Anger Management: The Key to Loving Relationships

Anger Management Tips

Do you know what the worst feeling in the world is?

For me, it’s regret. The regret of knowing that I screamed and shouted at my loved ones. AGAIN. 

I yelled. I was mean. I tried to prove someone wrong. I wanted my words to cause pain. 

Anger is a nasty business. 

But I’m not alone in this. From our earliest philosophers to neuroscientists today, people have been studying anger for centuries.

Why do we completely lose control? Where does this emotion come from? What are the best anger management techniques? 

In this post, I’ll be revealing it all. 

Anger Messes With Your Brain

The story of anger starts with your brain. 

Fun fact: your brain is made up of many different parts. Each part is highly specialized and does different things. This Big Think video explains it well, in case you are interested.

The part of your brain that gets activated when you’re angry is the amygdala. It’s an ancient part of the human brain. (In fact, we have it in common with animals.) 

The role of the amygdala is straightforward: it helps you deal with emergencies. It’s basically an alarm bell that screams “DANGER!”

Luckily, another part of your brain helps keep you sane—the cortex. It’s the moral and rational part of your brain. It’s what makes us human. 

However, when you’re angry, the amygdala can take complete control of your behaviour. (This is literally called “amygdala hijacking.”) The result is that you freak out, leaving the people around you stunned. 

By the time your rational brain (the cortex) gets back in action, the damage is done. And you are left thinking, “What did I just do?” 

Put simply: When we’re angry, our brains are wired to act first and think later.

Anger and your Brain

This is a big problem.

Yet there is a solution to this tricky situation. We can use our anger to empower us, instead of destroying our relationships and friendships.  

Here’s how…

Anger is a Signal

There is only one empowering way to look at anger—it’s a signal that tells you something is wrong with your life. 

It doesn’t tell you what is wrong or how to fix it. It just tells you that something needs your attention. 

Perhaps the other person did something wrong and you found their behaviour unacceptable. Maybe you need a heart-to-heart conversation with a loved one who is acting unfairly. 

Or perhaps there is something wrong with how you are interacting with the world. Maybe you are, unintentionally, causing the angry situation yourself.   

The point is, there is something underneath your anger. And you need to fix THAT. Letting anger control your behaviour will not solve your problem. 

Unless you fix the underlying issue today, it will continue to make you angry tomorrow. On the other hand, dealing directly with the issue will empower you and your relationships.   

How You Make Yourself Angry

Just like everyone else, I dream of a perfect and frictionless world.

But that world may never come. The reality is that people are sometimes impatient and a bit rude. Our loved ones have their flaws. And even kind people make mistakes now and then.  

In our imperfect world, we can choose to spend our lives trying to fix everyone around us. I feel that is a hopelessly impossible task. 

Because there is only one person we CAN change—ourselves. Personal development is possible. It’s also deeply fulfilling. 

So here’s the question I ask myself: am I contributing to my anger in any way? 

Here are a few things to think about.

Unstated Needs

“If he really cared, then he would know what I need.”

That’s not always true. 

While your needs may be blindingly obvious to you, your partner may think and see the world a bit differently

Emotional needs can be unique and complex. Not stating your needs is like playing an emotional guessing game with your loved ones. 

This can lead to tragic results: we spend our time arguing about all the things we don’t like and the frustrating qualities of our partners. 

To be sure, talking openly about our needs is tough. Our natural response is to avoid such conversations because they make us feel vulnerable. 

But the results will be worth it—a deep sense of understanding and trust.   


A trigger is a sensitive issue that will immediately make you furious. It’s also called a hot button

Our triggers come from insecurity about values that are close to our heart. Here are some examples: approval, jealousy, respect, safety and pride. 

Want to know my hot button? It’s independence. I freak out the moment anyone tells me what to do (”I hate being ordered around!”).

It’s perfectly normal to have triggers—everybody has them. Yet when we’re triggered, we end up making a big deal out of nothing. 

Fortunately, dealing with our triggers is pretty easy. All you need to do is just be AWARE of them. This simple awareness will stop you from freaking out the next time it comes up.

