A Simple Trick To Manage Your Anger So It Doesn’t Damage Your Relationships

One of my flaws is that I’m quick to anger. It’s not an attractive trait and it’s something I work hard to overcome so it doesn’t damage my relationships. Recently, I discovered a little trick that’s been working wonders for me. It might help someone else manage their anger or frustration a little better so they don’t take it out on their loved ones.


Learn to manage your anger so it doesn't damage your relationships with loved ones: 1 simple question

A few weeks ago, I was having a bad day. You know the kind – nothing seems to go right and the universe is intent on ruining your life. Everything’s pissing on your parade, and you just can’t catch a break.

  • You’re running late
  • You spilled something
  • You bashed your shin off the coffee table
  • You forgot your lunch
  • The kids scribbled all over the walls
  • Your shoelace snapped
  • The forecast was wrong and now it’s raining all over your new hairdo
  • You broke your favourite mug
  • You burnt your dinner

Yup, I was having one of THOSE days.

Because I was so frazzled and trying to juggle eleventy bajillion things at once, I was snapping at my daughter. And heaven help my husband when he walked through the door after a hard day’s work. He was getting both barrels about everything I’d had to put up with while he was sitting pretty in a comfortable office with friendly colleagues, not a care in the world.

How dare he have an easier day than me.

Hopefully by now you’re starting to realise how ridiculous I sound.

I was angry that someone else wasn’t having as bad a day as I was. Completely irrational and, frankly, insane. And so I stopped to ask myself a simple question:

What am I really angry about?

Was I really angry at my husband for going to work, like he does every day? Was I really angry at my daughter for asking for some apple juice while I was trying to juggle the cooking and cleaning?

Of course not, but I was taking it out on them anyway. When I took a second to think about the root cause of my anger, it was because I was trying to do too many things at once. I was letting everything get on top of me, and then suddenly it was everyone else’s fault.

It was my young daughter’s fault for not waiting until I could catch my breath before adding another thing to my to-do list. It was my husband’s fault for having a job, and for not scrubbing the house from top to bottom before he left for said job. It was everyone’s fault for not being able to read my mind and instinctively know what I needed.

What am I really angry about?

I was angry that I hadn’t cleaned up my dirty dishes from the night before, and now had to wash them before I could cook dinner. I was angry that I’d been dumping stuff on the counter instead of putting it away, and now there was a big mess to clear. I was angry that I was trying to deal with all that while still getting a reasonably healthy meal on the table.

I wasn’t angry at anyone else, I was angry at the situation I was in. I was angry at myself. I was pushing myself to get everything done at once instead of giving myself some extra time and space, and tackling one thing at a time.

I was pointlessly scolding myself for past mistakes, and inventing future failures.

I stepped back, took a few deep breaths, decided on the ONE thing I wanted to focus on… and greeted my husband with a kiss and a smile.

When you feel yourself getting worked up, and you’re about to unleash that fury on the closest person to you, stop and ask yourself…

What am I really angry about?

Get to the root of the problem and then focus on fixing it. Be single-minded of purpose and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.

Your blood pressure will be lower, and your relationships will be stronger.

Do you have any little tricks that stop you lashing out at your loved ones when you’re frustrated?

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  1. I actually have the opposite problem. I hold everything in and then it comes out in a crying fit when I can’t handle it anymore! I need some help with appropriately releasing my anger or frustration as it comes up, rather than letting it build.

    • Speaking up early has helped me in those situations. If I find I’m starting to dwell on something, I’ll say it outright and, usually, the situation can be resolved. Often, I’ve simply misunderstood or misinterpreted something, and some clarity diffuses the situation completely.

  2. I find that anger is not the only underlying emotion that causes me to lash out. Worry, stress, and fatigue rank right up there as underlying and provoking emotions. I like the anger question, but would expand that to ask “what is the emotion under the anger I’m dishing out?”
    Love your blog and YouTube. Thanks for all you do!

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