Anger Management skills can be helpful for people ranging from the mildly miffed to the violently vengeful. You do not need to be in a physically violent relationship to benefit from understanding and learning about communicating anger and hurt feelings constructively. Secondly, if you are scared of your partner’s angry behavior then reach out to your local shelter, to me, or call the National Hotline at 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233) You can read about abuse at their website-

I’ve co-facilitated a Domestic Violence Men’s Group in Los Angeles, with Alyce LaViolette, MFT, for 26 years. A new man in our group may say, “I’ve just got to control my anger.” Men, who have been in the group longer, will then tell the new guy that trying to control anger is impossible. The men in group have learned that controlling, intimidating, aggressive and hostile behaviors are what they are learning to put an end to. Such behaviors include intimidating, aggressive and hostile tones of voice and facial expressions. It also includes physical actions like blocking a doorway or throwing anything or hitting anything.

Many of our men they learned in their families, or social group, that anger is expressed in these hostile ways. “I’m just expressing my anger. Why am I going to jail?” Or, “No one really got hurt; why is she leaving me?” In most cases, our men honestly have trouble seeing the harm in their angry/hostile behaviors. That’s in part because they are so used to it, having experienced perhaps much worse in their original families growing up that they really don’t understand the damage done to their partner. Most importantly, they do not connect their hostile behaviors with how their wife or girlfriend is maybe not so caring about them, not making love as often as they used to; or simply being oppositional and combative. They just do not see ‘their part’ in the problems that they are complaining about.

Anger is an emotion. Anger is necessary to survive. Anger provides energy for the body so that it can protect itself. But, it’s important to make the distinction between anger as a feeling (emotion) and the behaviors that it may fuel. Behaviors such as: grimacing your face in rejection or disgust, screaming, saying threatening, shaming or blaming things that hurt others or acting as if you may harm others or yourself. These are the reasons people are afraid of you. Having anger is not the problem. The way in which you express your anger is the problem.

We have an expression in the domestic violence community, which is, “Hurt people… hurt people.” One understanding of this saying is simply that underlying most feelings of anger are more vulnerable feelings like: feeling abandoned, powerless, scared, pained, sad or shamed. When our men can express these more vulnerable emotions closer to the moments that they feel them, then they are much less likely to become hostile.

I’m Not Sure If I Have An Anger Management Problem

Has anyone ever told you that your angry behavior scared him, or her?

Have you said to yourself, “I better control my anger and then found yourself screaming or intimidating others?

Did you get in trouble in school or at work for fighting?

Have you ever lost a job, a girl (boy) friend or marriage where the partner said part of the problem was your intimidating angry behavior?

Have you ever been arrested for any reason that could be connected to your way of expressing your anger?

Have you ever experienced any of the of the scenarios above and you say to yourself things like:
I would never have done that if my others didn’t do what they did.
I didn’t mean it.
They should know I would never do what I said I would do.
I was just blowing off steam.
I would never have done that if I wasn’t drinking.
I’ve never done these things with anyone but her (him).
It wasn’t that bad.
I didn’t do it.
These are examples of denial, minimization, rationalization, and
justification. They are the same cognitive defenses used by

If you have to ask the question, “Am I abusive?” it means that someone wants you to do something about your way of showing your anger. Now let’s just put the shoe on the other foot by making you the person that is asking someone close to you to look into some anger management treatment. If you said this to someone, can you imagine that it comes out of nowhere? That you would be lying about feeling scared? Probably, not. If someone around you wants you to look into it, or if you are looking at questionnaires about abuse, then you will most likely benefit from a thorough exploration of the issue. Usually, this means with an experienced professional. While we are bound to protect others, we really do care about you.

If you are scared of your partner’s angry behavior then reach out to your local shelter or call the National Hotline at 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233) You can read about abuse at their website-

My website- , has a resource page with a lot of information in it. I am also available for distance phone/Skype consultations. Or, office sessions in Los Angeles at 310 444-1951.

Author's Bio: 

Leading anger management and domestic violence groups in Los Angeles for 26 years. I've written a couples communication skills for couples who want to stop arguing called, 'RealHope Conflict Skills For Couples.' The manual is used in the monthly Los Angeles couples communication skills seminar that I've run for 17 years. I've trained FBI agents in Listening Skills and have led dozens of workshops on anger, substance abuse and communication skills for agencies, churches and synagogues.