Congratulations. You have decided to do something about your anger problem. Excellent.
Perhaps you have thought about it before, maybe you even tried to get some help, but it always turned into a hassle. I know, I’ve been there.
First of all, let me introduce myself. My Name is Joe Yosso, and I will be your Anger Coach. I am not a psychologist, or a doctor so I cannot and will not be giving medical or psychological advice.
So how am I qualified to be your coach?
Well to start off I have had anger issues all my life, and after many years of trial and error, studying etc. I have learned to control it. I have made most of the same mistakes you have, and many that
you haven’t gotten to yet, so I know I can truly say that “I have been there and done that”.
I have fallen on my face many times, and messed things up pretty well countless times, I even tried to get help a few times, but it never seemed to work. I began a serious study of most of the various “schools of thought” on the subject of anger and anger management, I have read many books, listed to many experts, used the internet to research, watched videos on youtube, ad infinitum. I have developed a program of coaching that utilizes what I have learned and puts it in a system that makes sense and can get results. This guide is a one part of that.
They say experience is the best teacher. Sometimes that can be painful. Sometimes it is better to
learn from someone else’s experience rather than go thru the pain yourself. Maybe learning from my experiences can help you avoid some of the pain I have been through. I have made it my goal in life to take what I have learned, and pass that on to as many people as I can, so I can help them avoid some of the problems I have had.
I know firsthand the terrible effects anger & violence can have on a family, and on a marriage, both as a child growing up, and as an adult repeating many of the same behaviors I learned. Maybe you have been there also, maybe that is why you have this workbook
Now, as a grandfather, I am determined to help as many people as I can stop the cycle of anger.
Just as a coach in sports helps an athlete improve on their natural talents, what I can do is help you help yourself develop your own individual anger management program, using some basic guidelines and tools.
I can tell you one thing for sure. This is not easy. It will take some work, you will need to be honest with yourself and be willing to change.
In the next 21 days, we can lay the groundwork for changing your life, and the life of those in your sphere of influence.
I have laid out the plan in 21 steps, I tried to put them in a sequence that makes sense to me. 21 days is a suggestion, you can take longer, or shorter, but do not just rush thru it. Do the assignments. Utilize the tools. This is your guide, your workbook. Take it and run with it. It can change your life.
If you have any questions or comments along the way. Feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com
Joe Yosso Your Anger Coach www.yourangercoach.com
Let’s get the legal stuff out of the way. I have to mention this unfortunately, so I will be brief.
All usage of this material as well as Anger Coaching that works websites, its products, services and information is entirely at the user’s own risk. The information in this material, and any information on the Anger Coaching that Works website is not intended to and may not be used as a substitute
for medical or mental health diagnosis or treatment. You should seek the advice of a medical health care professional or mental health care professional if you have questions relating to your mental or physical health. The Anger coaching that works website or any of our material, classes, or coaching sessions does not provide medical or mental health services and information on this site should not be construed as medical or mental health advice or counseling.
This material is copywritten, and cannot be reproduced, transmitted or distributed without the consent of Angercoachingthatworks.com or Joe Yosso (Your Anger Coach). Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
21 Days to Control Anger Daily Program
Day 1 Acknowledge the problem
Day 2 Take Responsibility
Day 3 Make your own personal goal
Day 4 Know your Anger Triggers
Day 5 Tools Part 1
Day 6 Tools part 2
Day 7 Gather your support team
Day 8 Building a fence around your anger Day 9 Anger and Control
Day 10 Anger vs Rage
Day 11 Anger as an Addiction
Day 12 Anger and Alcohol
Day 13 Anger and Stress
Day 14 Anger In the Workplace
Day 15 Unhealthy Expressions of Anger
Day 16 Expressing feelings OTHER than Anger Day 17 It is ok not to Participate
Day 18 Taking one day at a time
Day 19 Anger and your Health
Day20 Anger and Success
Day 21 What’s next? The Journey Continues
1- Using the Anger journal 2- Stages of Change
- Feelings List
Day 1 21 Days to Control Anger
Acknowledging the Problem
The first step towards controlling your angry problem is to acknowledge it.
As simple and as obvious as that may seem, it is actually not as easy as it sounds.
Persistent, problem anger is an addiction, and as such needs to be dealt with directly and firmly and without excuses.
Rageaholics, go through the same rationalization, denial and justification as any other addict, and thus just as the first step in any 12 step program is to “come to the realization, that my life is out of control”., we have to first come to that point before we can proceed.
That may sound harsh and hard to swallow, but let’s be honest and realistic, if you were really in control of your anger, you would not have taken the steps to get this information. If the idea that your anger is an addiction makes you uncomfortable, then you really need to take an honest look at your behavior pattern and see if it could possibly be construed as an addiction.
Before you proceed to the next step in the 21-day process, take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror. If what you see is a man (or woman) that is out of control as far as anger is concerned, then you should proceed. If not, then maybe you are not ready yet, maybe you think you got it under control. On the other hand, maybe you need to consider taking this step on faith, and be willing to act as-if it is an addiction, just in case you discover that it is. What do you have to lose? What can you gain if you proceed?
As you continue on the path these next 20 days, things will begin to become more clear, and the steps will begin to make more sense, but you have to start by taking this first step.
