Tips for Diffusing Anger

  1. Breathe deeply; get your heart rate and breathing to a steady rate. Doing this in front of another angry person can also "model" this technique for them.
  2. Remove yourself from the situation if possible, and deal with it when you or they are feeling calmer or "centered." Let the other person know that you definitely want to talk, but at another time.
  3. Reframe the situation; consider another possibility for the conflict or outcome. Help others understand their anger by providing "plausible alternative reasons" for the situation.
  4. Ignore personal attacks. In the long run, it will gain you more respect.
  5. Exercise Regularly. Exercise allows your body to build up energy reserves and stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural calming hormones. Think of this as a preventative technique.
  6. Violence is non-acceptable and not a solution, unless you are being physically attacked. Violence can only be used against you and could have negative legal repercussions. If someone else attacks you, however, protect yourself! Call 911 for reinforcements and to initiate legal protective action.

© Tran & Taylor, 2000 (Modified from Mental Health Association, Tulsa, Arizona.)