Strategies for Aggressive Behavior

Updated April 17, 2017

Anger and frustration are normal reactions to circumstances in your life that are beyond your control . Develop strategies to handle your own anger before it becomes aggression. Learn to put a stop to the aggressive behaviour of others. Be assertive with others; define your emotional and physical boundaries. Focus on how you are feeling, and you will learn to read the signals of impeding aggression. This will enable you to be assertive. You will also have the ability and control to choose how you will react to aggressive situations.

Explore Feelings Beneath the Anger

Anger that leads to aggressive behaviour towards others can permanently damage relationships. Fear and a sense of helplessness are often buried beneath your anger. Identifying and coping with the underlying feelings will help you see the actual or perceived threat. This knowledge will enable you to take action to reduce or eliminate your anger.


Develop empathy toward those you feel angry towards. If you are able to talk to them, ask questions to provoke a conversation about their reasons for what they did. If an actual conversation is not possible, imagine yourself in that person's shoes. What do you think he was thinking when he did that to you? Do you think he was really trying to hurt you or just trying to meet his own needs in the best way he knows how? Changing the way you think towards people who have been aggressive to you can diffuse your anger and enable you to see the situation clearly. This puts you in control of the situation.

Choose Happiness over Fairness

There will always be someone who has more and seems to have it better. There will also be someone who has it worse. Change your thinking to reflect appreciation for what you have in the present moment. You may find your anger is fuelled because you believe life is unfair. This is unrealistic and will make it difficult to let your anger go. Even guilty people who are not brought to justice and appear to have got "off the hook" are often not happy people. They have to deal with their own personal demons; guilt by the damage they caused, anger at themselves and concern for others they can't express, because they did not admit to their wrongdoings. You won't see this kind of justice, but knowing it's there can give you the strength to let your anger go, as well as to allow happiness and contentment to fill its void.

Avoiding Aggressive Behavior

Stop and visualise an intersection, when you feel so angry that you want to do or say something aggressive. Decide which way you will go; the path to harming your relationship through cruel words or the path based on unconditional love for yourself and the other person. Take a few deep breaths as you think. Try to see the situation from the other person's point of view. Talk it out and try to reach a mutual understanding. If not, agree to disagree and let the issue go.

If you feel emotionally overwhelmed, take a timeout to cool down and think about how to solve the problem. If you notice the other person is too emotionally charged, suggest a time out and walk away.

Release Aggressive Energy

Using aggressive behaviour--such as hitting or shouting obscenities--leads to an increase in aggressive behaviour. Choose a sport you like to release your aggressive energy. A brisk walk, a jog around the neighbourhood, shooting hoops, bowling or a trip to the batting cages are all good choices.

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About the Author

Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.