How Can I Control My Anger?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I get mad all the time and it is usually just little things that set me off like while i was at school today my little brother destroyed my room and got all my things all over the floor and that made me verry mad and i went to talk to my mom about it i started yelling and she took away my cell phone witch just made me more mad and i came to my room and i was hitting th walls and throwing things around and i was going to cut my wrist and then i got on your website and was going to see if you could help before i did something stupid and this is not the first time it happens alot and she also does not no im doing this

A. I am glad that you recognize that your anger is a problem. There are healthy reactions to frustrating situations and there are unhealthy reactions. Throwing things, hitting walls and hurting yourself are examples of unhealthy or inappropriate reactions. These are inappropriate reactions for many reasons but mainly because none of these will help you solve your problem and only serve to make the situation worse.

It is important to ask yourself what good comes out of acting the way you did. Did it solve anything? Did it change the fact that your brother destroyed your room? Did your mother give back your cell phone? It would seem that your behavior made the situation worse in that you helped to further destroy your room with your damage to the walls.

A better way to deal with anger is to try to remain calm and even-tempered in every situation. Ideally, one should strive to be emotionally neutral in most situations. This is easier said than done but with practice you can learn to not overreact. If it is not possible to talk these situations over calmly with your parents, you should consider going to the school counselor about your anger problems. The school counselor may be able to teach you strategies for dealing with difficult or frustrating situations so that you do not resort to hitting walls or hurting yourself.

It is possible that no one has taught you or modeled for you how to deal with anger and this in turn makes it difficult for you to know how to act. You can learn to change and react more appropriately but you might need someone to teach you. Try asking your parents (when you are feeling calm and rational) to help you learn how not to overreact and if you cannot talk to them, ask the school counselor. I hope this helps.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Feb 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Control My Anger?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/02/10/how-can-i-control-my-anger/