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Both research and experience show that when people with anger problems change their self talk, their anger de-escalates and they regain control. When you feel yourself starting to get angry take a TIME OUT and read these statements to yourself. Transfer them to 3 x 5 note cards and read them several times a day as well as during your Time Outs.


  • I don't need to prove myself in this situation, I can stay calm.
  • As long as I keep my cool, I'm in control of myself.
  • No need to doubt myself, what other people say doesn't matter, I'm the only person who can make me mad or keep me calm.
  • Time to relax and slow things down. Take a time out if you get tight.
  • My anger is a signal. Time to talk to myself and to relax.
  • I don't need to feel threatened here. I can relax and stay cool.
  • Nothing says I have to be competent and strong all the time. It's OK to feel unsure or confused.
  • It's impossible to control other people and situations. The only thing I can control is myself and how I express my feelings.
  • It's OK to be uncertain or insecure sometimes. I don't need to be in control of everything and everybody.
  • If this person wants to go off the wall, that's their thing. I don't need to respond to their anger, or feel threatened.
  • When I get into an argument, I can stay to my plan and know what to do. I can take a Time Out.
  • Most things we argue about are stupid and insignificant. I can recognize that my anger is jut my having old primary feelings being restimulated. It's OK to walk away from this fight.
  • It's nice to have other people's love and approval, but even without it, I can still accept and like MYSELF.
  • People put erasers on the ends of pencils for a reason. It's OK to make mistakes.
  • People are going to act the way they want to, not the way I want.
  • I feel angry, that must mean I have been hurt or scared.

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Updated: March 14, 2002

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