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How to Communicate Anger in a Healthy Way

by | Mar 29, 2022 | 4 comments

“Let me say  something as an objective observer: It’s never OK to punch a comedian.” – Stephen Colbert.

Colbert refers here to Sunday’s big slap at the Oscars when Will Smith strode onstage out of anger at Chris Rock’s joke centered on Jada Pinkett Smith.

Your Checklist: How do you communicate anger in a productive way?

  • Walk away.
  • Vent to a trusted friend.
  • Yell … in an empty room – get it out.
  • Go exercise or take a walk.
  • Listen nonjudgmentally (hard to do).
  • Check your perspective.
  • Change the paradigm.
  • Be self-aware.
  • Don’t punch anyone.

How do you do damage control if anger has escalated?

  • Apologize with sincerity.
  • Ask for forgiveness.
  • Use humor, if possible.
  • Figure out the source of your frustration.
  • Understand that you are part of the problem and solution.

Anger can be a good thing

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anger can give you a way to express negative feelings or motivate you to find solutions to problems. But, the APA states, “excessive anger can cause problems”.

Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.

Back to the Oscars…  “If you really want to hurt a comedian, don’t laugh. That hurts more than a punch, I promise you.” Stephen Colbert

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and got 18 out of 18 correct on her Oscar Ballot, co-created with Marvin Blum, her Oscar Ballot Partner for over 4 decades!!!  

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

Photo ©: 123rf.com

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved


  1. Harry

    I’m not much of a Colbert fan, but that’s a good one.

  2. Anonymous

    For real anger, I use my Aikido training. As senseis, we teach how to neutralize the situation, so that we can talk about the problem.

    It may be verbal, or even physical, but the purpose is to find out the problem.

    Spontaneous anger, such as at the TV with politicians can be later laughed off. Real, deep seated anger that keeps one awake, needs more attention.

    An attack of physical anger needs learned skills.(aikido).

    For any of it I teach Mai, taking a step back, staying out of reach and neutralizing the situation.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Thanks – Yes… deep seated anger does need more attention. Appreciate your feedback.

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