|Dealing With Anger: Getting To The Source
Let's say you've had a sore throat for several weeks. You've done everything you can to relieve the pain: medicine, lozenges, Vitamin C, and even chicken soup. All these things help your throat feel better for a little while, but the soreness always comes back. Finally, you decide it's time to see a doctor. You discover that you have tonsillitis, and that's causing your sore throat! If you have your tonsils removed, your sore throat will go away for good.
Anger is a lot like that. It's great to find healthy, positive ways to deal with feelings of anger, but sometimes you really just need to get to the root of the problem. There's no way to get rid of everything that makes us angry, but we can deal with issues one at a time and try to solve specific problems so they don't make us angry anymore.
Find it and fix it
Often, anger is caused by conflict (a dispute or a fight over something) with another person or group of people. Conflicts are difficult because sometimes, changing our own behavior is not the only thing that needs to happen: someone else needs to change his or her behavior as well.
Rather than scream and yell or get into a physical fight, there are ways of calmly solving the dispute, and this is called conflict resolution.
Conflict resolution is about letting two or more people or groups work out their conflicts in an atmosphere where negative or destructive expressions of anger are not allowed.
Almost all conflict resolution programs include a mediator, someone who's neutral and doesn't have loyalty to either side in the conflict. A mediator's job is to listen to both sides of the issue and try to make sure the discussion is about the facts, rather than about angry emotions. With the mediator's help, two sides in an argument can often calm down and start working out a plan that can satisfy both of them. Once a solution is decided on, a lot of the anger and bitterness will disappear.
Many schools train peer mediators. These are kids your age who are good at helping other kids talk about their conflicts and work on solutions.
Ask your teacher, counselor, or principal if your school has a conflict resolution program. If it doesn't, you might want to discuss starting one.
Accept what you can't change