He is a fool who cannot be angry; but he is a wise man who will not.                                                   — Benjamin Franklin

Anger is a normal human emotion. Expressing, suppressing or calming are reasonable ways to manage your anger. Done well, they all help you keep the lid on anger or as Mr. Franklin says, makes you wise.

That’s it— being thoughtful about the anger you’re feeling and choosing (wisely) what you do with it so you can keep the lid from blowing off.

YOU control the heat and whether the lid is sealed tight, partially open or off completely.

Avoid the pain of feeling lousy (or foolish) because you didn’t manage your anger well.

Personally and professionally we need tools for anger management.

The more the better I say.

In this article:

You will get more tips and tools for expressing, suppressing and/or calming your anger so you can be wise in both your personal and professional relationships.

Go get your toolbox– we have more tools to add.

BE WISE=> Choose to express anger by describing your experience, owning your part and asking for what you need.

Prepare to communicate with your significant personal or professional relationship by reviewing the following areas. Speak or write out your truth. Invite the other to do the same.

1)   I feel angry/resentful/annoyed that…

2)   I hated that…

3)   It really hurt when…

4)   I hold you responsible for…

5)   I wish that you…

6)   I realize my part was/is…

7)   I appreciate/forgive you for…

8)   I appreciate/forgive myself for…

9)   I request that you…

10) I’ll do my part by…

TIP: Expressing anger well includes a good amount of self and other-awareness. Knowing and communicating what you need/want from the other moves the relationship forward with positive action.

TIP: Remember to follow-up, ask for and give feedback when you make and/or accept a request.

TIP: Invite the person who is on the receiving end of this tool to take a turn with each item as well. Makes for a robust learning opportunity.

BE WISE=> Choose to suppress, convert and redirect anger.

When you subdue, inhibit or silence your anger, you are suppressing your anger. Add converting and redirecting the anger and it’s a delicious combination.

Here’s some examples of suppressing, converting and redirecting anger.

Have you ever rolled your tongue over 10 times to avoid saying something you know is harsh at work or home?

What about opening that closet and cleaning it out in record time rather than unloading the anger you still hold after the confrontation with your boss or life-partner?

Suppressing, converting and redirecting the energy from anger into something constructive is a useful skill. It’s much healthier than acting impulsively and/or stewing ad nauseam over what should be– and isn’t.

While moving her arms like she was running my client smiled as she told me how she managed her anger.

She successfully suppressed the anger she felt towards her partner’s insensitivity and redirected them to the exercise machine. Her friend was there beside her exercising too, supporting her reflection time.

Amazing transformation because…

  • routinely she couldn’t stop her anger from accelerating 0-100
  • at 100 yelling, screaming occurred
  • at 100 she told him to move out
  • after 100 and all the above, she’d feel awful  

Additionally, she enlisted the support of a good friend who was there to cheer her healthier approach. Nice.

TIP: CAUTION! Suppressing, converting and redirecting anger is useful short-term. It’s important to review the learnings and tweak what you can so you can let it go. (My client is doing that right now!)

BE WISE=> Choose to calm anger through humor.

Question: How does a narcissist (someone who has excessive interest in and admiration of themselves) change a light-bulb?

Answer: He hangs on to the light-bulb and waits until the rest of the world rotates around him.

When I read this joke I laughed outloud. Like everyone I too have narcissistic traits AND I can recognize them in myself and others.

Laughter soothes the beast within.  Laughter is contagious and takes the pressure off anyone else in the room or even outside the room. I can be working in my office and hear the laughter next door– not what they are saying– their laughter. I can’t help but join them and smile.

Fondly, I remember a manager at a corporate site where I was employed years ago sharing how she and her husband of many years (over 20) had burst out laughing when in the midst of a quarrel.

They both “got it” that they were being ridiculous–in their own way and letting a silly issue escalate.

(Have you had this experience too? It’s fun– isn’t it?) 😉

TIP: Beware of laughing AT others rather than WITH others. It’s always safe to laugh at yourself. It’s fabulous to be able to laugh together, like my manager and her husband.

TIP: Sarcastic humor is tricky and is correctly described as anger turned sideways. Be careful. Know when you’re hiding your anger behind sarcasm. Read more about how to change maddening passive-aggressive behaviors.

Here’s your takeaway:

More tips and tools are in your toolbox to express, suppress, convert, redirect as well as calm anger.

With these tips and tools, YOU are able to keep the lid on anger and wisely choose when to keep it sealed tightly, partially remove it or take it off completely.

Keep your toolbox nearby– there’s more tips and tools arriving shortly.

Got jokes, tricks or techniques for handling anger? Please share below.


Are you ready to make progress in an area of personal or professional conflict?

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