Anger Management

Change usually evokes feelings of threat, triggering “Fight or Flight” reactions. The stimulation can be felt as anger. For instance, there are many reasons for being angry during a discussion dealing with changes. However, a lot of anger, felt during debates, designed to realign power and responsibility, tends to be “residual” anger. Residual anger is where current situations trigger off anger belonging to past unresolved issues.

Most anger is rooted in:

  • perceived threat,
  • unresolved frustrations,
  • arousal from the current situation.

To be able to resolve the current situation, individuals need to accept responsibility for the level of their anger. Your choices and actions are your own. No one makes you do anything.

Situational factors affect whether individuals are likely to become aroused and angry (to a degree). But the individual, themselves, control:

  • the depth of the anger,
  • maintenance of the anger,
  • the type of anger reaction allowed,
  • the frequency of anger you allow yourself.

Willway Anger Management


You have options. The degree to which an individual decides to express anger is based on how they interpret situations. They can interpret based on past experiences or current circumstances. The factors to consider are:

  • personal characteristics, eg. do I choose anger readily?
  • situational/contextual issues,eg. does this situation remind me of past negative events?
  • actions or outcomes, eg. can I make new choices and choose new outcomes?


At first, when individuals complete this checklist/reflect on above every time that they are “Angry”, individuals find that they define the situation as personal.

When they force themselves into asking: “Is this really about an issue or a procedure – not me?” seventy-odd percent of the time, they immediately see the situation more positively and become constructive.

If the situation is, in fact, about personal issues, they can still strengthen their objectivity skills by distracting themselves. Count backward in fours from 25 – rapidly. This is called attention switching.

The individual may be in a meeting where verbal battles are taking place, which happens when real change is taking place with emotional investments being challenged. It is useful to stop the conversation, take time to cool down, switch attention from “What” to “How” and find out why something is happening.

You can learn to release anger, at a different time, in a safe place and in safe ways. Punching cushions, tearing up strong cardboard, or angry yelling are effective methods of release.