So, what are your hot buttons?



I got to know about storytelling from Crucial Conversations. It made a surprising claim: what other people do doesn’t make us angry. 

At least, not directly.

After someone does something and before we feel angry—we tell ourselves a story. By telling a story, we add judgement (Is it good or bad?) and a motive (Why did he do that?) to their behaviour. 

We feel emotions based on the story we just made up. The facts, by themselves, don’t make us emotional. 

When someone doesn’t pick up my call, I begin to tell myself, “She’s started avoiding me. I guess she thinks I’m boring. She probably doesn’t care much about me…”

That’s my story. But the facts are simply—I called. She didn’t pick up.

We often confuse the stories in our heads for the truth. But they are only stories. Even for a routine incident, like a missed phone call,  you can choose to tell many different types of stories. 

As you can imagine, an out of control story is very dangerous. Because our stories control our emotions. Our emotions, in turn, control our behaviour.  

So what can we do about it?

Learn to separate fact from story. Anything that someone actually said or did is a fact. The rest is storytelling. 

Out of Control Stress

When we are under a lot of pressure, it’s easy to get angry. 

Sadly, stress is now an unavoidable part of our daily lives. Everywhere we look there are deadlines, targets, expenses and problems. 

The modern world is dynamic and full of surprises. As new opportunities and threats keep cropping up—we are left in a blind panic to catch up.

Such unresolved stress can make you a ticking time bomb for your family. The solution is to make stress management a part of your life.

Anger Management

It’s time (finally!) to discuss what to do when you find yourself in the middle of an angry outburst. 

Although we’ve discussed many steps to bring harmony to our relationships, you will still get angry now and then. It doesn’t matter how many hours you meditate in a day—you can’t completely eliminate anger. It’s a part of life. 

The first step of anger management is simply to calm down. 

When you’re angry, your mind and body are ready to fight. If you don’t calm down soon, you’ll end up doing some serious damage. 

Here are some ways to cool off:

  • My favourite is to take a few deep breaths. 
  • A good question can distract and calm your mind. (“What do I want from this conversation?”)
  • Repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as “Relax” or “Take it easy”.
  • Slowly count to 10.
  • Take a timeout, and sit away from others. 
  • Distract yourself by going for a walk, taking a shower, writing, or drawing. 

The second step of anger management is to fix the underlying issue. 

There is no packaged formula here. It all depends on your situation and why you are angry. 

Is it a trivial argument with a random stranger? I am embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve screamed at delivery agents and Uber drivers. Don’t make the same mistakes. 

Is it a recurring theme with someone close to you? Talking openly about your feelings would be the best thing to do. Don’t be tempted by costly games such as silence and violence. 

Silence is any form of the silent-treatment, sarcasm, or subtle insults. It can also include looks of disgust and not delivering on your promises. 

Violence includes verbal attacks, biased monologues, name-calling, cutting others off, overstating your facts, and speaking in absolutes. 

Finally, keep in mind that sharing honest feedback doesn’t require you to destroy your precious relationships. It’s possible to speak openly and to be respectful.

Over to You

Life has its ups and downs. 

Even so, you’ve just taken a step to make it a bit more beautiful and loving—congratulations!

It’s alright if you lose your temper sometimes. We don’t need perfection. Just be happy that you are improving and so are your relationships. 

If you like these ideas and want to learn more, check out Thich Nhat Hanh’s Anger

Welcome to your new life…

Anger Management Tips

Hi, I'm Pritam.

Life hasn’t always been easy but I like finding solutions. I have read 100s of books on personal development—and I’m sharing the best ideas with you.

Pritam Author


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  • Prachi says:

    Hello, sir……From childhood, I am inferior about my skin colour…I am dark…I am always judged by my looks…..Whether it is my boyfriend who ditched me only because I was ugly after having a 5-year affair or my husband who is married to me for the last 17 years with 2 kids…Still, he dislikes me for my looks because he wanted a fair and beautiful girl…I happened to be the opposite…He respects my character…But there is no husband-wife relationship for the last 10 years…Physically, mentally and emotionally I am drained now…Feel like committing suicide for the way people ignore me…Character, sincerity, loyalty, genuineness are my qualities which are completely ignored, or perhaps these are just words in the dictionary…I am always judged by my looks…Zero love and care I have received till date…But from my side, I give 100% to everyone no matter what…No matter how bad they are…Why so sir? Why is God or people being so unfair to me?

