Author’s Note: Don’t try these strategies at home without first consulting a licensed therapist.
I once had a boyfriend who called my childhood home uncivilized. If you wanted to be heard, you had to talk louder and possibly throw something. Interrupting someone was the order of the day.
If you got mad because you weren’t heard, or for any other reason for that matter, you might have managed your anger using any one of the following methods outlined below. Just put down that self-help book and I’ll cut to the quick.
Lessons I Learned in my Childhood about Anger Management:
1) The Power of the Boffy*
You may remember it. This is not to be confused with the Boppy nursing pillow. I remember it affectionately as the Bazooka. Whatever. It was a thick, cushioned bat, like a mini punching bag only with a handle, that you slammed into the bed repeatedly with all your might. Infused with adrenaline, fury, and rage, you could pack quite a wallop.
Channeled with grunting like that of a pro tennis star, Monica Seles comes to mind, your incessant pounding of the Boffy becomes rhythmic, even meditative.
You may believe that you, too, can play tennis, if only you used more power, and hit that thing harder, panting and grunting. Without warning, your execution resembles a frenzied, tribal dance, and you drop to the floor like a pile of laundry, breathless and exhausted.
Goodbye anger. Hello sleep.
2) Forget Scissors, Run with Knives
A simple knife will do the trick. Even a butter knife will do, but a sharp knife offers more drama.
Run in circles, as it’s more exhilarating this way. If possible, chase a sibling around the house with a knife. When the sibling is squealing with absolute terror and is hiding in a corner, you know you’ve won. Feel the anger melt at your fingertips and walk away.
Goodbye anger. (It’s okay sis. No worries. It’s ha ha funny now).
3) The Classic Door Slam
This promises to be the family favorite, and leaves residual, lingering emotions hanging in the balance. If you punctuate the end of an argument with a strong slam of the door, powerful enough to crack wood, you have made your point. You showed them. Your best case scenario is to break the glass, especially if it requires a special replacement of said glass.
Our front door provided ample opportunities with a type of glass that was orange in color and circular in pattern. Never mind the mental storm that came before the grand shattering; It was Slam. Gasp. And then, “Oh no, that’s gonna be expensive to fix.”
Goodbye anger. Now you have a new problem: replacing the glass.
Did you ever use that pillow thing? If you know what it’s called, please do tell. Knives, anyone? Of course, I almost forgot, there’s always punching a hole in the wall.
These days, my best strategy to manage anger is to take a walk. What about you?
* It had a name. For the life of me, I can’t recall it.
Leave That Pillow Alone!: Better Ways To Deal with Anger