University of Southern Indiana


Anger is a natural emotion and certainly has a place. It is normal to be angry when someone is insulting you, making discriminatory comments, or engaging in inappropriate behavior. Anger becomes a problem when it is too intense, lasts too long, escalates, or results in aggression or violence.

Often, people express anger instead of other emotions such as stress, frustration, fear, disappointment, resentment, hurt, shame, or embarassment.

You and few friends are in the library when you overhear someone insulting you (for being Greek, for your race, for your sexual orientation, etc.). Despite everyone's best efforts to ignore these obnoxious comments, you can see one of your friends becoming more and more irritated. He has a history of losing his temper. What do you do?

Make the First Move

  • Do your best to stay calm, cool, and collected.
  • Make sure the situation is safe for you. Walk away if it's not.
  • Remove the drama.
  • Focus on solving the problem, not winning the fight.
  • Don't get caught up in the situation.
  • You might consider separating the angry people/person, getting them out of the situation, and distracting them.
  • If you struggle with anger, you can do things to help yourself.
    • Seek out anger management classes or counseling.
    • Try to stay out of situations that might be high risk.
    • Be aware of your triggers.

Read Controlling Anger before it controls you.

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