How do I not be angry all the time?

My roommate is a unapologetic person who doesn't care who she hurts. She never apologizes to me or my family. She made me lose my temper today to the point where I was using swear words in front of my mom and brother.

Ian Palombo
Ian Palombo
#ThoughtMediator & #LifeUntangler

Anger is a natural and healthy emotion that everyone feels from time to time. But when you find yourself being caught off guard with unexpected anger or feeling anger at a time when you can’t express it, it can be difficult to cope with. So, what can you do when you find yourself feeling anger unexpectedly? Below are some strategies to help you keep your calm and respond appropriately. 

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

When you’re caught off guard with anger, you might start to feel defensive or emotional and not immediately know why. Before you do or say anything, assess your feelings and acknowledge that you’re angry, and what is the likely cause of the anger. “Our children got in a fight her child started, and she’s wrongfully blaming my daughter.” 

2. Take a Breath

As you acknowledge you’re upset, stop and take a breath. Put physical distance between you and the other person by taking a couple of steps back. 

3. Be Curious Instead of Furious

If you have difficulty controlling your anger, it can be all too easy to jump instantly into furious mode and unleash your anger. Instead of being angry, be curious. Consider why this person is behaving this way, or saying these things. Maybe they had a bad morning or heard some upsetting news. 

4. It’s Not Personal

Remind yourself that this isn’t personal to you. Oftentimes when people are behaving inappropriately or saying hurtful things, it’s because of things going on with them in their own lives. Practice reminding yourself that it’s not personal to you. 

5. Use “I” Statements

When you’re upset, it might not always be appropriate to respond. Sometimes it’s best to just walk away. But if you do need to say something, focus on the behavior you find unacceptable without placing blame. Talk specifically about your feelings and the effect of the behavior on you. By communicating without placing blame, you are more likely to be understood and work toward a resolution, rather than putting the other person on defense and starting a conflict. 

If you’re still feeling upset after a difficult exchange, try calling a friend to vent, write your feelings down in a letter you’ll never send, or do some exercise. Go for a walk, or join a friend for spin class. Do something nice for yourself later, like cooking a special dinner or taking a hot bath. When it comes to anger, remember that in the long run it’s best for you to control it, rather than allow it to control you. 

Are you having difficulty managing your emotions? Is anger beginning to have a significant negative impact on your life and relationships? A licensed mental health professional specializing in anger management can help. Visit denvermhc.com today and we can schedule an appointment to talk.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Wendy Gagne
Wendy Gagne
Marriage Family, Individual Specialty ADHD and ANGER
You must be feeling frustrated about how to resolve this. Some people seem to really provoke emotional responses in us. One thing to learn for a quick review of yourself when you are provoked is to pay attention to your body. 
Notice your heart rate, fists clenched, some warmth going through your body and these are signs that the interaction is toxic for you. Move out of the room, say something calling to both of you and let things simmer down before responding. 
When you are able to calm your body, think of ways to bring the issue to her attention using positive words but holding your ground. If she doesn't listen ask someone to come with you to talk to her about it, If she still won't listen, reassess your expectations of her.
Finally if you need to , you may have to consider changing the status of your rooming together.
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Must you keep this roommate in your life?

If you've tried speaking with the person about your unhappiness to feel angry "all the time" , the problem has been going on for an extended amount of time and nothing changes, then the next step would be for both of you to part ways.

It is possible each of you triggers the other in very deep and irrational ways on occasion.

If the choice is to tolerate being triggered or to dissolve the relationship, then your decision is which of these two choices is better for you.

Since you already know you don't like to be triggered, parting ways as soon as reasonably possible, seems the choice you prefer.

Either choice is fine.  Let the decision depend on which way makes you feel life is livable and happy!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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