I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

2 Feb 2014

How Do You Deal With Anger?

I do a lot of work on my computer, writing this article for example. A few weeks ago, my computer froze while I was doing something. Man, I got mad! I was furious. Do you ever get there? I was madder than a rattlesnake. It had been freezing regularly and what made it worse is, a few weeks before this, I replaced the motherboard. So, I reacted! I punched my computer, bang! Not my proudest moment, and with me training to be a self-esteem coach, not something I’m too happy to admit. Don’t judge me though; I know what you thinking, “This fool is crazy.” I’m human though and so are you, so I’m sure you can relate.

So, there I was me vs. my computer, this was the Rumble in the Jungle. For those who don’t know what the Rumble in the Jungle is, it was boxing match between heavy weight champions Mohammad Ali and George Foreman. Until I researched this, I never thought of Foreman as a ‘boxer.’ He’s the man who sells meat-grilling machines. I did a little reading and he wasn’t a good boxer… he was a great boxer. I couldn’t believe it, 81 fights, 76 wins and 68 of those by knockout. I’m sure you’ve heard of Ali (Formerly Cassius Clay). He had an ego, he had a mouth; he’s the man who said, “I’m the greatest, I’m a bad man, and I’m pretty!” Ali knocked Foreman out at the end of the eighth round. The Rumble in the Jungle is arguably called the greatest sporting event of the 20th century, and it was happening again in my room.

So, bang, I gave my computer one swift left to the gut; cracked it. I was really sticking it to my computer, but the messed up thing is, I wasn’t Ali. No, no. I was Foreman. I might have been throwing the punches, but I was losing. I was getting hurt, not on my body, rather in my mind.

To make matter worse, not only was it frozen, it was now also making a funny noise. I ripped the power cable and now I’m really mad. You know what I’m talking about… I got up. I started kicking my feet. I was throwing a tantrum; which isn’t actually a bad thing to do, when done in the right spirit: get all that anger out of your body. I mean, have you seen kids hold a grudge? They don’t. They kick and scream and 5-minutes later, it’s as if it never happened. Food for thought…

I was not doing this in the right spirit. I continued jumping around, and lucky I have many books in my room. One jumped out at me and yelled, “Aaaaah, remember me?” I remembered what I had read in it. There is a story in the book, a similar story where this father gets mad at his kids—you know the one? The outcome is the guy said, “…I took a deep breathe, stretched…” (Mindsight by Daniel Siegel pg 30) I took a deep breathe and calmed myself down. I looking back and asked myself, whose fault is all of this? Often we blame everything else. Have you done that before? Sound familiar… However, I realized that it was my fault and my reaction—emotional reaction—that caused the problem to get worse. With a clearer mind, I opened my computer, noticed that a wire was caught on the fan, a result of me sucker punching it, and that the heat sink was caked with dust and this was probably the cause of my computer freezing. Calmly, I cleaned it out and it has run perfectly ever since.

There is a little more to this story. As I said, I’m training to become a self-esteem coach, so I have many tools for these kinds of situations. Conscious, deep breathing however, is the first and probably most important step in the process. It allows you to reach the higher levels of your brainpower so you can respond to a situation and not react emotionally.

So remember, next time you get mad, with your kids, your boss, next time ‘life gets you down,’ or whatever it is, take a breath and respond.

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I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone


  1. You have a gift for story! Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Well done! Just keep practicing these techniques and you will find the calm reactions will become natural.

  2. Thanks Melissa. I apprecaite that. I collect stories like this, so I can go and do talks. It's what I want to do. I think this is going to be one of my competition speeches this year... Hmmm... decisions, decisions :)

  3. Anger is a choice we make. Sometimes it is the right choice but probably only if we follow up by responding not reacting. Self-control is a way of thinking/behaving that, as teachers and parents, we should 'model' for children. If we don't, who will. As a teacher I can react instantly to a piece of behaviour in class that damages learning. I can do that because I have made many mistakes in my early career where I 'reacted with anger' or at least showed the class that I was really angry. Moving along to a 'pretence of anger' in class, and then to not actually feeling angry at all, has been a good journey. On a personal level it is harder. Keeping anger at bay can mean a dampening of feelings which is not always a good direction. Imagine a place full of angry people. Would you really want to join them there? They look so stupid. Anger is usually a bad choice.

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head: parents and teachers need to model this, else, where will kids learn it...
    It's taken me years to learn these lessons.
    But this is why I want to become a better spearker and a life coach: so I can go out and teach this stuff :)

    Just a note though, keeping anger at bay doesn't have to dampen feelings.
    You can learn techniques to release anger form your body. As I alluded above, throw a tantrum! Have you ever seen a small child hold a grudge? They get it out of their bodies very quickly and it's over. Now, people would probably look at your funny if you did this as an adult, but you can always run off to the bathroom and somewhere else private (I'm not joking about this by the way).

  5. O, and thanks for your comment Joe.
    I appreciate it.
    It's nice to know that there are others out there interested in learning more about human emotions :)

  6. I've never had extreme anger responses and the older I get the more I'm able to contain myself. Sometimes I might seethe awhile until my anger is contained, but I try to avoid that too since it's not really healthy.

    I've long avoided addressing anger against inanimate objects with violent reactions. It gets too expensive. Sometimes my wife threatens to break her computer and I'll convince her not to then calmly sit down and usually resolve the issue. Patience and rationalization can usually assuage most difficulties.


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