I had an interesting session with my therapist this week.

Yes, I see a therapist monthly. I figure you might get your eyebrows waxed, your hair coloured… hells bells – you might even get your face injected with botox.

therapySo why not get a monthly mind tune-up while you are at it?! It is your most vital feature after all.

My therapist is a formidable lady in her 60s. Lets call her Denise, for indeed that is her name. Denise is unshakable. It is like going in for a mind purging sit-down with an non-judgmental Aunt.

I first started seeing her years ago. I remember arriving to her office, in tears of course, before pulling myself together and telling her that I was acutely aware that she charges by the hour, so let’s cut out all of the social niceties and get down to business.

Over the years our relationship has changed. Sometimes there are old problems to solve, new strategies to pull together, or sometimes we just have a good old chat.

This week, we chatted. About life and living and stuff.

Firstly, I asked her why I wait until the absolute last second to do anything.

Denise told me that I work best under pressure, with adrenaline kicking in to propel me along swiftly, with one eye on the clock and the other stirring my brain up fast. She told me that although I might work best that way, it is not ideal for my stress levels and the simplest thing to do is to bring all my deadlines forward by 24 hours.

Thank you Denise (and Lucy, the Hoopla Editor, thank you, too).

We chatted further about life, when I asked her…

“Why are people so angry?”

She asked me to elaborate.

I spoke about the anger of people in general. Of people walking purposefully down the street, pushing others out of the way. The sad epidemic of nasty separations and divorces that are happening all the time, in my circle of friends.

I outlined to her how it disturbs me to read the amount of hate vomited onto keyboards in the realm of social media.

Now that everyone actually does have a voice, how come it has become socially acceptable to behave like a twat when using it?

Denise looked me in the eye and told me:

“Anger is important.”


William DeFoore, an American Anger Management expert, concedes that out anger blueprint starts out when we are children.

“We know that the outcasts and misfits are the children most likely to become violent, so it only follows that we must pull them into the arms of love and/or acceptance, and find a place where they fit. If our system doesn’t have a place where a child fits, there’s something wrong with the system, not the child.”

Recently, I watched Tracey Grimshaw interview Kyle Sandilands, and I could see this pattern emerge. Here was a boy who was 15 years old when he was thrown out of home. Living on the streets. Gee, I would be a tad jaded and angry myself. I do believe there is a soft underbelly beneath the character he has created.

I asked Denise to explain why anger is important. She spoke about the different kinds of anger.

Cognitive Anger is where your brain gets all shirty, like when you are sitting in a traffic jam. You can then sift through all the shades of red until you get to Behaviourable Anger, where things get really ugly.

I pushed further. Why are so many women angry? In relationships, in work, in life?

And here is the kicker….

We tend to sulk.


anger-managementWomen tend to squash their anger deep down into the pit of our stomachs until, get this, it attacks our libido! There is no interest in sexy time. We are too busy stewing.

Then it seeps out our sides in the form of passive aggressive behavior until we cannot function anymore. We explode.

Of course, the key to keeping ourselves level is communication. Honest, calm and regular communication allows us to live relatively peacefully. Theoretically speaking…

I am trying to become a new recruit to peaceful living. I am learning to let out my angst in the matter of a whoopee cushion, rather than taking a pin to a balloon.

Oh, don’t get me wrong! Sometimes I falter and fall, and when I do, it is not pretty. I once frisbeed Mr. Woog’s dinner across the backyard. For those wondering, it was soup. Messy stuff.

Living with anger is mind f**kery to the max. It clouds your brain and chokes the good stuff.

Talk it out, my friend. Even if you have to invest in a whiteboard and a laser pointer. Get your message across calmly, as it takes a long time to recover from truly losing your shit.


Are you pissed off? Why? Are you a whoopee cushion, or a balloon?

How do you deal with your anger?



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mrs woog*About Mrs Woog: “I can be found in the laundry, folding laundry, sorting laundry and dropping off the dry cleaning. I am mum to two boys, boss of my husband and master of a cat and two guinea pigs. Come nightfall, I watch TV while tweeting which drives Mr Woog insane. I like to read cookbooks and eat out. During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the Mazda while drinking takeaway coffees and listening to talkback. I think about going to the gym every day. I used to work in the publishing industry before I realised it was nothing like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld made out like it was. Now I write this blog. And I never get writer’s block. It is a gift I have.” You can follow me on Twitter: @Woogsworld.



