BBC Learning English 英语教学

Don't get mad 如何控制怒气

Vocabulary: anger 词汇: 愤怒、怒气


Do you often get angry? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Bad traffic, disagreements with people and other occurrences can potentially be a nuisance. But can you control your temper or do you bristle with rage every time someone crosses you?

One footballer known for his temper is Liverpool striker, Louis Suarez. After a confrontation in a match against Chelsea, he sank his teeth into his opponent Branislav Ivanovic's flesh. The bite caused outrage and he was ordered to go on an anger management course.

In 2007, supermodel Naomi Campbell was ordered to take the same type of classes by a New York court after pleading guilty to assaulting her housekeeper.

If you are not famous, your anonymity might spare your blushes when it comes to meltdowns in public but it might not keep you out of court. Many ordinary people may be referred by the police or a doctor, or simply sign up themselves.

The theory of anger management was developed in the 1970s. The first reference to the term cited by the Oxford English Dictionary comes in 1975, in the work of US psychologist Raymond Novaco.

Today's courses are based on cognitive behaviour therapy, says Isabel Clarke, who has been running them for the UK's National Health Service in Southampton. She says: "What convinced me is seeing people change. For people who use anger and bullying to change that is a big ask."

It doesn't work for everyone. About 30% of people dropped out. But for those who persevered, it led them to change their behaviour, says Clarke.

Among the recommendations for people with a short fuse are: accept that different opinions are acceptable, listen to the other person and don't take anything personally.

Control used to be seen as repression. But these days letting it all out, ranting and raving, is viewed as destructive behaviour, says Antonia Macaro, the Financial Times' agony aunt.

Maybe the best thing is just count to ten when you feel you are about to hit the roof. It might not give you time to calm down but will allow the other person to run away.

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