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09 June 2009 @ 09:35 pm
Coping Mechanisms for Anger  
I came to anger late in life. I'm behind the curve.

What do you do when you're really, really angry?

Teach me what you've learned.

With small anger, I go for long walks or take a hot bath, and wait for it to settle.

Big anger is a lot more difficult. I don't really have any good coping mechanisms for it, and I always feel an overwhelming urgency to stop feeling that way, and that combined with my generally useful carpe diem philosophy ... great anger is a sizable risk for me, as you might imagine.

Thankfully, I don't feel it very often.

Unfortunately, that also means I rarely have to deal with it, so I come up short.

I would very much like to learn from your experiences, so please do share if you are willing to do so.

I think my cousin also recommended an Anger Mgmt book to me awhile back, and maybe that would give me some good tools too. Hmm.
Current Mood: not angry ;>
Current Music: "Piano Man" - Billy Joel
bitterfun on June 10th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
When I'm REALLY angry, I plot. Wether or not I follow through with the plot is whole other thing. It takes quite a bit to get me really angry. I get frustrated but there's a big difference for between frustrated and angry.

Of course asking for anger advice from a Sicilian is probably not the best of ideas...

...unless you're looking to get even. ;)

Edited at 2009-06-10 05:05 am (UTC)
autonomic_pilotautonomic_pilot on June 10th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
"...asking for anger advice from a Sicilian is probably not the best of ideas..."

Somewhere ahead of getting involved in a land war in Asia. At least death isn't on the line.

I'm so sorry to do this to you. The memory triggered and I simply wasn't willing to stop myself. ;)
♪☆♪☆fairgotham on June 10th, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
Good question! Usually I just cry/listen to loud music/plan my way out of the situation that is causing me anger.

I'm curious to hear others' responses.
Deirdreevillinn on June 10th, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
my knee jerk thing to do is to break things. While maybe not "productive" or "useful", its ridiculously cathartic. I've even been known to keep an unwanted item around in case I needed to stomp on it. Tearing fabric works well too. I realize these are probably not the answers you are looking for. ;)

Given that I very rarely get truly angry - I can think of two times in the last decade - I don't really bother to come up mechanisms or tools that I would probably seek out, were it a common occurrence. If my temper tantrum is kept to myself and not harmful to anything that matters, and blows over fast enough, then its fine to just go through it.
Once I've gotten the ridiculous adrenaline burst dealt with, I write. I write and write and write as fast as I can until my hand is a bloody stump and I have to stop. Key here is that nobody should ever, ever, ever read it, and I generally want to destroy it once I'm over the anger. So its notebooks, not journals.

That said, I've always sort of imagined running would be an amazing way to deal with anger. I sort of imagine running really hard up a steep hill would be tremendously satisfying in that state.

Sarah: swordsarmonster on June 10th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
The most productive thing I do is I take my sword, go out and cut at weeds. Anything over waist height. Weeding in general, especially if I have gloves, helps. Hacking at blackberries with my knife. Otherwise I can go and jump in the creek, or dunk my head, anyway. That sucker is cold all year.

Since you probably don't have access to a river-or one you'd want to stick your head in, anyway, try this: Fill the sink full of cold water, stick your face in it and scream.

Things I DON'T do: Talk to Mike -or anyone- about anything, drive (though its tempting to take off), work on anything delicate.
Sarahsarmonster on June 10th, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
And Matchbox 20. Real World.
Victoria: psycho kittymahariel on June 10th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
It hasn't happened in ages, but I did get the big anger least twice at each of the last two jobs.

I would kick things, usually when wearing steel-toed boots. I usually kept enough presence of mind to make sure what I'm kicking won't be seriously damaged or hurt me, even with the boots. A stack of empty boxes made a good target.

For just short of the big mad, well, that's when the scathingly polite letters get written.
King Ratgkr on June 10th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
I used to get seriously angry all the time. Somehow I grew out of it. I haven't felt rage in 10+ years. Irritation and disgust, and momentarily flashes of anger that pass quickly without me thinking.

So unfortunately I'm not much use.
Kburgunder on June 10th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I can hope I eventually get to where you're at.

I hope I do.
King Ratgkr on June 10th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thing is, I have no idea how I got to where I am in that respect. I know how I got more outgoing/less shy. That was conscious effort.

This? It could be magic for all I know.

One thing has occurred to me though. I do make a conscious effort to walk away from situations that anger me before they get out of hand. Kind of a why am I wasting my time? kind of reaction.
sculptruth on June 10th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
If it's deep and really strong anger, I withdraw completely and usually throw myself into something productive to sort it all out before I talk about it with anyone. Depending on the strength of the anger, that could be anything from housework to 9-5 work to the art. At a point, I can't work on my art because I don't want that energy there. But I'll find something to do, first and foremost, since I seem to find I can diffuse/find peace through movement.

I might write it down (privately). Seeing things in writing really helps me dismantle what is emotion, what is fact, what is distorted, etc. People might not ever see what I write, but it's helpful to me.

Thirdly, I have an excellent therapist.
tenshiemi on June 10th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
I usually cry but running can help.
autonomic_pilotautonomic_pilot on June 10th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
Anger was one I got to face early, since it's one of those things that was ok to feel even when I was young. I still got shit for it, but it wasn't the kind of shit where you're supposed to be ashamed.

Anyway, I have a few methods. Angry music played loudly is useful. I sing along, let my rage happen, and make sure I don't go anywhere. This doesn't abate the anger right away but it spreads it out... makes it easier to feel.

When I was in high school, I would just run as hard and fast as I could. The exhaustion blunted the anger and again, I still felt angry after but it was diluted.

Video games are somewhat useful in this way but only somewhat. They're more of a distraction so the anger can cool a tad.

Punching bags are almost as good as running for me. I have only used that method twice ever but dang, it works.

Any emotional processing is served well by writing for me.

I've never had any anger problems and really don't get Big Angry except for immensely huge deals. That hasn't happened in almost a decade. Regardless, one thing I've learned about emotions is that I must feel them and not try to rush them away or lock them away. They get ugly.
Khalliskhallis on June 10th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
I find that being an armed citizen changes my perspective, radically.

It is a sobering thing. I cannot pretend that there are no consequences to my potential behavior. If the source of my anger does not morally and legally justify homicide, then I fundamentally cannot afford the luxury of choosing to yield my self control to it. As I remain accountable for my actions, so too must I remain responsible for them.

I strongly believe that this is a beneficial lesson of adulthood. A firearm does not change the preexistant truth of this, but it does serve as one hell of a cold and ever present reminder - there is no pretending that your choices are harmless anymore; no pretending that the consequences belong to anything or anyone but you.
Twins of Chance: AAARGHoponn on June 10th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
I always find myself replaying the scene that caused me anger. Replaying, rethinking what I could have said, should have said.
If it's really bad, I find some really loud angsty music.

Eventually, I come to the point where I say to myself 'This person/situation does not deserve any more of my energy. Enough.' ... and that always works.

anger is a healthy emotion. Everybody needs some level throughout their lives.
How much depends on the situation.
How long you delve into that part of your psyche is entirely up to you.
butterflake on June 10th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
I sing loudly, dance, and paint. Or destroy paintings - actually the last time I was epically angry I ripped apart the painting of the person I was angry at, then destroyed a bunch of others with chunks of glass while listening to really loud music. It was the only time I've ever done that, but THAT was cathartic.