Anger Management Technique

by Mark Ivar Myhre on August 29, 2011

A few years ago I wrote an article on anger management techniques called Anger Management Tips that basically gave you a lot of background on emotions in general, and why we have a tendency to not feel our anger, and most all of our feelings for that matter.

I also wrote about righteousness, and why holding onto it creates a situation where we’ll always keep anger around us, like a swarm of gnats.  Righteousness.  Where you have the right to be angry.

And the funny thing is, you really do have the right to be angry.  But if you get stuck in that right, then you stay angry.  Then you catch cancer and die.

(That’s a joke… designed to lighten up the mood.  It’s okay to laugh.)

Anyway, in this article I want to expand on the first one, and write about the single most important anger management technique you could possibly engage in.

At the bottom of that first article, I listed out seven steps you can take to start working on your anger.  Seven anger management tips, I guess you could call them.  Well, this anger management technique is the eighth step.  This is what you do next.

First, let’s set the stage.

Most people go through life bouncing back and forth between repressing their anger, and reacting to their anger.  I’ve prepared a very high-tech diagram that graphically illustrates these two extremes.

Anger Management Technique Diagram

The answer is hidden in this diagram. Can you see it?

As you can see from the carefully crafted illustration, we’ve got repression, suppression, de-pression, management, control, whatever-you-want-to-call-it on the left.  This is what people with impressive resumes and fancy clothes teach us how to do.  Basically, stuff that we learned as a kid on our own!  Because we had to stuff down the anger, we came up with so many clever and inventive ways.

And on the right hand side of the page, we’ve got our display of anger, our huffing and puffing, our out-of-control raging behavior.  Basically, we give in to the cheap thrill and the cheap hit of power that getting swept up in our melodrama gives us.

On the right hand side, you’re ‘out of control’ and perhaps putting on a show, and well, it won’t get you a raise at work will it?  But we pretend we have no choice.  We are a victim of our anger.  And thus, we need some anger management techniques!

So we try to bounce back to the other side – controlling our anger.  Which might work for a little while.  We might be able to stuff it down.  Do something to not feel it.

And lately we see more inventive anger management techniques from experts that involve ways to really clear out and get rid of the anger.  Again, without really feeling it.  Which is the basic problem to begin with!

Namely, that we will go to great lengths to avoid simply feeling our anger and letting it raise our resonance so that we actually become more of who we really are.

The problem is, we don’t know how to feel our anger.

We think feeling anger lies with the right side of that diagram.  Which involves putting on some sort of show.  Getting swept up in the anger.  Getting red in the face.  Getting ready to strike, either verbally or physically.

But ‘getting’ angry is not feeling your anger! Instead, it’s being a puppet on a string.  It’s being a victim of your own anger story.  It’s being (sorry to say it) a coward.  Because you’re too afraid to face the truth and rise above your own conditioning.

Now it could be you just didn’t know the truth.  And the truth is, putting on a melodramatic display – ranting and raving and trying to win some sort of acting award – has very little to do with feeling anger.

Oh, you’re feeling something.  What you’re feeling is your right to be angry.  And maybe you’re feeling like a victim of your own righteous anger story.  But you’re not feeling anger.

Well, fear not, cause I’m going to tell you how to change all that right now.

First, I realize that you’re just doing what everyone taught and conditioned you to do your whole life.  Therefore, you’ve got a lot of conditioning to fight.  We all do.  So it’s not a matter of blame.  It’s a matter of stepping up to the plate when a solution comes along.

The key is to get in touch with something real. To get in touch with real anger, without the story and without suppressing the feeling.  Easier said than done, huh?  Look back at that awesome diagram.  See the little dot right in the middle?  Right between repression and reaction?  Right above the fulcrum shaped like a triangle?

That’s the balance point.  That’s where you’re headed.  See, it’s hard to feel anger.  Not because of any inherent characteristics of anger or feelings in general, but because we’ve spent a lifetime feeling something else and calling it anger.

That little dot you see is actually a thread.  It’s a thread of anger.  And your job is to try to stop bouncing back and forth between being controlled by your anger, and you trying to control it.  Your job is to find that tiny thread of anger and let it into your heart.

Start with a little tiny thread of anger.  It’s there.  And you can place it in your heart.  That’s where you start.  Just feel a tiny bit of anger.  Of course, that means to not feel the righteousness.  Hey look, we all know you have the right to be angry.  Just like me and everybody else on this planet has the right to be angry.

But if you don’t separate the anger from the righteousness, you’re liable to catch cancer and die.  And we don’t want that.  So start with just a thread of anger.  Feel the purity of it.

And as for the anger story, I realize you may be in love with it.

“But, but, Mark, they really did make me angry.  I was just sitting here minding my own business when they came over and knocked my hat off my head.”

Or whatever the story is.  Usually, when I hear someone’s anger story, it’s all I can do not to laugh.  Or at least shake my head in wonderment.  There’s a certain allure for me.  I just can’t help wondering why someone would want to believe they’re a victim.  Or sadly, more poignantly, why they really do create themselves being a victim.  It’s kind of like watching a train wreck.

It’s a tragedy.  And we’re all actors in the same game of victimhood.  I’m a victim of you, and you’re a victim of me.  I create your reality, and you create mine.  And we’re all victims of each other.

And because everything has to be logical and make sense, we all create stories of anger.  Stories that explain why we have the right to get angry (but never feel it!) at what someone else does.  What a sad situation we find ourselves in.