Are you ready to acknowledging that you have a problem with anger and you need to do something about it?
If you are, then let’s go to the 2nd step…….
Day 2 21 Days to Control Anger
Taking Responsibility is crucial for success in any endeavor.
In order to have success in conquering anger I must take responsibility for my own actions. Unless I take responsibility for my own actions I will always fail. To say that “He/she made me angry” is frankly a cop out. Certainly other people do things that can cause me to feel angry, or upset, or I may encounter situations that create in me the “fight or flight” reaction. But how I respond to that individual or situation is my responsibility. If I act in anger, then I am the one doing it.
Sometimes the reaction is so fast it seems like a reflex. Perhaps that is why it seems like it was the other persons’ fault, but in reality I was the one who chose to react in the manner I did.
Understanding that fact is one of the most important steps in being able to control anger.
How I react or respond (there is a big difference between the two words*) determines how well I can begin to learn the necessary tools I need in order to control my anger.
If I am not responsible for my anger than there is no need for me to change. But once I accept responsibility for my actions then I can begin to look objectively at the problem.
Anger coaching helps you to take control. Your anger coach has been there and knows exactly what to do to help you conquer your anger problems as a team with one goal in mind.
For more information on how anger coaching can help you contact us at email@example.com
*See blog post Reacting vs Responding (click here)
Once we understand and have taken responsibility for our anger…. we are ready for step 3
Day 3 21 Days to Control Anger
Make your OWN personal plan or Goal
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else!” – Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra really had a way with words, but the reality is that we do need to know Where we are going and How we are going to get there if we plan to accomplish our goal.
If the goal is to get your anger under control, (which makes sense since you are reading this guide) then what exactly do You plan to do the make it happen?
What I am saying is that this guide will help you accomplish your goal, but you have to put in the work, you have to take the action and do it.
Take a few Minutes and think about what you want to accomplish. What do you want to see happen after going thru these 21 days? How will your life be different?
How will your relations begin to change?
How will it feel to finally have control over your anger?
Focus on that, see it clearly in your mind’s eye. Imagine what it feels like.
Now, write down those thoughts.
Write a note to yourself as if you have already finished going thru this guide. Congratulate yourself for finishing.
Olympic athletes visualize success way before they ever accomplish it. They go over their routine in their mind, and “see” themselves winning all the time. They practice visualizing themselves doing it perfectly over and over.
You have taken the first steps, now focus on the goal.
Conceive it. Believe it, Achieve it.
You can do this. I believe you can do this. Do you ?
Day 4 21 Days to Control Anger
Know your Anger Triggers
One of the most important first steps in learning how to control our anger, is understanding what our Anger Triggers are.
Anger triggers are things that set off a reaction that may not be actually related to the specific situation you are in at the time, but are the reason behind the rapid escalation of anger. Such things as flashbacks to traumatic situations, or some memory tape we have in our subconscious may cause us to overreact to the current situation, and we can go from zero to 10 almost instantaneously.
If you have a problem with anger, rapid escalation of angry feelings may be a very common reaction when confronted with certain situations. These triggers are different for every person, and often are not recognized at the time.
The two main ways triggers affect us are through sight and sound. We hear or see something that creates an automatic reaction, often a negative one that results in aggressive or combative or verbally abusive behavior, and the object of the reaction is overwhelmed. Such overreaction is common to those with an anger problem, and creates many communication and intimacy problems.
It is very important for us to:
1- Learn what our specific triggers are,
- Recognize situations that create these triggers
- Develop effective ways of working on them.
Maybe it is something at work, family pressures, financial pressure. Think about the last few times you got angry. What were the circumstances, who was involved, what were you thinking, what were you feeling?
Write them down and look for patterns to emerge.
Sometimes this requires professional help, but oftentimes can be worked through with a friend or coach or group of likeminded individuals with similar problems that are working through similar issues together.
The important thing is to first recognize they exist, take responsibility for my reaction, and work on ways to avoid the problem in the future (which we will start in the next step). Take the time to write down what it is that “triggers” your angry reaction, and you will be well on your way to taking control of your anger problem.
Here is a little assignment to help you with this…
Focus on your Top 2 Triggers
Now that you have recognized your triggers, let’s take two of them to focus on first. We are not going to be able to deal with all of your triggers, this is a process. It took you a while to get into this pattern, so we can’t expect instantaneous success and control.
Start with one of your Triggers and write down 5 different times this trigger got you angry.
What were the circumstances? Where were you at the time? Who was involved?
What started it?
What was your emotional/physical state at the beginning?
Once you have that done, take a look and see if there are any patterns that you can recognize? Is there anything you see that you could have done to avoid it?
Think of 3 things you could have done to minimize the intensity. Put yourself in the position of observer and advisor to yourself. What would you tell yourself to help you not repeat this incident? Repeat this exercise for the other trigger(s).
Time for a break! You have been working hard on this project. It is ok to give yourself a little pat on the back, good job!
Then on to step 5….
Day 5 21 Days to Control Anger
Specific Tools to use to control anger –part 1
There are some specific tools or practices that if used consistently can help you control you anger here are just a few to start with.
