By Ron Ross

Anger can be expressed in six common ways. Five of them do not work well. Those five are BLOW OUT, STRIKE OUT, FAKE OUT, SNUFF OUT, and PULL OUT. Read about them at

The best way to deal with anger is to learn how to effectively SPEAK OUT your anger without shouting, cursing, complaining, hiding, punching, seething, or running.

Using S-P-E-A-K as an acrostic, here are my suggestions for the appropriate expression of anger.


In every tension-filled encounter, someone needs to be the grown-up. Let that person be you by supervising yourself first. Take control of your emotions, your body, and your tongue.

Anger does need to be expressed but in non-threatening ways that do not result in injury to yourself, the person with whom you are angry, or someone’s property. Therefore, it is up to you to suppress (different than repress) your anger until you have control of yourself and the situation.

You do this by acknowledging the feelings you have and declaring to yourself and others involved that the situation will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Supervise yourself first. Begin by calming yourself down: count backwards, talk to yourself, take three or four deep breaths, or remove yourself from the situation long enough to gain personal control. This tells yourself and others that your anger is OK, your self-esteem is strong, and you are an adult, but that you are able to express your anger appropriately.


Anger always arises as the second event in any anger-producing incident. The spilled milk comes first, then the angry reaction. It’s the millisecond between the spilled milk and the reaction that holds the key to the appropriateness of the response. In that moment of time, you decide what you will say and how you will say it. And what you do at that time will determine whether you will make the situation better or worse.

Remember, nobody “makes” you angry. You choose the feelings you have and you determine how those feelings will be dealt with; they will either harm or heal, accept or reject, alleviate or aggravate.

So, don’t blame the other person for your nasty words and unseemly behavior. What you say and what you do and how you act are choices you make and you must accept the consequences of your actions and reactions, so the P in our acrostic stands for PONDER APPROPRIATE RESPONSES.

The E, A and K will be discussed next week. For all the columns please visit

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ron Ross (B.A., M.Div., D.Th.), author/speaker/publisher.For more from Dr. Ross please visit his site: