How to resolve an argument and deal with anger

Anger affects us all in different ways and dealing with it is important.

Two wooden men shaking hands

Anger affects us all in different ways. While some people are quick to become angry and seem to snap, others only start to feel anger after time has passed. Arguments are an inevitable part of any relationship, but learning how to negotiate and express your anger in a healthy way is essential for strong, enduring relationships.

Expressing anger
Before you confront someone about your anger, try distracting yourself to see if it will pass. Expressing your anger in a healthy way prevents you from hurting yourself or someone else.

Why not try:

  • doing some exercise
  • punching a pillow
  • screaming at an object, such as a tree
  • confiding in someone you trust.

Find the cause of your anger
If you find yourself becoming angry over the same issue again and again, it may be time to talk to someone. A counsellor, doctor, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist should be able to help. They will help you identify why you are angry and give you tools to manage your anger in a healthy way.

Learning to diffuse your anger
Relaxation is good for our mental health. Some techniques may help you to diffuse your anger, instead of confronting someone about an issue, so you can learn to let it go. Relaxation also gives us space to put things in perspective and see issues from another point of view.

You may be able to relax by:

  • playing music or sitting quietly
  • going for a walk in the park
  • reading a book or watching a movie
  • playing sport or going for a swim
  • meditating or doing yoga
  • taking a bath.

Why we have arguments
Everyone has arguments and they can arise for a number of reasons. Sometimes we may struggle to understand someone’s thoughts on an issue or identify with their values, goals or needs.

It’s helpful to:

  • talk to the person in a calm and open way
  • avoid approaching the person directly if they are violent or aggressive
  • ask another person to act as mediator and offer an unbiased point of view.

Why we should deal with arguments
It’s important to resolve arguments, otherwise people may become confused, resentful or even unwell. All too often, relationships breakdown because arguments are left unresolved.

Successfully managing an argument can help to:

  • bring people closer together and build stronger relationships
  • give you a sense of achievement
  • help you feel relaxed and healthier, able to sleep
  • make you feel happier.

Need help?
Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24-hour counselling service) or visit

How do you deal with anger? Have you found any of the above techniques useful?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    29th Sep 2016
    Anger only arises when I am attached to something or have an aversion against something. Neither is healthy, and I remind myself that it is only ME who is feeling the anger, not the person who it is directed against. So I'm hurting myself, why bother? I just let it go.... I can't control anything outside of myself, the only control I have is inside, and I try and make changes there.
    29th Sep 2016
    Yes, anger is a sign of loss of emotional and intellectual control.

    29th Sep 2016
    I recall a story where a young reporter was sent to interview a man who had just turned 100. The young reporter asked the man what he attributed his long life to.
    The man replied, "I think it's because I never got into any arguments."
    The young reporter said, "It must be more than that."
    The man replied, "You could be right son......"
    29th Sep 2016
    In the USA they resolve it with a gun
    29th Sep 2016
    Here they use broken bottles, machetes or even a single punch etc. What is your point?
    29th Sep 2016
    Be angry and sin not, do not let the Sun set on your anger
    29th Sep 2016
    I am at an age where anger is rampant. So I agree to disagree and walk away.Going around in circles is frustrating. Our values and our tolerance are been tested to the max.Surely what we we were taught as kids can't be that wrong.Maybe we were wrong with our fair go attitude and it has come back to bite us on the arse or too many so called lefties.Give me back the 60's etc and forget these people now who want to destroy our way of life.Times change and sometimes not for the best.I'm praying for my grandkids.Macca
    In Outer Orbit
    1st Oct 2016
    I doubt there's any single recipe or approach that can always guarantee success in this area. Walking away can be a cop out, just as Don Quixote tilting at windmills was insane.

    I'm not a god-botherer, but The Serenity Prayer seems to sum all this up best. This is the common name for a prayer authored by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971).

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    Everybody will need the courage to be assertive sometimes in their lives, including in retirement. Anger is probably as good a clue as any that some assertion may be right.

    The citizens of Aleppo may have a view on all this...

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