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  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Fi @ My Mummy Daze

    I learned once that anger is an outward expression of depression. I don get angry (as such) just chronically depression. Meanwhile, I can’t get passed the image of you throwing a bowl of minestrone across the backyard! How liberating! Fi xx

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I agree there are far too many angry people – I don’t understand it – things really aren’t that important to be that angry all the time. Yes, there are events that make us angry and stressed but we all need to keep the rest in perspective – life to short to waste it being angry.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Thank you, Mrs Woog! x

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Really interesting. I’m definitely a quick bickerer – with occasional outbursts. My husband is a psychologist with a really annoying habit of never losing it – and when I lose it and he responds in an “appropriate” way it makes me more furious. I guess he finds me interesting – a longitudinal case study. I think for mental and physical health emotions are better out than in. Sometimes I can’t process situations till I’ve exhumed the emotions however ugly the release is. This applies to the whole spectrum of my emotions , happy, sad, fear etc – I’m a very emotional person.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    working in retail (owning our own business) I hear so many angry people on the phone, for no good reason at all. I wonder sometimes if people think that it is their “right” to be angry, they confuse the term “standing up for themself” (ie in case of life or death) to “I need to belittle the little girl working at maccas for putting a pickle on my hamburger”

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I was so glad to read what you wrote about Kyle Sandilands, PLEASE BE KIND TO ME, but met Kyle on a few occasions, and felt very fortunate to spend some time with him. I am not exusing any of his errs, some of the things that have escaped his mouth are unforgivable. He knows that.
    he has seen a lot of anger, hurt and abuse in his time, he spent a great deal of time on the streets with out anyone having first nurtured any semblence of a moral compass, which is bound to make anyone a little desensitised, He didn’t have a great education, but he did do his best to learn, we exchanged stories about the things that just pop out of your mouth (for which I am very guilty) and for creating a front for the hard stuff, even if you really dont want to, or intend to that it can sometimes be so ingrained to your survival, that you never lose it. I also found Kyle to be very kind. He gave me advice about radio, told me I would be silly not to persue it, and very genuinley encouraged me and sent me in the right direction about a few things, and he reminded me high school drop outs, teen mums and homeless kids can do anything if we set our mind to it, that where we come from is not who we are, and not to give up if I stuff up because its how we learn. He does a great deal of good, for which he never makes public.
    He was unlike any other person I had ever met.
    I felt very fortunate to have met him.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I seem to take my anger out on tangible items. I break phones for some reason. I am what is called a bomber. I explode and then its all over within 10 seconds. I don’t seeth or sulk. Once its out, its out. However, I do tend to take out a number of items in a 2 metres radius. So maybe not so healthy. 🙂 Working on it, though.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I am no longer angry now I am on the good stuff from the man in the non-white coat. My point? Lots of people are walking around with undiagnosed and untreated depression. That can make you angry. It made me an asshole. Now I am just normal.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I am a fly-off-the-handle kinda lady. I’m very aware of it though and recognise how it manifested. Hoping that my awareness is enough to strive to keep it in check. Don’t want to pass it on to my girls. Thanks for another great piece Mrs Woog. So good to hear other people occasionally throw things!

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    karen @ the rhythm method

    I grew up with an angry dad and a very passive mum (she would put Gandhi to shame).
    Now I flip wildly between being overly permissive, and exploding. But I own all of it because I’m aware of it and set a place for it at the dinner table because my anger, she is there and she wants to be heard.
    Thank you for this fabulous post. Denise, I want your number.

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Rachel Retro

    My anger simmers for a while, then I explode like a volcano.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I’ve tried getting angry, I’ve tried being reasonable, I’ve tried talking things through calmly and hopefully rationally. I’ve tried being positive, and through all of this I have realised that it doesn’t matter what I do… absolutely nothing changes.

    So I fall back into my passively aggressive stance where I’m apparently “in a mood” for “no reason at all” and that’s where I stay.

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    sam stone

    This is a great article! Anger management is important. I listen to music loudly!!

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Absorbing other people’s anger takes its toll~ whether expressed passively or actively.

    Anger when it is pure and unconfused can have a clarity about it which forces one to action to hopefully resolve this negative state by doing something else. Take a walk with your thoughts, breathe and commit to a plan…once the anger subsides.

    Thanks Mrs.Woog for so generously sharing~ I like the idea of a therapeutic top up once a month but I am still so angry about material my last therapist raised a couple of years ago…!!

