Dealing With Angry Feelings

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There are many positive ways a kid can deal with anger-provoking incidents — ignoring the incident, considering the long-term consequences of an inappropriate response, getting help from an adult, etc.

What follows are 11 options for youngsters to be aware of:


                                                                                                                              Okay for you?

Ignore the comment or incident:

  • a. Think about why you are angry.                                                      _______________________
  • b. Question the importance of the issue.                                         ______________________
  • c. Decide to ignore it or choose a non-violent reaction.          ______________________

2. Remove yourself physically from the person you’re angry at.       _______________________
Move (if possible) toward a group of persons with whom you are friendly.  ___________________

3. To express anger, use an “I-Message.” (see below)                       _________________

4. Take five deep breaths.                                                                                ___________________

5. Count backward from ten to one.                                                         ____________________

6. Close your eyes and imagine you’re in a peaceful place.          ____________________

7. Consider the possible long-term possible consequences
of your anger-driven actions.                                                                     _____________________

8. When in a heated argument, keep your voice low and calm.     _____________________

9. When the anger won’t go away, let off steam in a
positive way (take a walk, run, or bicycle around
the block, pound a pillow, etc.)                                                                  _____________________

10. When you’re angry with someone, but you’re not
sure why, write a letter to the person, but don’t send it.             _______________________

11. When your temper or desire for revenge is about
to result in a bad decision, get help from an adult
(parent, teacher, counselor, etc.)                                                               _______________________



Example 1:

I feel…………………hurt………
When you……………punish me without giving me a chance to explain what happened…

Because…………………I want you to understand the whole situation.
Please will you………let me tell you what happened?

Example 2:

I feel……………….proud……
When you…………..tell me I’m smart………….
Because………………it makes me feel good.
Please, will you………….tell me that more often when I show that I’m smart?


Write your own I-Message

  1. I feel__________________________________________________
  2. When you____________________________________________
  3. Because______________________________________________
  4. Please, will you? _____________________________________________________________________________________?

Non-Violent Response Match (Quiz for Youth on Non-Violent Strategies)

Enter letter of the most appropriate response after angry trigger. The same letter can be used for more than one number.

  1. You’re alone at school. Somebody thinks you are a member of an opposing gang, and wants to go out to the staircase to settle things. _______
  2. A teacher unfairly identifies you as having thrown a spitball in class. _______
  3. Your brother is playing the VCR so loud that you can’t hear your favorite program. You want him to know how you feel about the situation. _______
  4. Your body tightens as you become angry with your mother’s constant criticism of you. _______
  5. A bully tries to provoke you into a fight by calling your mother a bad name (even though he’s never met her.) ________
  6. You are continuously angry with your girlfriend but are confused as to the reasons. _______
  7. All day, your mind has been so filled with anger that you can’t study for a test. _______
  8. You have a history of fighting your older, big brother. He starts shouting at you. You feel like shouting even louder back at him. _________
  9. A student you have had run-ins with gives you a disrespectful look. _______
  10. You plan to get revenge on a kid at school tomorrow by planning an ambush. ______
  11. You are angry with your mother, and wish you had something to say to her other than call her a bad name. ________
    • a. Ignore what happened.
      b. Take a walk or run or ride your bicycle around the block.
      c. Keep your voice low and calm.
      d Wait until the end of the class period and explain your case.
      e. Use an “I-Message.”
      f. Get help from an adult.
      g. Write a letter, but don’t actually send it.
      h. Take five deep breaths.