The key point is using them. Tools are meant to be used. Learn and Practice these tools and you will be well on your way to controlling your anger
Tool # 1-Time Out
This tool is very simple to understand, but not always simple to do. Time out means just that. Take some time out when you are beginning to get into an argument. Get away before it escalates. This takes some Pre planning, in that you need to be able to explain to the other person that you need to get away for a while, but that you will be back, and you can talk about the problem when you return. It is best to explain this action to the other person before you get into an argument, so that the other person understands that when say you are leaving you are not just running away, and that you both can talk about it later when there is not as much tension.
There are a few important things to remember;
- Getting away, means getting Go!
- Stay away for 1 hour Minimum
- Do something that takes your mind off the problem
- Do not allow the problem to grow worse by working yourself
- Do not return if you are still angry
Tool # 2-Exercise
This may be used as part of tool # 1, but it works well no matter how you use it. Exercise releases chemicals into the bloodstream that calm you down. Exercise helps you relax and helps relieve stress.
Tool # 3-Prayer/Meditation
Prayer or meditation is very helpful in working on your anger problem. Acknowledging that your anger is out of control and asking for help from a Higher Power works very well for some people. Meditating also helps to relax and reduce stress and enhances your ability to avoid anger.
Tool # 4-Anger Journal
One great tool to help you get control of your anger is a Journal that keeps track of situations you encounter that may cause you to be angry. Similar to a log someone might have when on a diet to track what they eat. As you write down every day the situation, and how you respond to it, you begin to see ways to deal with your anger differently than you have been. The key here is consistency and honesty. You have to record what happens and how you responded.
I have included a sample anger journal at the end of this report.
On to step 6….More tools…..
Day 6 21 Days to Control Anger
Specific Tools to use to control anger –part 2
- Learn to be Assertive vs Aggressive
Knowing the difference between Assertiveness and Aggressiveness is a key factor in beating your anger. Being assertive is being confident, bold, decisive, self-assured, being able to ask for what you want without demanding. Whereas aggressive means to be confrontational, ready to attack, unduly forceful.
Knowing and practicing the difference between the two is crucial in controlling anger.
- Using “I” Language
Using “I” instead of “you” is extremely important in communication. If I say “you made me angry”…..” or “you make me lose my temper” I am being accusatory, and not taking responsibility for my actions. I chose to respond to the other person, I decided to do it, and I am the one that is responsible.
If I say, “I am feeling angry, or sad or frustrated because of….X I am not accusing, I am stating that I feel a certain way, and here is why. That enables the other person the opportunity to explain without feeling threatened.
Learning about and mastering “I” language methods is extremely important in personal relationships, and is a very important step in learning to control anger.
- Respond vs React
Although they seem similar, these two words have totally different meanings, and understanding that difference is a very big step in controlling anger.
Reacting is a negative term, like if the doctor tells you that your body is reacting to some medication. Whereas if he says your body is responding to the medication that is a positive sign. In regards to anger, if I react to someone, it is almost like a reflex and is often harsh and usually results in increasing the tension and adds fuel to the fire. But if I respond, then that implies that I listen to what was said, and give some thought to it and can consciously do something that may be able to bring resolution or at least not make it worse.
Learning to respond instead of react is another very important step in conquering anger.
- Have an “Exit Strategy”
Having an exit strategy is very important in winning the battle against anger. An exit strategy is defined as “a means of leaving one’s current situation” and “a strategy to mitigate failure”. In controlling anger, using tools and working through potential situations, and having a plan of action or an exit strategy is crucial in winning the battle against anger.
Understanding and using these tools or practices will really help you finally get control over your anger problem.
Day 7 21 Days to Control Anger
Gather your support team
“Iron Sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another”. Proverbs 27:17
King Solomon wrote those words over 3000 years ago, and they still have profound meaning for us today. No man is an island, we need the support of others in order to succeed.
You have started this program, you have acknowledged the problem, you have taken responsibility, you have identified some triggers, and you also have some tools to work with.
As you are on this journey to defeat your anger problem, you should consider developing a team to help you. You will be dealing with some very serious issues, and sometimes having someone to discuss things with is really important. Frankly that is the premise behind Anger Coaching That works. Since you are just starting, perhaps you might pick a trusted friend (a spouse may not be the best one here, because your anger may have created a rift between you and asking them to help may be a bit awkward to say the least)
Just telling a friend that you are working on a program can help. The act of declaring you are working on a 21-day goal may give you added incentive to finish. Your verbal commitment to another person can be very important and give you that extra boost to really get a grip on things.
Perhaps you have some friends that you can check in with and who can make you accountable. Maybe they can offer spiritual support, or just help you talk through things.
The point is that just as if you were in a 12 step group or other program, the dynamic of the group strengthens each member.
Anger Coaching that works has several programs that you can get involved with, including 13 & 26 week programs with group online classes and specific individualized plans to help you with your long term anger management program.
Gather you team, even if it is just one person, and let’s move on to the next step
Day 8 21 Days to Control Anger
Build a fence around your anger
We have acknowledged the problem, taken Responsibility, got some tools, gathered a team…now we are ready to move forward.
