6 Tips to Manage Displaced Anger
Although it may be challenging, it is possible to manage displaced anger. The next time you feel anger bubbling up, try:
- Walking away from the situation
- Find a heather way to process your anger
- Calling a friend or family member
- Putting yourself in their shoes
- Coming back to the conversation calm
- See a therapist
While it may be tempting to try and rectify the situation after an angry outburst, it’s best to walk away. Talking to someone in the heat of the moment is not productive and may worsen the situation, especially if you’re at fault and have just been heated in anger.
Find a healthier way to process your anger
Search for a healthier way to express your anger or channel it through other less self-destructive habits, whether it be punching a pillow, taking kickboxing classes, painting, etc. Some people feel physically charged when they’re angry and need a way to release and blow off steam.
After you’ve walked away, it’s essential to relax. Do whatever relaxes you — take a short walk, sit outside in the sunshine, breathe deeply, meditate, or do yoga. Relaxing after an episode of anger displacement can be key to moving forward and understanding the situation.
Call a friend or family member
Once you’re relaxed, it might help to call a friend or family member to talk about the situation. A loved one may help you see things from the other person’s point of view, especially if they know you’re struggling and trying to change.
Put yourself in their shoes
Often, it helps to try to put yourself in the receiving end’s shoes. Ask yourself:
- Did they deserve your anger?
- Were they in the wrong place at the wrong time?
- Did they have a bad day and accidentally trigger you?
- Was your anger towards them justified?
Come back to the conversation calm and clear-headed
At this point, hopefully, you’re calm and clear-headed, and it’s okay to come back to the conversation. You probably want to apologize to them for your anger and explain that you were wrong and they shouldn’t have been the actual recipient of your frustration.
See a therapist
If these situations happen frequently, a therapist can help you work through the potential causes of your displaced aggression. Once you know the reasons for your behavior, it can be much easier to recognize triggers, including thoughts or words, and avoid angry outbursts.
“As in other stressful situations, it’s important to disengage from others that the anger is being directed towards. Taking ‘time outs’ to calm down or implement self care techniques are extremely helpful.”
Talkspace therapist Minkyung Chung, MS, LMHC
Everyone experiences anger from time to time. It’s a natural emotion, and sometimes, it’s warranted. Like anything else in life, though, there’s a time and place for anger. There are also appropriate and inappropriate ways to express it.
Many people get angry with spouses or loved ones when they weren’t the ones who did anything wrong. However, if you notice that your anger is consistently misguided towards others, it’s a good idea to seek help. Therapy can help you recognize why you have anger in the first place and then teach you how to develop a plan. With the right therapist, you can learn to act appropriately on your emotions in the future.
If you’re ready to deal with displaced anger and are looking for help, Talkspace is there for you. Our online therapy platform is the perfect place for you to get therapy that’s effective, affordable, and convenient. When you have the right tools in place, you can become a more peaceful, positive person, and your misdirected anger can become a thing of your past.