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    It’s the mechanisms we use to solve our anger that’s important. My husband (of thirty two years) and I were very close to divorcing a few years ago. We could not talk to each other without practically spitting the message out ,it was horrific. So we went to a doctor (there was less money ,then for a counsellor ) who gave us very good advice.
    It was : make a formal appointment to meet outside of the home ,have a coffee or lunch somewhere . Then conduct a meeting where you take turns in saying whatever is causing issues for you ( only one issue at a time) and there are no restrictions as to what is said and no recriminations are allowed after the meeting is finished. In other words you don’t hold a grudge or sulk. But you have to try and fix whats been brought up. It was hell at first because I was angry about two things with my husband – everything he said and everything he did. But it did eventually work ,and almost twenty years later we are still having these meetings and are still married . I think the fact that its in public keeps your feelings under control and enables communication . The thing I’ve learned is to carry this out with everyone I care for who create anger issues. Takes practice and a good deal of patience and you learn how to control the unhealthy parts of anger within yourself . It also reduces stress levels as you can table the issue and know it will be dealt with.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Good for you Kerrie. The Dalai Lama reckons patience is the antidote to anger. Without a formal mediator, my ex who was still not my ex at the time, suggested meeting in a public place. I was furious with her. All about control and nothing about vulnerability and intimacy. Spare everyone else in a public space from this. Of course, the suggestion was about acting according to public convention~ which I was not in a position to do at the time…

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    i have an ex sister in-law who WAS my best friend, she is now dating my cousin and she wonders why i feel uncomforatble messaging saying that I am making her feel annoyed and awkward. So in other words her feelings matter more then mine! It makes me angry when people don’t consider (or can’t)others feelings. she wants me to consider her feelings and be ok with her disgusting moral values but she cant consider mine, my brothers, her two children, my mum, my aunty, and the rest of the family’s feeliI ngs…. LOl rant over… I think I am more of the balloon type… and my sister in law is about to be the pin.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I am a sulker but not an angry person at all and I hate all that nastyness on social media it makes me sick,if you can’t say something nice say nothing that is my theory.I keep that anger deep down and then bring it out to play when I have gone over the edge,I rarely do it now I have found it does not do much for a marriage and I like harmony if everything is going smoothly I am happy.Meditation helps and ME time I get angry if I don’t get any alone by myself time and btw Mrs Woog scissors work a treat on ballons,I hate balloons,I don’t know why but I do,when my kids were little I used to burst them when they were at school and tell them they went down and i threw them away.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I’m mostly a whoopie cushion but in dire circumstances I’m very much a balloon… But really really tightly blown up one so the explosion is epic. Happens maybe once every two years. It’s very impressive. My eyes change colour when it happens. 🙂

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I am so angry but it’s at family stuff. Other members of my family have made enabling choices about a sibling and it has ruined our family. I can do nothing to change any of these destructive actions. Expressing my anger will just make the situation worse. I try to let the anger go, it makes me so sad. I hope it doesn’t eat me up from the inside. Everyday feels like I am only just keeping the lid on it.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Not sure Mrs.Woog on whoopee cushion compared with balloon~ is the former slow release and the latter a loud bang or floating on what air is around? As with most things~ it depends on the circumstances including internal(eg denial) and external distance from arousing object/subject and the means of release and tools ,like insight available,if any?

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Assertiveness is the answer. But you have to practise the skills. Get a self-help book or a therapist and do role-play. Rehearse. Language is power. Say what you mean and what you want upfront and own it. You can learn to do this without showing ugly aggro. Works a total treat. You get what you want, and still respect yourself in the morning.
    “Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they enjoy the trip.”
    I think that covers it. People explode because they don’t have assertiveness skills, and they mistake anger for self-assertion.
    Takes work though.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    I like your suggestions, Kerrie. I’m quick to blow up but once I do it’s all over and forgotten. My husband is the opposite, he seems outwardly calm but can hold a grudge if his feelings have been hurt for absolute AGES. Once I realised this I said to him that maybe we should compromise, and he can let me know how really feels and not hold a grudge so much, whereas I can count to ten instead of blowing up and learn to express myself calmly. A LOT easier said than done of course. Still working on it, but I think that we’re both making an effort and when it works, I’ve learned that it’s very good to be able to communicate with my partner regularly about issues that bother us. We need to air them out to be heard and see if something will be done, rather than keep them inside, bottle things up and quietly seethe. Which won’t be doing our internal systems very much good I imagine. Between husband and wife, if both partners can communicate their concerns with each other, show that they can listen to the other and find a way in the middle of whatever their conflicts are, then this will go a long way to hopefully keep anger in the relationship to a minimum. Anger is good if it can arouse one to do positive actions of change, but not for very much else IMHO. It can be such a very negative emotion.