Allow me to share a concept that I believe will help as we move along, that I hope will get us moving in the same direction and with the same mindset. This idea is based upon my own experience, using another illustration from The Ancient Hebrews.
In the old testament we learn the when the Hebrews obeyed the Law, things went well, when they did not, then they had problems. That is perhaps an over simplification, but here is the point, over a period of time the ancient teachers in an attempt to help avoid breaking the law developed a series of rules and regulations that developed into the Talmud, consisting of the Mishnah and the Gemara, a total of 613 rules 365 positive and 248 negative. They tried to think of just about any situation one could find themselves in and then figure out a way to NOT break the law. They developed laws upon laws that in essence put a “fence” around the law so that it was theoretically more difficult to break the law because there were so many checks and
balances to go through.
The point of the story is this. We need to put a “fence” around our anger, a series of steps, or checkpoints if you will, that we can use to identify those situations that create our anger and
devise a plan before they happen so that when it does, we are prepared. If we do not have those
things in place, then anger will continue to win the battle, and we will continue to inflict pain on others as well as ourselves.
Remember in step 4 we talked about Triggers, those things that make you “snap”. Then in steps 5 & 6 we picked up some tools we can use to control our anger.
In step 7 we talked about gathering a support team.
Keep building on that foundation as you go thru the next 2 weeks of this course.
Take some time again and write down some things that you can do to recognize the pitfalls that you can fall into and get angry. Think of some things you can do. Read through some of the tools you got in Steps 5 & 6, and imagine ways that you can utilize them to “block” the path to anger. What things can you put in the way? What steps can you take to remove the anger so that it is harder to reach.
Think about that “fence” that you will build so that getting through to your anger will get harder and harder.
Day 9 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger and Control
It is often said that the reason people get angry is because we have “unfulfilled expectations” or “unreasonable demands”
Let’s Take a look at that:
List a few things that cause you to get angry….. Waiting in line…
Businesses not getting my order correct… Wife “nagging”
Husband leaving clothes on the floor… Add your own…….
Now….think about WHAT exactly it is that makes you angry about those situations…
I expect to be able to get thru the line quickly…I have a right to…
I expect traffic to flow easily…. I have a right to drive quickly and get there fast…
I expect to be able to have some quiet when I get home…..I have a right to peace and quiet…
Think about the pattern… I expect…I have a right to
Basically we have a need to control other people’s actions… I expect them to act in a certain way,
I demand it, it is my right.
Sounds like trying to control the situation doesn’t it?
For this step:
Think about how you might be trying to control your environment and how things might be different if you let go of that.
That may be difficult to grasp because it is so easy to justify our actions… But think about the last few times you got angry….
Did you use phrases like
They should have! Why didn’t you! You know better than that! Give me a break!
Think about what you mean when you say that….
Whether you admit it or not you are trying to CONTROL what others do, think and act…and EXPECTING (Demanding) a different outcome….if you don’t get your way….you get angry….is that a REASONABLE thing to do? … is it FAIR to do that?
This was a hard one for me personally to come to grips with. But when I finally understood that I was trying to control everything, and became willing to work on that, things began to change for the better.
What if you let go of the need to control? Think about it….
Day 10 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger vs Rage
In this step, let’s talk about Rage.
What is rage?
Rage is defined as…Uncontrollable anger, being furious, seething, expressing violent or explosive behavior.
If you are reading this report, either you or someone close to you may have a problem with Rage.
Whether you are the one raging, or the object of the rage, it is an ugly thing with serious repercussions.
So how do we avoid rage?
Just like in the first step, we need to acknowledge it. Then we need to analyze what steps occur to get to the point of rage. Are there any steps at all?
For many it is almost instantaneous. If on a scale of 1-10, 1 being annoyed or irritated and 10 being furious or full of rage, how quickly do you go from 1-10? Think about the last time you “really lost it” Was it a slow build up, or a quick burst? Do you feel “powerful” when in a rage? How does it feel after, when you see the results of your rage, are you filled with remorse and shame?
For many anger /rage is not something that happens, but it is who they are. It is a state of mind. They are angry all the time, and are like a pressure cooker ready to explode, looking for a place to express their anger. They may not be aware of that fact, but nevertheless, it is their reality.
If that is you, then you may be a Rageaholic: Defined as “a person who gets excited by expressing rage, or a person prone to extreme anger with little or no provocation”.
Just like an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol, a Rageaholic is addicted to anger.
That may be hard to swallow, but the reality is that some people are addicted to anger.
The sad thing is that just like the alcoholic craves alcohol and ultimately feels controlled by it, so a Rageholic craves an argument, feels “powerful” or in control while raging, only to feel the shame and guilt afterwards when they realize the harm done.
For this step, take some time and review step 8 where we learned to “put a fence around your anger”. Think about how you can use some of the tools you were given in steps 5 & 6 and work on a plan to eliminate the Rage in your life. That is a lot to do, but as you work on it you will
begin to feel empowered as you start to really take control of your anger.
Day 11 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger as an Addiction
For many with an anger problem, they may actually be addicted to anger.
Webster defines addiction as: A strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (action).
The AMA says: Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in
behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors
and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.
If you are like me, the word craving in that definition jumped out, I don’t crave arguing, do I?
