Dear Dish-It: Dealing With Anger

Dear Dish-it,

I get mad a lot but I don't know how to help it. All my friends think I'm weird because I yell a lot. What do I do?


Dear coolgirl2010,

Everyone gets angry. Anger can even be a good thing. When kids are treated unfairly, anger can help them stand up for themselves. The hard part is learning what to do with these strong feelings.

What Is Anger?

You have lots of emotions. At different times, you may be happy, sad, or jealous. Anger is just another way we feel. It's perfectly OK to be angry at times — in fact, it's important to get angry sometimes. But anger must be released in the right way. Otherwise you'll be like a pot of boiling water with the lid left on. If the steam doesn't escape, the water will finally boil over and blow its top! When that happens to you, it's no fun for anyone.

What Makes You Angry?

You may get angry when something doesn't go your way. Maybe you get mad at yourself when you don't understand your homework or when your team loses an important game. When you have a hard time reaching a goal you might become frustrated. That frustration can lead to anger. Kids who tease you or call you names can make you angry. Or you might get angry with your parents if you think one of their rules is unfair. Worst of all is when you are blamed for something you didn't do. But it's also possible to get angry and not even know why.

How Can You Tell When You're Angry?

There are different ways people feel anger. Usually your body will tell you when you are angry. Are you breathing faster? Is your face bright red? Are your muscles tense and your fists clenched tight? Do you want to break something or hit someone? [kwlink ]Anger can make you [kwlink ]yell or scream at those around you, even people you like or love. Some people keep their anger buried deep inside. If you do this, you might get a headache or your stomach might start to hurt. You may just feel crummy about yourself or start to cry. It's not good to hide your anger, so you should find a way to let it out without hurting yourself or others.

What To Do If You Get Angry

Don't lose control if you get angry. Taking it out on others never solves anything. Instead, admit to yourself that you are angry and try to figure out why. What can you do to keep the situation from happening again? If your little sister gets a toy and you don't, it's not OK to break that toy. Maybe you can ask her to share it with you. Or if your science homework is too hard, don't rip up your notebook. Ask your teacher or a parent for help instead. It helps to talk about your anger with an adult, such as a parent, teacher, or relative. Once you talk about anger, those bad feelings usually start to go away.

Here are some other things you can do when you start to feel angry:

  • talk to a friend you can trust
  • count to 10
  • get or give a hug
  • do jumping jacks or another exercise
  • draw a picture of your anger
  • play a video game
  • run around the outside of the house five times as fast as you can
  • sing along with the stereo
  • pull weeds in the garden
  • think good thoughts (maybe about a fun vacation or your favorite sport)
  • go for a bike ride, go skateboarding, play basketball — do something active!

Never getting angry is impossible. Instead, remember that how you act when you're angry can make the situation better or worse. Don't let anger be the boss of you. Take charge of it!

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What Do You Do When You're Angry?

  • Beat up my younger brother or sister.
  • Let it build up until I have a complete meltdown.
  • Stomp my feet and scream at the top of my lungs.
  • Take a deep breath and try to relax.

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Hmmm....Then she mustn't be necessarily "using" you, if she is not getting something in return ( As far as we know of). However, It does sound like she is being extremely unfair. That just might be how she is. Not exactly loyal to anyone. Well, try to talk to her about it and tell her how you feel. And, if it doesn't work out, then she might not be a great friend to hang around with, and maybe you will find someone else who enjoys your company. I hope this helps, and good luck :)
reply about 14 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
No not really. Like I said, one minute she's all smiley and then she doesn't even look at me. Most of the time I see her with Daniela and Andrea. Today she was asking me if I was going to hang out with her, Daniela, Andrea and Luisa during recess. When I told her that I was 'going to have to think' she was like, "Whatever." and ran off to catch up with the Threesome. Thanks. :)
reply about 14 hours
EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Is she asking you to do things for her? Like help with homework, carry her books and so on?
reply about 14 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
This is gonna be long:   I have this 'friend' Amelia. She and I bonded really fast last year and we've become inseparable.   But lately she's blowing me off and my other best friend Belen told me: Amelia is actually using you. She does this to new kids at school, especially from foreign countries. She thinks because you're Chinese and the Chinese teacher's daughter, you'll help her. She's also using you as a backup friend - a substitute. There's this new girl Daniela, who Amelia thinks is her new best friend. She thinks that when Daniela stop hanging out with her, she'll have you.   The thing is, Daniela is pretty nice and she probably doesn't know all the trouble she's causing. Belen's old 'best friend' Andrea is doing the same to her.   I also learned that Amelia is seemingly the 'most popular girl in school' because she's mean to everyone. She always passes by the little kids' classrooms and hugs them & stuff. They seem to love her, but now I know it's because they think if they're nice they won't get bullied.   Maybe she WAS using me but I dunno. Belen says that each kid in the entire school has a bad story about Amelia and something she did to them. I said, "Then how was she so nice to me last year?" Then Belen was all like, "She was using you."   I don't know if she's telling the truth. She and Amelia are deadly enemies and she might be making up the whole Amelia story just to get back at her. Although Amelia has been dropping a few signs that she IS using me as a substitute friend.   Sometimes when I walk in, she'll be like "OOOOHHH! CASSANDRA! HI! HOW ARE YOU! C'MON, LOOK AT THIS! WE'RE GONNA HAVE SOOOO MUCH FUN TOGETHER ..."   And other times I'm like, "Hey, Amelia!" and she says, "Oh. Huh? Yeah, hi ..."  Once during PE we had to sit down and on the way to the gym, she was chatting with me in a BBBBFFFF way. But then when we had to partner up she said with Andrea, Daniela and someone else who I forgot.   I don't know what to do. It's just so weird. Even though now I know she MIGHT be using me (I'm not sure if she really is) it just seems WEIRD. Even for a supposed ##### she was my possibly fake best friend for the whole of last year. It's WEIRD to suddenly switch.   I don't even know if this should be happening. We've only just started 5th grade. Doesn't this WEIRD #### start happening around middle school? Thank you, everyone who will help in advance. P.S. Please include flirting advice. - A Girl Who Might Just Lose Her Possibly Fake Best Friend
reply about 15 hours
Okay I have school today and my hair is not sitting how I want it to. But my mum says it is sitting fine WHEN ITS NOT! SHE IS NOT LISTENING what do i do?
reply about 16 hours

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