Anger Iceberg

We have all experienced feeling angry. When we feel angry, we blame someone or something. Sometimes our anger looks like throwing objects, withdrawal, and emotional outbursts. There are three important questions to ask ourselves to help us better manage our anger. First ask, “What am I not getting that I believe I really need?” Then ask yourself, “What do I have that I am afraid to lose?” Finally consider, “Do I really believe getting angry will help the situation?” Remember it is your perception of the event that causes our anger,we are responsible for controlling our reaction to anger. Also, it is important to remember that we need to stop being defensive. We need to listen to the other person and try to understand their point of view.

Anger is a  primary emotion that we feel first, such as, fear, anger, joy, surprise, love and sadness. While a secondary emotion is our reaction to other emotions.

 Sometimes, when we experience primary emotions such as fear or sadness, it can lead to anger,

Anger can be a primary emotion and a secondary emotion. Other emotions can be expressed as anger because it is easier to express anger rather than to express our feelings about the situation.

When we don’t adequately deal with our primary emotions then our secondary emotions occur: depression, disappointment, frustration, guilt, and dissatisfaction.

It is important to note that it is OK to feel any type of emotion. Sometimes, we have someone tell us, “You shouldn’t feel that way,” or “You are overreacting,” which can make us feel guilty for feeling a certain way. We have the right to feel what we feel, but it is important to take responsibility for our feelings and our actions. No one can make us feel angry; however, they can trigger our anger because we choose how we react to our feelings. Once our feelings have been identified, we have to accept our feelings and choose our actions.

Anger Management Tips

  • Think before you speak
  • Take time to calm down
  • Once you are calm, express your anger
  • Always start with “I” statements

If you or anyone you know may be struggling with managing anger and live in the Chicagoland area, feel free to call Olive Branch Counseling Associates at (708) 633-8000 and talk to a professional.


Graduate Intern


Fitzell, S. G. (2007). Transforming anger to personal power: An anger management curriculum

            for grades 6-12. Champaign, IL: Research Press.


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