Maybe not in the sense of an addiction like drugs, but is it possible that you are in an “Angry
State” most of the time? Always on the edge, always ready to get angry. Just waiting for the
opportunity to pounce.
What about the part that says “diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s
behaviors and interpersonal relationships”?
Has our anger diminished our ability to significantly recognize how our behavior is affecting our
We discussed anger and rage and being a rageaholic. Perhaps taking it one step further and
saying we may be addicted to anger can be helpful in coming to a point where we can FULLY
understand the extent and danger of our anger problem.
If I am addicted to anger, then perhaps I should treat it like any other addiction.
Take some time today and write out some thoughts about your anger, and how it affects your
What if I AM addicted to anger?
What can I do about that?
Can I learn to control my anger better if I considered it an addiction?
Day 12 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger and Alcohol
Many of those with an anger problem also may have an alcohol problem. You do not have to be an alcoholic to have problems with alcohol.
The statistics for acts of violence while drinking are very high.
If we are trying to control our anger, we need to consciously make an effort using all the necessary tools, support etc. Using alcohol may hinder your ability to use the tools.
For this step, take a few minutes and think about how your last few arguments may have been exacerbated by alcohol (either your use, or perhaps the other persons use).
Perhaps you don’t drink at all, then this does not apply to you, but studies show that those who have anger problems, who just have a glass or two of wine or a few beers after work to “wind down” tend to display more anger than those who abstain.
Compulsive behaviors, like alcoholism, gambling, drug use etc. all seem to follow the same behavioral pattern, which is an attempt to feel better, but in reality the action ultimately makes them feel worse.
Alcohol use, especially among those with anger or rage problems, tends to lower inhibitions, making them more susceptible to arguments, plus it often makes it difficult to remember the amount of rage that was displayed.
Those with anger problems, or other compulsive behavioral problems, like alcoholism, gambling, etc. tend to blame others, deny their actions and refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
If you have anger problems and you drink (even just socially) would it be worth considering, reducing or eliminating alcohol even for a little while, just to see if maybe it can help? What if you took it totally on “faith” and found out it actually helped?
The decision is obviously up to you….are you open enough to try?
Day 13 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger and Stress
It is no great secret that stress can cause anger issues.
Everyone experiences stress, there is no getting away from it. However, there are ways to
handle stress that may help reduce its’ effect on creating anger in our lives. One point needs to be made.
Whereas stress may create situations that can lead to anger, it is not the cause of the anger and does not have to lead to anger.
We make the choice to get angry, and we can choose not to get angry.
Stress is not an excuse to get angry. We may like to use it as an excuse, but to be frank, we have the power to not get angry, so realistically it is not fair to justify our angry reactions by blaming it on stress.
Stress is not a valid excuse for “unhealthy expressions of anger” as discussed in another step.
Certainly we must recognize the effect of stress in our lives. The emotional strain as well as the negative physical effects from stress are reason enough to do what we can to reduce the amount of stress we encounter. But to blame being angry on being under stress is really a cop out.
Does stress make you more susceptible to getting angry? Absolutely!
Does being under stress, make you lose sleep and that can make you more susceptible to getting angry? Sure!
But is that by itself the reason you get angry? No.
That being said, it is important to understand the relationship between stress and anger. We have several tools to help us control anger. What are we doing to manage stress in our lives?
There are thousands of books, cd’s, courses, etc on ways to reduce stress. If you have begun to work on reducing stress, great, keep going!
Here is your assignment:
Google search Five articles on stress reduction, read them and come up with just 5 new techniques for reducing stress that you have never done before. Set a goal to try them in the next 7 days.
Who knows, they may actually work?
Day 14 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger in the Workplace
In this step we will take a look at how we can manage anger in the workplace, and in the process reduce the effects of that anger on our personal relationships.
Ken Cloke and Joan Goldsmith, authors of Resolving Conflicts at Work: A Complete Guide for Everyone on the Job (2000), say managing anger is an important life skill. Managing your anger can minimize self-destructive effects of it and move your conflicts toward resolution. They recommend these techniques to manage anger:
- Own it. Don’t blame anyone else for your anger. Be responsible for your own intense feelings and for openly and constructively expressing
- Discover the underlying reasons for it. Ask yourself why you are angry, what triggered your emotion, and what deeper emotions or prior experiences are connected to
- Share your feelings and perceptions non-judgmentally. Drop all self-justifications, defenses, and judgments you are using to support your anger. Consider avoiding statements such as “you are wrong” and clearly indicate what was done that made you mad. Use “I” statements, report your feelings, say where you think they come from in you, and identify what triggered your
- Ask questions to discover whether your perceptions are accurate. Without making judgments or fixing blame, ask questions to find out more about what happened, so you
can get to the bottom of what triggered your anger. Ask if the other person meant to treat you disrespectfully, and if so, why.
- Focus on solving the problem rather than blaming others for it. Define the problem as an “it” rather than a “you.” Brainstorm possible solutions with your opponent. Take a problem-solving approach to the underlying reasons for your emotional response to the conflict.
- Avoid responding defensively. Do not fall into the trap of defending your
Consider the possibility that you may have been wrong, or that you and your opponent may both be right. Explore these possibilities openly. At the very least, if the other person doesn’t understand, recognize that you did not communicate your feelings skillfully.
