Designed and developed by BAAM
As part of National Anger Awareness Week the British Association of Anger Management (BAAM) presents this innovative KEEP YOUR COOL KIT which can be used by individuals, organisations, families, schools and other groups. This kit consists of anger management activities, as well as tips on handling anger appropriately and calming strategies for defusing difficult situations. Please feel free to email or make copies to pass this on to others.
We would appreciate your participation in National Anger Awareness Week by holding your own Rage Gauge sessions. Whether you are in the office, at school or at home, follow these simple steps to tackle your anger head on!
The Rage Gauge is a simple four-stage process for highlighting anger issues and exploring ways to release this emotion. The Rage Gauge teaches users to express anger and deal with it in appropriate, healthy and positive ways.
Steps to Tackle Your Anger
1. Identify a small group of about 6 to 8 people, to meet at least once a day for approximately 15 to 20 minutes during Anger Awareness Week.
2. Have everyone read the Keep Your Cool tips in detail before beginning the meeting, and have the instructions available at all times.
3. Ask everyone in the group to identify whether:
(a) They feel angry with someone in the group at this moment.
(b) There is anyone they feel angry with in their lives at this moment.
(c) Their anger is getting in the way of their learning, working or relating.
4. Using the Rage Gauge, simply follow the procedures to explore in detail any issues that arise between people.
5. If Person A is angry with Person B, then Person A says the following to Person B:
Person A: “Can I share my feelings with you and will you please listen without interrupting me”.
Person B must agree to this.
Person A can ask for feedback at the end of the process.
Person B should just listen and must not take anything personally (see the 6th rule of anger management).
R-eaction, A-nger, G-rudge, E-xpress.
Reaction: Identify what it is you are reacting to in someone else’s behaviour.
Anger: Identify how angry you are on a scale of one to three, and indicate this.
(1) Simmering___ (2) Cooking___ (3) Boiling___
Say, for example: I am simmering with anger or I am cooking with anger, or I am angry with you…
Grudge: Are you holding onto a grudge or can you let it go?
If you are feeling angry and you are holding onto a grudge, then tell the other person.
My opinion of you___is that you are treating me with disrespect.
My opinion of you___is that you don’t care for me, etc.
Note: If you do not feel angry with the person, LET GO!
Express: What you want from the person if you are holding a grudge.
Example: What I want is___for you not to speak to me this way
What I want is___for you to stop being nasty to me
What I want___is for you to listen to what I say, etc
Always say: Thank you for listening to me.
RULES OF ANGER MANAGEMENT
1. Stop, think and look at the bigger picture
This rule is about time management.
Time management is about creating time to think about the consequences between the event and the reaction.
2. It’s OK to have a different opinion
Opinions are not facts! They are only what you think.
3. Listen Carefully
Learn – in order to learn, listen
Observe – observe the other person’s body language
Verify – clarify information
Empathise – Keep your heart open at all times
4. Use your support network
A support network is a group of people you can call on when you need to talk to someone so your anger doesn’t get out of control.
5. Keep a Journal
This is a powerful way of not internalising your anger. Your journal can be used as and when you need to. Record how you feel about what happened, and your views on a problem. By using your journal it will bring clarity to the situation.
6. Don’t take anything personally
Nothing others do or say is because of you. What others do and say is a projection of their own reality onto yourself. When you are immune to the opinions, projections, behaviours and actions of others, you will not be a victim of needless suffering any longer!
• Breathe deeply, count to 7 on the in breath and 11 on the out breath.
• Remind yourself to “KEEP YOUR COOL”.
• Remove yourself from the situation physically and emotionally if possible.
• Count backwards from 20 to 1.
• Go for a walk, ideally in a park or open space.
• Visualise a calm tranquil place, e.g. sea or mountains, for about 2 minutes.
• Let go of any expectations you might have.
• Remember life is unfair!
• Yoga, meditation, swimming and relaxation, good for de-stressing.
• Take up a relaxing hobby, e.g. gardening.
• Relax in a bath whilst listening to chilled music.
• Listen or dance to music.
• Inhale relaxing aromatherapy oils, e.g. lavender.
Every time you feel angry with another person, you can either express your feelings, which triggers a reaction in the other person, or not express your anger, which will then build up inside you until eventually you explode. You are in conflict with that person (holding onto grudges) and will remain so until you can resolve matters with them.
If this is not done (i.e. resolution is not reached) it is likely that you will remain resentful or hostile towards them. This serves no-one and only keeps your anger alive. Often when it comes to expressing our anger to others, there is fear about how to express it in such a way that it is clean, healing and empowering for both ourselves and others.
Using our basic clearing process, you will find that even in the most difficult and challenging situations you can confront someone, without it developing into a serious drama. This approach is simple and powerful. Use it in an angry situation but remember: Practice makes perfect. You will become more comfortable with this approach the more you use it.
Before starting the clearing process with someone please make sure that you consider the following:
1. Be certain about the facts relating to the conflict. (NOT your opinions!)
2. Practice the clearing process with a good friend (your support person) first. This allows time to explore your own projections before doing a clearing with the other person.
3. Be aware that this clearing is more about you than about them. (It gives you the opportunity to open your heart to the other person.)
4. IMPORTANT – The other person does not need to justify their behaviour to you.
5. Tell the person that all you want them to do is just listen to you.
6. Offer them the opportunity to give you feedback at the end of the clearing process.
7. IMPORTANT – Give yourself enough time to do the clearing and ask the person how much time they have available to do this process.
8. Do not be attached to an outcome, sometimes the process will not go the way you want it to.
NB:Always start your sentence by saying: “I feel angry with you…”
Then: … because I have asked you 10 times to take out the garbage”.
“What I want is when I ask you once to do something and you say yes, please do it”.
“What I am willing to own about my behaviour is often I do not follow through on commitments that I make”.