There can be many frustrations and disappointments in life. Feeling angry in response to these frustrations is a normal, healthy emotion, it tells you that something is happening that you do not like. Anger is a feeling that never travels alone, it is always accompanied by another feeling, perhaps sadness, fear, guilt, frustration, or disappointment.
It is important that when you do feel angry that you stop to consider what else you are feeling about the situation. Many feelings of anger are well justified because there has been an injustice to you or another, some anger is not however. Some anger occurs when unrealistic expectations of yourself or the world are not met or at events that occurred and for which nothing can be done to change them.
Two expressions of anger that can harm us, others, and our relationships are 'Aggression' and 'Passive-Aggression'. Aggression includes shouting, hitting, kicking, swearing, name calling, pushing, and other behaviours that attack another person or their property. Passive-aggressive behaviour includes sarcasm, making up stories about someone, gossiping, and stubbornness. They are designed to hurt another person indirectly.
Universities are large places with lots of different people, procedures, and rules, and your time there may not always go smoothly. When you are angry about something related to your study, remember that you, and the university staff, are the people who will make things better.
Stay calm and reasonable when dealing with other people and with yourself. Seek advice about how to best manage the situation from your lecturers, administration staff, or from Student Life and then try to resolve the difficulty. Being aggressive and putting people off will not help you in any way.
What to do when you feel angry:
- consider what you are angry about
- consider what else you are feeling
- consider what you want to be different
- consider who, when, where, and how you can best bring about these changes
- act when calm
For further tips on communicating effectively, refer to Assertive Communication.
- Make an appointment with Deakin Counselling Service
- Understand and manage your anger - American Psychological Association
- Dealing with anger - Canadian site for men covers useful ways to deal with anger and understand the perspective of others
- Anger Management - A fact sheet produced by the Mental Health Information Service. This is a useful factsheet with helpful information about how to deal with our own anger.
- Lifeline - Referral and information service
- LifeWorks Relationship Counselling and Education Services - for services in Geelong only