- Ask clarifying questions. Ask the other person — keeping your own tone non-defensive and avoiding hostility — to clarify what was meant. Ask if your assumptions about what they are saying or doing are correct, and allow them to explain. Listen more carefully if you were not correct the first
- Clarify your expectations. Say exactly, specifically, and in detail what you expect. If the other person cannot meet your expectations, you can always negotiate more realistic expectations, so they will be clearer about what you really
- Ask for help. Ask a third person to mediate or facilitate your communication. People are often more polite when company comes to
- Apologize and start over. An apology is a declaration of ownership of what is not working, and a request for improvement. Your apology is an acknowledgment that your relationship with the other person is more important than being
The choice is yours. The next time something triggers your anger at work you can respond directly in an angry manner. Or you can manage your anger and discover the reason for it, which you may be able to do something about. If you can resolve the immediate issue and prevent future issues from escalating, both you and your organization will benefit.
Conflict can be defined in many different ways. It can be as simple as people not communicating well with each other. It can be a clash of emotions around a disagreement. It can manifest itself in ceasing communication around a difference of opinion, a disrespectful comment, personality style, or different perspective on personal space. Managing conflict and moving through these difficult situations are critical to individual’s job satisfaction and career success and to the organization’s productivity and effectiveness.
Many of these techniques also work in our other relationships as well. Controlling anger takes work, and the more we practice what we learn, the better we get at handling more situations in which anger can get the best of us. Keep Working at it! We can do this!
Day 15 21 Days to Control Anger
Expressions of Unhealthy Anger
In this step we are going to review several ways people express anger. Some of these may be ones you have used. Some of these may be actions which you do, which you may not consider expressions of anger.
Here are some expressions of anger that are considered “unhealthy”:
- Excessive cynicism
- Low threshold for frustration
- Throwing or breaking objects
- Excessive interruption of conversation
- Sulking when a situation does not meet expectations
- Instigating arguments
- Allowing mood to affect others
- Attempting to make others feel guilty
- Holding grudges
- Needing to be correct
- Rolling eyes or sighing heavily
- Silent treatment
- Abuse, both physical and emotional
- Frequent disregard to others’ feelings
- Passive aggressiveness
- Frequent lying
- Feeling justified in anger
- Avoiding conflict
- Punitive or condescending behavior
- Manipulation of a situation
- Suppressed anger
- Frequent black and white or all or nothing situations
- Little regard for forgiveness
- Blaming others/things for how we feel
After carefully reviewing the above list consider the following.
- How many of those did I not realize or think were “unhealthy expressions of anger”?
- How many of those have I done myself?
- Can I think of any other behaviors I do that might be considered expressions of anger? 4- Can I think of ways to express my anger in a healthy way?
Day 16 21 Days to Control Anger
Expressing Emotions Other than Anger
As an angry person, we may often have a hard time expressing emotions and feelings other than anger. This is much more common in men as generally we are not taught to show emotions, or we were told that “Real Men” are not emotional. We are taught to be strong, to “suck it up”, crying is not allowed etc. As a result, most men are limited in expressing their
feelings. When asked “how do you feel” we usually say Ok or fine or I am happy, I am mad.
On the other hand, most women can express a multitude of feelings, like I am feeling hurt, overwhelmed, disappointed etc. and thus there is often the problem that we don’t understand each other. As men we get frustrated when we are not understood, or if we feel we are not in control we often resort to anger as our “go to” feeling or expression. communication breaks down and the anger cycle continues.
In this lesson I have collected a list of feelings or emotions for you to study.
Your assignment is to begin to think of different ways of expressing your feelings. For example: are you Angry or merely frustrated? Are you feeling inadequate? Trapped? Weak?
Many of these “feelings” are hard for men to identify, so perhaps you can work with your wife,
or girlfriend etc. to walk thru this.
Next time you feel Angry, perhaps you can take a look at this list and see if there is really something else you are feeling.
You can use this when you are not angry also, as a way to better communicate with your spouse, children etc. Use it to enhance communication. It can help in many different areas of your life. The better we are able to express our feelings, the better we are able to understand others feelings as well.
Why not copy it and reduce it to a size that fits in your wallet and carry it with you.
Day 17 21 Days to Control Anger
It’s ok NOT to Participate
Here’s a news flash for you…You do not have to attend every argument you are “invited “to. Just like you can choose not to attend a party or event you are invited to, you can choose not to
“attend” or get involved in every argument or potential argument that presents itself.
As an angry person, we are keenly aware of situations around us that we can argue about. Situations that may need us to fix or control. But we can actually choose not to do that.
That may sound overly simplistic, but in reality that concept can actually work very well to help reduce anger.
Think about it, there are so many things going on in our lives that can cause stress and anger, like politics, family squabbles, etc. We are constantly being bombarded by negative things, angry people, conflicts. Think of all the negative things we see on a daily basis thru the media, social networking etc.
Here is some sage advice from that great Philosopher Kermit the Frog:
We really can learn to ignore some things that aggravate us.
