Quick tips for helping people manage anger
- Quick tip 1Take a deep breath.Take a deep breath.
When someone gets angry, stop and take a deep breath. It helps to put some space between you and the anger. Deep breathing is calming, both for you and for the person who’s angry.
- Quick tip 2Explain what you see.Explain what you see.
In the heat of the moment, people may not be aware of how they’re coming across. Let them know by calmly saying things like “You look really angry” or “You’re raising your voice at me.”
- Quick tip 3Use a quiet voice.Use a quiet voice.
Turn down the temperature by staying calm and not getting angry yourself. Speak in a steady, almost monotone voice.
- Quick tip 4Ask what’s going on.Ask what’s going on.
Tell the person it’s OK to feel what they’re feeling. Having a safe place to talk can help people process and then let go of their emotions in a healthier way.
- Quick tip 5Be understanding.Be understanding.
Having an angry outburst can make kids and adults feel bad about themselves. Encourage the person not to beat up on themselves. It’s not easy to get control of emotions.
People with ADHD tend to feel emotions more intensely than other people do. At the same time, they often have a hard time managing those emotions. They may also have trouble keeping things in perspective. It’s all part of ADHD.
Even small problems can spark an angry outburst. Kids might lash out at siblings for taking a toy. Adults might yell at a co-worker who misplaced something. And the anger may last a while.
People with ADHD don’t want to overreact and lose their cool. In fact, they often feel terrible about it afterward. They need to develop the skills to keep a lid on their anger.
Self-control is part of a group of skills called executive functions. People with ADHD often struggle with these skills. Many kids with ADHD develop more self-control as they get older. But some struggle with anger into adulthood. With practice, people can learn these skills.