Stop, Think, Listen

Developing strategies to deal with anger is a key component of Anger Management Therapy. Once you are aware of the different ways you can avoid anger, you must also be equipped with ways to deal with anger when it arrives. One of the best strategies we have for dealing with anger while in conversation with others is to: Stop, Think, and Listen. Here’s why:


When you stop, you are able to bring your mind back to regular thinking. Anger can cause us to have an adrenal rush which often leads to irrational thinking. The results of this type of thinking can be acting out aggression, saying things you would not normally say, and even demonstrating violence. However, clear and calm thinking can result in a much better response.


If you are to think before you speak, it is very likely that your words will be worth speaking. After you STOP, take a moment to think about your circumstances and the person you are speaking with. During this time, consider the possible various outcomes of your next chosen actions and words. This allows you to be thoughtful in your approach in handling conflict.


Next, you should listen to the other person to hear what they are saying. Do not simply listen to rebuttal, but actually listen to the emotions they are expressing and the language they are using. Once you have heard what they have to say, you will have a better understanding of what they mean. At this point, you can react in a much better and rational manner.

You may hear someone say to Count to 10 or Take 5, and these are very good strategies in dealing with anger. However, some conversations do not grant you the option to walk away so easily. In these moments, you can Stop, Think, and Listen in an effort to calm your emotions and respond in a rational and appropriate manner.

By Lindsay McVety

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