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Explains anger, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support. Also includes advice for friends and family.
It can be very difficult when someone you care about is experiencing problems with anger – especially if they sometimes direct their anger towards you, others close to them, or themselves.
We are all responsible for our own actions, so ultimately it will be up to them to learn how to manage and express their anger appropriately. But there are still lots of things you can do to help support them:
"The worst thing is for people to tell me to calm down or say that whatever caused my anger doesn't matter. People listening and accepting my feelings (even if my anger seems unprecedented) helps the most."
Just because someone seems very angry, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will become violent or abusive. But if this does happen, the most important thing is to make sure that you are safe.
"I need my family to speak to me honestly but remain understanding. We have code words that we all can use when I'm either being unreasonable or when I feel like I might lash out."
You might find that the person you are supporting doesn't recognise they have a problem and/or refuses to seek help.
It's understandable to feel frustrated, distressed and powerless as a result of this. But it’s important to accept that they are an individual, and that there are always limits to what you can do to support another person.
(Our pages on helping someone seek help have more information on what you can and can't do in this situation.)
This information was published in July 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.