• Learn to express your anger safely.
  • Relaxing activities can help you deal with your anger.
  • Resolving arguments will make you feel more positive and happy.

About anger

Anger affects people in different ways. Some people have a 'short fuse' and get angry easily. Others seem to get angry after a long time. The best way to resolve an argument is to negotiate with the other person.

Expressing your anger safely

There are safe ways to express your anger. For example:

  • Go for a run.
  • Punch a pillow.
  • Scream at something (in private), for example, a tree or a car.
  • Talk to someone you trust.

It’s important that you express your anger safely. If you don't, you may hurt yourself or someone else.

Try and work out why you are angry

If the same situation or person is making you angry a lot, think about talking to someone you trust. For example:

  • a counsellor
  • a doctor
  • a social worker
  • a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Relaxation can help diffuse anger

Relaxation can help put things in perspective. There are many ways you can relax:

  • Go for a walk or sit quietly in a park.
  • Listen to some music you really like.
  • Read a book, go to a movie or watch a video.
  • Play your favourite sport, go for a swim or learn yoga.
  • Take a bath.
  • Do some yoga or meditation.

It’s easy to forget to make time to relax. It can be helpful to try and put time aside each day to do something relaxing. Try writing a list of activities that you find relaxing. 

Violence is not a solution to anger

You may find a person or an issue upsets you so much that you lash out. Violence may also be a way to release frustration when you don't know what’s upsetting you. This can be dangerous to both you and others, and may result in criminal charges.

To overcome violence, write a list of things that make you angry, for example, particular situations, people, moods, drugs or alcohol. Think about ways to avoid these people or things and about ways to contain your violence.

There are many people you can talk to who can help you overcome your feelings of wanting to lash out. 

Everyone has arguments

Arguments can arise for any number of reasons including:

  • you may be having trouble understanding someone else's thoughts on an issue – it may help to ask them questions about their point of view
  • your values, goals or needs may conflict with those of someone else
  • you may not understand what other people are trying to say or do.

Unresolved arguments can cause problems

Unresolved arguments can lead to:

  • confusion and feelings of resentment
  • stress and tension
  • sleeplessness
  • illness
  • family breakdowns or poor relationships
  • aggression or violence.

Dealing with arguments

When you have had an argument, it’s easy to stay angry or upset with the other person. If you don't resolve an argument with a person you see often, it can be a very uncomfortable experience.

Talking to the person about your disagreement may or may not help. If you do approach them, make sure it’s in a helpful way. Stay calm, and communicate openly and honestly.

If the person could be violent or abusive, it may be best not to approach them directly. You could talk to them over the phone to see if they are open to finding a solution to the argument. If you decide to do this, make sure there is someone you trust with you for support, and that you’re in a safe environment.

Try and tell the person how you feel as a result of their opinion, but avoid trying to tell them how they feel. It is possible to agree to disagree. You may need someone else to help you resolve the disagreement. You could ask a third person to act as a go-between and help you both get another view on the argument. 

Reasons for dealing with arguments

There are good reasons for dealing with arguments, including:

  • It will give you a sense of achievement and make you feel more positive.
  • You may feel more relaxed, healthier and able to get a good night's sleep.
  • You may develop stronger relationships.
  • You may feel happier.

Where to get help


More information


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Developing relationships

Relationship difficulties

Violence and abuse

Getting help

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Reach Out

Last updated: June 2020

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