De-Escalating Anger

For Immediate Release
Contact Person: Dr. Udis Lord, Ph.D.,
                                    De-escalating Anger
            (February 11, 2015, St. Louis, MO) Anger management involves de-escalating anger before it gets out of control. There are some simple strategies that you can follow.
            For example, you can calmly ask yourself, “What is really making me angry?” You can also calmly ask the person who is angry at you, “What is really making you angry?” You can also say, “I am getting very frustrated and angry, I need some time to calm down to gather my thoughts. Let us talk more calmly and sensibly about this later. Getting angry and screaming at each other is not going to solve the problem. Let us put our heads together and figure out how we can find a solution to this problem that is causing both of us some aggravation.”
            In addition, you can also plan ahead of time what you can think, say or do before any anger provoking situation happens.
            Talk to yourself when you see the signal that you are getting angry. Below are some of the things you can tell yourself:
                  1. I can handle this.
                  2. I will not let this upset me.
                  3. I can take a few deep breaths and try to relax.
                  4. It is not the end of the world.
                  5. Arguing will not solve the problem.
                  6. Using profanity will not solve this problem.
                  7. I can de-escalate this anger.
                  8. I strongly believe that I can find the solution.
                  9. I can find the way that will calm down the nerves of this angry person.
De-escalating response techniques are useful to avert anger that is directed towards you. Calmly say what is bothering you, why it is bothering you, and what you want to be done about it. For example:
            “I am getting very frustrated because you are always not ready when we are suppose to leave, which is causing me to be late at work. I want you to be ready on time from now on. Next time that you are not ready, as much as I hate to do this, I will have to leave without you and go to work. If I am not at work on time, I will lose my job, this house, and I will not be able to support you.”
            An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will not solve the problem. It will make it worse. Good problem solving skills are what are needed to solve the problem that is causing the anger.
            Realize that both of your needs though opposing are both important. Therefore, you need to use diplomacy and negotiation.
            State your need in a calm voice, and propose a solution. Ask the other person’s opinion on how you can meet in the middle ground. Appeal to the other person’s reason and emotion rather than screaming.
            The first few proposals might not be acceptable. This is what negotiation is all about. It means talking about different ways to solve the problem in a calm manner that will benefit both parties.
            Those are some of the things that can be done to de-escalate anger.
            For further information on anger management, read Dr. Lord’s Excellence Education: Stress and Anger Management, Self-Esteem Development and Ethical Decision Making that is available at
            Dr. Lord is available as a speaker and for media interview.