It takes courage to step out of this nonsense.  It starts with being real.  Going for what’s real.  And what’s real here is the pure unadulterated feeling of anger. It’s a wonderful feeling.  And it has nothing to do with melodrama.  It’s a tiny little thread.  Feel it in your heart.  Feel it with your heart.

Stop trying to feel anger with your head!

And stop trying to make your anger into something its not.  Stop giving your power away to the world by lying to yourself and saying there is some power on earth that can ‘make’ you feel anything.

We like to find places to put our anger so we don't have to really feel it.

Nothing on this earth has the power to make you angry. That’s an impossible situation.  It’s insanity, if you think about it.  It doesn’t even make sense, unless you’re a victim who likes to blame so you can avoid responsibility.  And where is that path leading you?

Maybe I should have put that last paragraph at the top of this post, since it’s so essential as an anger management technique.  It might be worth pondering – nothing on this earth has the power to make me angry. Now, I can give my power away and pretend someone else is doing it to me, but I am the one who gave my power away.  Which is good news!  Cause I can take it back at anytime.

Anyway, to sum up, anger management is a misnomer.  You don’t want to manage your anger.  You want to feel it.  That way you can release it.  And it will lift your resonance and you become more of yourself.  That’s what you want.

Start with finding that thread of pure, true, untainted-by-human-hands feeling of anger.  Put that thread of anger in your heart.  Just see how it feels.  Let the thread flow.  Practice feeling it. It won’t hurt you. That’s what I’d do.  But that’s just me.


Terri August 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I’m not sure I follow. The statements are generalized. Perhaps five specific examples would make it clearer? The power part has me the most confused. Maybe I don’t use power the way you are suggesting. Anyway I just thought you should know. It is noble of you to teach people how to better deal with anger. Feeling it and finding rapid solutions to situations that create uneasy feelings is sure to help.

Mark Ivar Myhre August 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Hi Terri,

sounds like I better just write a new article and explain it more.

and I don’t really laugh at people going through anger stories – that was a figure of speech. Mostly I feel empathy. I know it hurts.

Terri August 30, 2011 at 6:16 am

Ok thanks. I will read it. My anger is more oppressed which leads to a sense of powerlessness.

kkbou September 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

To whoever

Transmute anger with an internal scream, at least that is what I have been starting to do. I discovered this by accident, which was a blessed moment for me. Coming across Mark’s website was the second blessing because it reaffirmed and helped contextualise what I stumbled upon. I don’t know whether my momentary discovery would have been sustainable had I not come across all the hard work and wisdom Mark has put together.

I just want to illustrate how I feel the anger. Maybe you may find it helpful. Anger (or whatever horribblesness is around) becomes blowing fire and screams. The emotion merges with the image and allows me to help it flow and be felt. The emotion will turn and twist like a toddler having the mother of all tantrums. Don’t fight it. It sometimes takes a few intense hours. Yes intense, don’t be scared. Closing your eyes during moments like these you may even catch a glimpse in your mind’s eye of your mouth wide open wailing like a bastard on father’s day. This is followed by a pinprick of wisdom (very rare in my life) “Anger is just another label for energy, like joy, creativity etc..”

Mark mate, you are spot on. Keep up the good work!

Nw allow me a moment of righteousness:

100 years of our univerisities producing psychiatric and psychological drivel, billions and upon billions spent and not one person from the medical establishment has managed to encapsulte this truth and pass it on to humanity. I fear the more research that is done on managing depression, bipolar whatever you want to call it, the further away from the truth we will get. Feel your feelings. Thats why they are called feelings. duh…

Maggie January 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I don’t understand how to put the anger into my heart

Mark Ivar Myhre January 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I’ll admit it can take some time to change a life long habit of shutting out the feelings from entering the heart.

Perhaps rather than saying the word ‘put’ the anger in the heart, it might be better to say ‘allow’ the anger into the heart.

For me personally, every single day I work on opening my heart more and more to anything and everything. I try to feel everything I possibly can. That means EVERYthing! Anger is just one of a million things I try to ‘put’ in my heart, or let in my heart, or allow in my heart.

Because when I do that, I’m letting the flow happen and things just work out so much easier. And I feel so much more alive.

Basically, it’s feeling anger rather than thinking about anger. Now, I can think about it too, but the main thing is to just feel it.

Assuming I want to let go of the anger, that is…

Maggie January 27, 2012 at 3:15 am

Anger spills out of me at inappropriate times, at the dinner table when I have guests, the passion I have for some ideas and beliefs (not religious) goes over the top. I feel angry, fearful, anxious and and so full of grief. I have become a person I do not like, yes I do want to let go of the anger.

Mark Ivar Myhre January 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

I’ll tell you what helped me the most when I first started out –

I would write out my anger on paper. And I used up hundreds and hundreds of sheets of paper before I was able to bleed off the anger.

Not to discourage you from doing this – because it felt great every single time I did it.

I would write and write and write as fast as I could. Sometimes I would just scribble instead of write because I was too pissed to spell out words.

This really helped me a lot.

The next thing I did was to objectify my anger – see it as an object, sort of as kkbou mentioned above. I would see my anger as either fire, or perhaps white hot molten lava. And I would just wallow in it as much as I could. I would practice this when I was alone, by the way!

Maggie January 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Thank you Mark, thank you kkbou

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