re on the receiving end of your accountability buddy’s anger? Experts say you should stay calm, listen to them, and try not to respond to their anger with anger. Instead, let them know that you understand where their anger is coming from. Avoid accusing them or saying their feelings are invalid. If you feel your anger escalating, you may want to remove yourself from the situation.)

The 2 Best Anger Management Tips to Take Back Control

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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