Not just the stuff in the media and social networking, but those petty arguments at work, that guy who is always spouting off, that annoying neighbor, family gatherings that usually end in an argument. We can actually choose not to get sucked in, we can choose to not participate, we can just be an observer.
Review the tools in step 5 & 6
Consider what we learned in step 9 about Control. What if we let go of trying to Control every situation?
What if we could grasp the fact that we can’t control what other people do, but we CAN control how we respond?
Instead of reacting to the situation (which usually is negative), we can respond in a positive way.
We can control our actions and choose not to get involved. We can excuse ourselves, we can use the tools we learned.
In our next step we will learn how to do this One day at a time.
Day 18 21 Days to Control Anger
Take One Day at a Time
This step is easier said than done. If you have an anger problem, you probably have a control problem as well, so learning to live one day at a time is very challenging. However, in order to get a grip on our anger problem (as well as any addiction) we must learn to take one day at a time.
You can do anything for ONE Day. How many times have we said “I will NEVER do (that) again” only to fail miserably? The real key to beating our anger problem is to say, “I will not get angry TODAY”.
You can do anything for one day, then you can start the next day saying, “I will not get angry TODAY, and then repeat the process. Each time you have to just go 24 hours to make your goal
Even if you do fail, you can start again the next day…
Here is a little message to help you remember to live one day at a time. . .
Two Days We Should Not Worry Author Unknown
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday.
We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said.
Yesterday is gone forever.
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow
with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and its poor performance;
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow’s sun will rise,
either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow,
for it is yet to be born.
This leaves only one day, Today.
Any person can fight the battle of just one day.
It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad,
it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.
Let us, therefore, Live but one day at a time.
You CAN control your anger for ONE Day, then another, then another. . .
Day 19 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger and your health
It is no secret that anger can be detrimental to your health, both physical and emotional.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), shortness of breath, fatigue, trouble sleeping, heart attack, stroke etc. are all physical consequences of anger. In a study at Harvard Medical school, they studied 1300 older men (average age 62) over 7 years and found that those with high levels of anger were 3 times more likely to develop heart disease than men with lower levels of anger. In another study at Loyola University involving men regardless of age who had angioplasty surgery, found that those who scored highest in hostile behavior (Type A) were 2.5 times more likely to need to repeat the surgery in one year or less.
Anger causes a bodily reaction. Your muscles tense, blood pressure and heart rate increase, digestive process stops, certain brain centers are activated (fight or flight). This is an automatic reaction, however how you respond can be the difference between having an argument, going into a rage or simply recognizing that there are other options available.
For example, you are resting, when suddenly you hear a loud noise and the sound of breaking glass, and your immediate, automatic reaction is to jump up and prepare to fight with an intruder, however when you go in the next room, you discover that your cat knocked something off the table. Although it may take a while for your body to relax, you can immediately make a mental determination that there is no danger and you can go about your business
Unfortunately, for many who have an anger problem, it is not so easy to come down from that state. They are always in “fight or flight” mode, they live in that state. They are those “type A” personalities. They are the ones who may develop the health problems. Perhaps you were in that group when you started this program.
The good news is that you can stop that, you have already begun the process of curing yourself of your anger problem, and at the same time improving your health. Sounds like a good plan to me.
Here is a little something to help you to think about your health in regards to anger. In treating people who have addictions (anger can be an addiction like we discussed in step11) many use the acronym HALT. Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. When one or more of those conditions exist, those with addictive personalities are more likely to be triggered into action.
Using that illustration for a moment, perhaps we can extrapolate from that that if I am angry (A) than perhaps I may be, Hungry, lonely or Tired. That may not always be the case, but as was discussed in other steps, anger is the symptom of a larger problem. Perhaps by using the HALT example we can begin to consider why we are angry at that moment.
Following that a bit further, we can think of other ways we can take care of ourselves physically and emotionally to help us get better at beating our anger problems. We can eat better, get more exercise, get more sleep, spend time with friends and family etc. Remember the tools we introduced in steps 5 & 6.
Take some time to review the tools and add some additional healthy choices to improve your health as you control your anger.
Day 20 21 Days to Control Anger
Anger and Success
It should be obvious by now that learning to control your anger can be a very important step in helping you to be successful, and increasing your ability to get along with others, both at home and in your professional life.
Over the last 19 days in this 21-day plan, we have talked about how anger can affect our relationships, our health, our job etc. In this step, we will look at how it can hinder us from being successful and choke out our ability to be truly successful.
You have heard it said that people like to do business with those they know, like and trust. An angry person is harder to get to know, can be hard to like, and also difficult to trust. The point is that anger can be a wedge between people in just about any situation.
Bob Burg, in his series entitled Winning Without Intimidation says “Success in business
and in life is 15% technical skills and 85% people skills.”
The tools in this series can begin to help you get those people skills. You can learn to actually get along with people and develop “win-win” situations instead of bullying, arguing, and fighting to get what you want.
Chuck Swindoll, another one of my favorite writers said in regards to personal relationships and communication that “You can kill a fly with a shotgun, but you can also use a fly swatter”. His point is that you do not need to overreact to a situation in order to accomplish the task. Anger is the shotgun, whereas the flyswatter is a tool better suited for the job, just as
the tools we learned in steps 5 & 6 are more effective than what we have been doing (using anger instead of tact).
