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How to Avoid Things That Make You Angry

Learn how to avoid things that make you angry from anger management expert Dr. J. Ryan Fuller in this Howcast video.


Dr. Ryan Fuller and I practice in New York City. So a question I get a lot is, "how do I avoid things that make you angry." The first answer is not one many people like which is probably, "you don't.” Because the bottom line is lots and lots of things can upset us. It's a stressful world which in fact lowers our threshold for getting upset. And so that's not going to happen.

I will say in anger management, one of the first tools we teach early on to clients is in fact to be able to contract with people in their lives for a timeout where if in fact they're getting incredibly angry and they're afraid they're going to say something they might regret or do something they might regret, they in fact signal their partner. For instance, if it is a romantic partner that we're talking about, they're going to in fact step away to avoid the situation that's triggering the anger, calm themselves down and then reengage.

So avoiding anger triggers at first or escaping from them can be a useful short term strategy. But ultimately in anger management what we want to do is we want to teach people to be able to stay engaged and cope and either prevent themselves from becoming as angry in the first place but to learn to be able to modulate and decrease their anger in the moment when the crisis is there and assertively then communicate and problem solve actively as they need to.

So again, in the short term it might be okay to avoid things that make you angry depending on the certain circumstance, certainly we don't want to make something worse than it has to be. But eventually we want to really learn the strategies and the tools so that we can in fact engage the very things that upset us before and deal with them in pro-social ways.

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