Resolving arguments is best done by negotiation, not anger. Relaxation can help anger and techniques can help resolve arguments. Violence is not a solution to angry feelings.
Anger affects people in different ways. Some people have a ‘short fuse’ and get angry easily. Others only seem to get angry after a long time. Arguments can make you very uncomfortable. The best way to resolve an argument is to negotiate with the other person.
Expressing your anger safely
There are safe ways to express your anger:
- Go for a run.
- Punch a pillow.
- Scream at something, for example, a tree or a car.
- Talk to someone you trust.
Try and work out why you are angry
If the same situation or person is making you angry a lot, think about talking to someone you trust. For example:
- A counsellor
- A doctor
- A social worker
- A psychologist or psychiatrist.
Relaxation can help
Relaxation can help put things in perspective. There are many ways you can relax:
- Go for a walk or sit quietly in a park.
- Listen to some music you really like.
- Read a book, go to a movie or watch a video.
- Play your favourite sport, go for a swim or learn yoga.
- Take a bath.
Violence is not a solution to anger
You may find a person or an issue upsets you so much that you lash out. Violence may also be a way to release frustration when you don’t know what is upsetting you. This can be dangerous to both you and others, and may result in criminal charges.
To overcome violence, write a list of things that make you angry, for example, particular situations, people, moods, drugs or alcohol. Think about ways to avoid these people or things and about ways to contain your violence.
There are many people you can talk to who can help you overcome your feelings of wanting to lash out.
Everyone has arguments
Arguments can arise for any number of reasons:
- You may be having trouble understanding someone else's thoughts on an issue. It may help to ask them questions about their point of view.
- Your values, goals or needs may conflict with those of someone else.
- You may not understand what other people are trying to say or do.
Unresolved arguments can cause problems
Unresolved arguments can lead to:
- Confusion and feelings of resentment
- Stress and tension
- Family breakdowns or poor relationships
- Aggression or violence.
Dealing with arguments
Once you have an argument, it is easy to stay angry or upset with the other person. If you don’t resolve arguments with people you see often, it can be a very uncomfortable experience:
- Talking to the person about your disagreement may or may not help. If you do approach them, make sure it is in a helpful way.
- If the person could be violent or abusive, it may be best not to approach them directly. You could talk to them over the phone to see if they are open to finding a solution to the argument.
What to say
Try and tell the person how you feel as a result of their opinion, but avoid trying to tell them how they feel. It is possible to agree to disagree. You may need someone else to help you resolve the disagreement. You could ask a third person to act as a go-between and help you both get another view on the argument.
Good reasons for dealing with arguments
There are good reasons for dealing with arguments:
- It will give you a sense of achievement and make you feel more positive.
- You will feel more relaxed, healthy and will get a good night’s sleep.
- You will develop stronger relationships.
- You will feel happier.
Where to get help
- Kids Helpline Tel. 1800 551 800 (24-hour telephone counselling service for young people aged 5-25)
- Lifeline Tel. 13 11 14 (24-hour counselling service).
Things to remember
- Learn to express your anger safely.
- Relaxing activities can help you deal with your anger.
- Resolving arguments will make you feel more positive and happy.
You might also be interested in:
- Anger - how it affects people.
- Domestic violence and children.
- Negative emotions - coping tips.
- Parenting - coping with stress.
- Workplace safety - conflict.
Want to know more?
Go to More information for support groups, related links and references.
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Fact sheet currently being reviewed.
Last reviewed: August 2011
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