I am not saying that simply controlling your anger will make you successful, but if you want to be truly successful, and have the type of relationships you want, you have to include controlling your anger as a part of the overall plan. In step 3 of this program you were asked to set your own goal. We asked you to visualize how your life will be different? How will your relations begin to change? How will it feel to finally have control over your anger?
How are you doing in your plan? Have you experienced some measurable and observable changes?
For your assignment write down 5 ways that controlling your anger is improving or can improve your life professionally and personally.
Day 21 21 Days to Control Anger
What’s Next? The Journey Continues
Congratulations, you have made it to the last step (or is it the first step)?
Over these last 21 days (or however long it has been), you have made big strides in controlling your anger. Hopefully you have seen some real results. Are you finished learning? Do you stop now because you have begun to get your anger under control? We both know the answer to that. How many years did it take to develop your anger problem? Although it is true that you can develop new habits in about 21 days, the reality is that you have started on a journey that you will never really complete. Life is a journey, and now you have begun on a new adventure, living without being controlled by anger.
Success has been defined as “the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal”. Using that definition, you are successful, because you have made progress towards a worthwhile goal, that of taking control of your anger.
We started by you Acknowledging the problem and then setting your own goal.
Then we picked up some tools, gathered a support team and began to build a wall around our anger. We talked about anger and rage, addictive anger and how alcohol affects anger, as well as the effects of stress. We talked about the effect anger has on our health and our relationships.
We also discussed unhealthy expressions of anger and how to express emotions in general.
We learned that we do not have to participate in every argument that we are “invited” to.
We also talked about learning to take one day at a time, and how we can do anything for one day, then repeat the process the next day, and the next.
Finally, we talked about how anger relates to success in our lives.
We have come a long way, and now we are at a crossroads. Where do we go from here?
Reminds me of a poem I learned many years ago in the 8th grade by Robert Frost “The road less traveled”. I have attached a copy of it below as a gift to you, I hope you enjoy it.
To summarize it, it talks about a man who comes to the end of a road where there is a fork. He looks down both roads and ponders which one to take, he can’t take both, finally he chooses one, “the road less travelled”, and for him it has made all the difference in the world.
I hope that you have started on your “road less travelled”, one that leads you away from the old road you were on, the angry road, and that one day you can look back and say “that has made all the difference”.
If you would like to continue down the road with us, we have several options available. We have some coaching classes, group classes, one on one coaching, several different options to help you continue the journey.
Drop me a note and let me know how these steps are working for you, and if there is anything we can help you with.
Your Anger Coach
|Intensity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10|
|Did you Take a Time out?||Yes||no|
|Did you Stuff it, Escalate it or Direct it? circle one & comment|
|Any Alcohol or Drug use?||Yes||No|
|Additional Comments, Notes, etc.|
Using the Anger Journal
Recognizing & Controlling Anger: The First step in learning to Control anger is
to recognize when you are feeling angry at Low Levels
What does it “feel” like to be angry? What are the First signs?
What are your Body Signals?
Ex. Warm Shaking Restless
..Add your own words
What are your Anger Behaviors?
Ex. Talking quickly Yelling
..Add you own words
Levels of anger
Using a scale of 1-10 (With 1 being mildly irritated and 10 being out of control) it is important to analyze your level of anger and how you react or respond.
Think about words that describe different levels
Bugged Irritated Annoyed
.. Add your own words
Angry Mad Agitated
.. Add your own words
Enraged Furious Exploding
..Add your own words
Once you recognize these levels and understand how it feels to be angry, how can you begin to control it?
There are at least three choices.
Let’s analyze these
Stuffing is a common response. It is a way of denying, blaming, sympathizing or
I am not angry (Denial)
He/She doesn’t mean to get me upset (sympathy) I really screwed up this time (poor self-image)
I really do not have a right to be angry (self-doubt)
They are just trying to get me angry, but I am not going too (intellectualizing)
The problem often with stuffing is that it can fester and then comes the explosion!
Escalating is anything that we do to make ourselves angrier, and is the least
productive thing we can do.
It usually involves statements starting with YOU, such as You made me angry!
You (blank), it is all your fault!
Directing is the most difficult for many, yet it is the most effective and simplest to do,
once we learn HOW!
It is a twostep formula, two simple statements, starting with I feel angry that…
I would like… For example:
I feel angry that you yelled at me while we were out in public
I would like you to wait until we are home or talk in a lower voice This type of communication enables us to get our point across without
intimidation, and is more likely to improve communication and increase personal contact and intimacy.
The Anger Journal is a way to keep a record of how we respond to situations that get us angry. By keeping a journal, we can see how we are progressing in our ability to control anger.
Feel free to make copies and use it daily to monitor your growth.
For more help in Controlling Anger visit www.angercoachingthatworks.com or email
us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Yosso Your anger coach
Stages of Change
Problem? I don’t have a problem.
I guess there is a problem. Maybe I should Change.
I want to Change. I am ready to change.
I am doing everything that I can to make the changes
Using my tools. Coaching.
I can see things getting better. I’m going to keep up the good work
Supports are in Place. Being consistent