4 Ways to Gently Deal with Anger

couple sitting back to back on couch looking upset, how to love someone when they're angry

4 Ways to Gently Deal with Anger

“For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20 ESV)

Some people mistakenly believe that anger is wrong in every circumstance. However, even Jesus displayed anger at various times throughout the gospels when standing on God’s truth and righteousness. Man’s anger, however, doesn’t bring about the righteous life that God desires. That’s because it usually stems from a place of self-righteousness, and often hurts rather than heals.

Whether you or someone you love struggles with anger, here are four ways to gently deal with it:

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man outside thinking

1. Give Yourself a Time-Out

When tempers begin to flare, remove yourself from the situation and give yourself a time out to pray. Not only will this will let the other person know you aren’t going to participate, it will give you time to seek the Lord and ask how He would like you to deal with the situation.

Most arguments that aren’t kept in check only add fuel to the fire. It’s almost always better to respond instead of react when it comes to volatile situations. Except for out-of-control events, which might require emergency intervention, take a time-out to evaluate what’s really going on and pray hard for God’s wisdom.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6)

2. Be Informed

Anger is a natural human emotion that signal when it’s time to take a stand against sin, be bold in the face of temptation, and set firm boundaries when necessary. It was not intended to be used to manipulate, harm, or force our will.

Be informed about the type of anger you’re being exposed to. Read articles and resources that explain why some people react in anger, and make an informative decision on how you should best respond. Your ultimate source of guidance comes from God’s word, but there are helpful resources that can help you determine the best course of action.

Here are a couple of resources to consider:

10 Types of Anger

There Are 9 Types of Anger: Which One Is Yours?

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upset couple standing at a distance

3. Set Boundaries

Boundaries are a natural part of life in the sense that we have property lines, borders, and no-crossing zones. Simply put, boundaries are agreements between two parties assuring them the space they inhabit is guarded and respected.

Setting boundaries in the way people treat you is a healthy and gentle way to let the other person know that you have safeguards in place to protect yourself. The angry person might not like your boundaries, but they’ll soon realize they’re not going to be allowed to cross them.

Here are a few things you can say lovingly but firmly when setting boundaries:

“I’ll be happy to discuss this with you when you’re calm.”

“I don’t appreciate that tone.”

“Let’s take a break and talk about this later.”

“Please lower your voice.”

“You’re not allowed to speak to me that way.”

Jesus warned His disciples to “be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” This indicated a need for them to put up safeguards—boundaries—so they did not fall prey to the harmful influence of the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ teachings. When dealing with an angry person, set boundaries against harmful words and behaviors that aren’t beneficial to you or your relationship.

4. Seek Help

If you find yourself dealing with someone who is chronically angry, it would be wise to seek Biblical counseling. Though the other person might be resistant, pray and ask God to soften their heart and open the door for healing.

There’s no reason you should constantly have to endure someone else’s anger. God can deliver anyone from anything at any time. As I shared in my book, Scarves of White: Replacing Our Issues With the Covering of Christ, my temper would flare at the slightest of things until I saw how it was adversely affecting my children. Once I got a wake-up call, I repented and sought help for my chronic anger. Even if your loved one isn’t open to receiving wise counsel, seek help for yourself. By doing this, you’ll be given the tools and support needed.

Anger in itself isn’t wrong when used to make a statement for good. It becomes harmful when someone uses it to manipulate and control. Resist the urge to join in and set your personal boundaries. Be informed on the type of anger you’re dealing with and reach out for help when needed. You can choose to deal with anger gently—which will hopefully help the other person see there’s a better way to handle stress and communicate calmly and effectively.

More resources for your journey:

How Should Christians Deal with Anger?

6 Important Truths to Understand about Anger

What Does the Bible Say About Anger?

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Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayerand is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesnt Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.