My friends say I have anger issues and are no longer talking to me
I seem to always get annoyed and angry at school for the smallest of reasons that shouldnt even matter, i tend to accidently lash my anger out on my firends. i dont want to lash my anger out on them but i do, and i dont know how to stop it. they say that i have “anger issues”. now that i am on my summer holidays some of these friends have stopped talking to me because of this. what should i do?
You’re welcome to Ask Alex.
You say that you seem to get annoyed and angry in school and you tend to accidentally lash out at your friends as a result of this. You want to know what you should do as some of these friends have stopped talking to you on your summer break. Thank you for getting in touch with Ask Alex with your question as we know it’s not always easy to talk about things that are bothering us.
Anger is a normal emotion, and we can all get angry sometimes. There are a whole range of different reasons why someone might get angry and if something annoys or frustrates you, your instinct might be to become angry about it. When you say that you get angry and annoyed in school, can we ask what school is like for you in general? We would be concerned to hear that your anger is having an impact on your friendships; it sounds like you care about your friends and you don’t want to take your anger out on them. It also sounds like things that happen in school can mean you get angry often. Now that you’re on summer holidays, do you find that you’re still getting annoyed and angry? It might help you to try and look at what’s going on in your life or in school that could be triggering your anger.
You say you don’t know how to stop your anger – luckily there are a few things you can try to see if they help you manage it. Sometimes focusing on your breathing and taking slow, deep breaths can help to calm your nervous system down. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and exhale out slowly from your mouth. See how you feel after a few of these. Also, you could try slowly counting to ten when you notice yourself feeling angry. This can help give you space to think of different ways to deal with whatever the situation is before reacting. Remember, it’s better to “respond” which is deliberate and considered than it is to “react” which is immediate and rash. You might find that releasing stress and tension in general may also be beneficial when you are in a situation that causes strong emotion. Different activities like exercising, writing, making art, baking or playing music may work for you. Maybe you could try one or two and see what works for you? Remember, it might take some time before you see the benefits of these stress-relieving activities. That doesn’t mean they aren’t working, keep at it and before long, chances are likely that you’ll experience positive results.
If you find yourself getting angry a lot, and you having difficulty controlling it, it is important that you get some help to support you with this. You have done a really good job of talking with us about how you are feeling, and it sounds like you want to figure out a way of dealing with your anger in a healthy and helpful way. Is there anyone in your life who you feel comfortable talking with about your anger? This person would need to be someone you trust, like a friend (perhaps one outside of your school environment), or a family member or a teacher. You also have the right to seek help from a professional like a doctor or counsellor, if need be.
We are also always here for you at Childline 24/7, 365 days a year if you would like to talk to someone you don’t know about how you’re feeling. We won’t judge you or give out to you, and it is your space to talk about whatever you want, as much or as little as you want. You can contact us via our chat service (www.childline.ie), or send us a text (50101) or you could even give us a call on 1800 66 66 66.
You have been really brave getting in touch with us here at Ask Alex, and we hope some of what we’ve said is helpful for you.