    • Pritam @ Atypical Thought says:

      Hi Prachi

      I am sad to hear that you have been suffering for such a long time.

      I feel you should share your story with a friend or a relative. It’s difficult to suffer in silence. But together, you can even try to find a solution.

      Here are a few things to keep in mind.

      1. Every one of us has different qualities, but we all deserve love and respect.

      2. The Serenity Prayer has helped me whenever I am sad. Here it is…
      “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
      courage to change the things I can,
      and wisdom to know the difference.”

      3. The most important thing in a relationship is communication. So, I encourage you to openly express your feelings to your husband, and try to understand his point of view as well.

      I hope you find strength and happiness, Prachi 🙏

  • Arun says:

    It was a second chance for I had an argument with my spouse, and she left me with my children. And all her family members are not willing to speak including my wife…

    • Pritam @ Atypical Thought says:

      Hi Arun

      It’s a very difficult situation, and I understand that you must be in a lot of pain. Have you considered going to a marriage counsellor? The counsellor would be able to create a safe space for communication. My hope is that your wife would agree to talk to you under this arrangement.

      Communication is essential to save a relationship. You need to understand your wife’s concerns, and she needs to hear your side of the story.

      I hope you become a happy family soon.

  • Vidyasagar Mohire says:

    I’m separated in my new married life without any warnings without any complaints without any second chance. And now I don’t feel to respect anybody neither obey anybody… I just get furious and tempered if someone tries to ask me anything. I don’t want to be accountable or answerable to anyone…I feel everybody is my enemy and at all times I’m harsh aggressive and violent mostly with my family…I donno whether I’m right or my mind is playing negative stories with me… time is just moving out of my hand and I donno what to do…I feel alone..angry.. betrayed.. injustice.. hate.. pulled down… dragging.. drowning

    • Pritam @ Atypical Thought says:

      Hello Vidyasagar

      I’m very sad to hear about your painful situation. Is there a relative or a friend whom you can talk to? You can even consider getting help from a counsellor. I hope you find the joy in your life again. 🙏

  • Sanjay says:

    Hi Pritam,

    Thanks for the wonderful guidance. How could we help a person who regrets his angry behaviour and apologizes but the other person is unwilling to even talk and responds with sustained anger? How does one express one’s sincere regret? Especially when you know that you love the person so much.

  • Ganesh Ramdas Nayak says:

    I’m very aggressive and my words are very harsh many a times.

  • Shamli says:

    Why do I always feel ignored & not cared for by my partners, whoever I’ve been with. My biggest weakness is my emotional dependency. How do I come over it?

    • Pritam @ Atypical Thought says:

      Hey Shamli

      I am sad to hear about your situation. Although, I don’t know the details of your relationships, here are 3 questions to ask yourself:

      1. Have your partners been uncaring people in general?
      If that is the case, you can try to find someone who has a sensitive side.

      2. How is your relationship with your yourself?
      Here is a book that has helped me in this area: The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.

      3. Do you have a balanced life?
      I have written a post about creating a balanced and happy life:

  • Shrutika says:

    Whenever my own family says something that hurts, my heart starts to palpitate fast. And I fight verbally and have an angry outburst.

    • Pritam @ Atypical Thought says:

      Hi Shrutika!

      I understand how you feel. I’ve been there too. You can try the anger management tips in the post. The basic idea is to respond with assertiveness but not with aggression.

      Best of luck 👍

  • Vaishali says:

    Been there done that. 🙂 Every bit of it resonated. Everytime I introspected after I got triggered, I concluded that it was my overthinking and ‘storytelling’.

  • Hi, I'm Pritam.

    Pritam Author

    Life hasn’t always been easy but I like finding solutions. I have read 100s of books on personal development – and I’m sharing the best ideas with you.



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