How To Stop Being So Damn Angry

On any given day there’s no shortage of irritations that can a lead a guy to want to erupt on someone — and that’s why learning how not to be angry is so important. Whether your team didn’t cover the spread, some dickhead spilled a beer on your lucky shirt, or the feds busted your meth lab, finding ways to express anger without losing your cool can be extremely beneficial. For one, women don’t want to be around men who easily blow up when they loose their tempers. Two, you risk looking like a complete crybaby. Three, if someone is filming or recording you, you run the risk of being Mel Gibsoned … though we’d hope without the bigotry, racism, etc. In other words, it pays not to be a hothead. So we asked an expert how not to be angry.

“The worst thing you can do is say I’m not angry when it’s clear that you are,” explains New York City psychotherapist Traci Stein, PhD. “It won’t go away, but it will likely get worse.” So ask yourself, “What’s pissing me off?” And then find a specific answer. From there, you can choose to discuss it, or accept that you can’t do much about it. Alternatively, it might help you realize that you don’t even need to worry about how not to be angry, because you weren’t angry in the first place. “Annoyance and frustration are easy to confuse with anger, but they’re a different emotion,” Stein adds. “The more specific you are, the more you can focus on solutions to fix the problem.”

Just as you would try to ignore a mental patient screaming obscenities on a street corner, you can try to ignore the angry-making actions of relatives, co-workers, or Internet trolls. Blowing up at them won’t lead to an epiphany; in fact, when it comes to posting online rants, at least one study has shown that a Twitter, Facebook, or blog post about someone can actually make you feel worse. So while your ego will want you to stay and engage to prove something, try to overcome that urge.