For weeks now I have been writing about anger and how it can destroy your relationships. To help you deal with your anger by speaking out using appropriate words and communication techniques I have developed an acrostic from the word S-P-E-A-K. The acrostic looks like this:

S - Supervise yourself first.

P – Ponder appropriate responses

E – Explain how you feel

A – Apply listening skills

And last, K - KNOW HOW FAR TO GO AND WHEN TO STOP. This is a matter of wisdom and experience.

The better you are at explaining how you feel and the better you become at listening to understand the other person’s point of view, the better you will become at knowing how far to go and when to stop. By expressing your anger in the right way and with the right goals in mind, with a clear understanding of the other person’s perspective, you establish an atmosphere where future flare-ups can be avoided completely or at least, interrupted.

The difference between the misuse of anger and the appropriate use of anger is the difference between love and fear, peace and war, harmony and conflict, pain and pleasure.

When anger is expressed appropriately, it communicates love and respect.

In the first iteration of these columns I told the story of a neighbor who dashed across the street and on to my lawn with fists clenched, eyes blazing and voice yelling. He so scared my wife she called the police who were able to quiet the man down then walked him back home and handed him a citation.

A few weeks later I was called to court to testify against the guy. When he arrived for court his left arm was all bandaged up. The judge asked him what happened to his arm, thinking it had something to do with our altercation.

“My dog bit me,” he said quietly. The judge grinned, mumbled something about unusual but suitable justice, then slammed down his gavel and fined him $50. I seldom saw him or heard his dogs bark after that.

I have written this series because we all need to learn how to express our anger without hurting others or getting arrested.

Everyone is angry from time to time. It is OK to be angry, but it is not OK to be out of control; it is not OK to abuse those around you with spiteful words or reprehensible behavior. And, from the other side of the anger, it is not OK to let others abuse you either verbally, emotionally, or physically.

Start today to add to your words a gentle touch, a calm spirit, and a sense that you still respect the people around you. When anger is recognized and expressed appropriately with the intention of strengthening the relationship, it can actually enhance growth, heighten respect, and restore intimacy.

Learn the appropriate use of anger, and the peace and joy of your everyday life will improve tenfold, the lives of those you live and work with will improve a hundredfold and you, my friend, will not get arrested!

To read all the columns in this series visit

©2014 Ronald D. Rosss

Author's Bio: 

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