    As you say Mrs Woog, the anger in social media, and even from the public about politics and the government – people seem Mad As Hell. It makes me wonder how dire their lives really are to justify being so angry and frustrated and dissatisfied as they are. But I suspect that there’s nothing truly dire going on. Just people giving in to their most negative emotions and feelings because it’s an easy way to make themselves feel good, not caring about the long-lasting damage and hurt their anger can cause to others and of course, to themselves. Me, I prefer to look at what’s good about life and there are MANY things that are even if my life may seem to suck temporarily and I use that knowledge to curb my frustrations. If I’m starting to feel negative, I tell myself, at least I’m not a child in a 3rd world country with no food to eat, for example. I’m in a country where there’s so much food to eat, and so much of the good things in life that 90% of the rest of the world can only dream about. So for that alone, I feel that I have no reason to get so steamed up and should be downright ashamed of myself if I do! It’s a good way to help me snap out of the negative emotions I find. Consciously think of others who need more help than I do (and hopefully try to help them as well) 🙂

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Irrational little things make me angry.

    Mrs Woog, you NEVER reply to my posts when I write them on your blog. That pisses me off. It’s rude and disrespectful to your market base.

    People who don’t hold the door open when you’re walking through. Not a biggie, but pisses me off no end.

    Snide little bitchy comments from mothers in the school yard. That pisses me off. If you have something to say, here’s my face – look at me and say it.

    But can I tell you? My best friend had a stroke last week. She is 39, has three children under ten and is not getting better. You’ve no idea how that cuts me to pieces. But who do I be angry at with that?

    And suddenly the big stuff seems like pissy, insignificant little stuff.

    I listened to a speaker once who was a recovering cancer patient. She said she had two philosophies in life – No 1. Don’t sweat the small stuff and No 2. It’s all small stuff.

    I try not to let the small stuff piss me off. Some days are better than others.

    • Reply March 27, 2013

      Mrs Woog

      I understand where you are coming from. Thanks for letting me know x

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Instead of stewing over all the petty shit, then exploding in tears and more tears, like I used to, I chat to the dog while I take him for walks. Nearly every day – all the good stuff, all the bad stuff, all the things on the worry list. I just vent! If there are people around, I pop my phone on vibrate and pretend i’m chatting to someone. That way, everything that was pent up that would otherwise make me stew, is out in the open and the stress goes away. He never interrupts, he’s a great listener and we both get our daily dose of exercise.

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Linda J

    Don’t forget that a certain amount of anger is not always a negative force in our lives.

    When we get truly fed up to the back teeth with our situation and determine that we need to make a change, often there’s some anger in the energy mix that moves us forward.

  • Reply March 27, 2013


    Kim & Bubbles – I love your stories, feel every bit of angst. Now I feel sorry for the (useless) bank tellers I almost unleashed on this week, as I do almost every other week. I am that angry woman, almost losing her shit with them each & every time. Grrrr don’t get me started ….. but you would think that after 3 years, they might know me.
    I am sure they have lessons in being RUDE.

  • Reply March 28, 2013

    sweet adelaide

    I’m not an angry person. I like to see the best in people. Forgive them their idiosyncrasies. Forget little slip-ups. But when someone I know, who has a blog and (actually quite sadly) appears to be a very angry person, writes an (unfavourable) entry that is quite obviously about my young* daughter it makes me angry!

    ooh and look, this is how I angrily express my feelings. Of course i’d love to “out” her in some way but really don’t want to provide fuel to her narcissistic fire. Thanks social media for providing such a large public space for these kinds of people to broadcast their distorted truths when their diatribe would normally be restricted to their own houses/cars.

    *and in the particular circumstances -completely blameless

  • Reply March 28, 2013


    yES I have a good therapist too and i know that holding in anger can cause depression. Loud music i can sing too in the car helps and talking to intelligent people is valuable especially if they have been through similar life lessons. Sometimes anger is ok as long as it is something worth getting angry over. Hurling food sounds like great therapy!

  • Reply March 28, 2013

    Annie Also

    I, too, am receiving counselling.
    I am depressed and anxious, and that bit about letting the anger out in a controlled way after pushing it down for weeks/months and it exploding says a lot. I have been advised to ‘let it out bit by bit’ so it doesn’t build up ( I broke a glass once at the feet of my man…) I am practising this ‘bit by bit’ of communication of ‘what is wrong’. It is hard work, putting upset into words but it sure is worth it.
    What makes me angry?
    *Being taken for granted
    * Feeling like I am expendable
    * Injustice in the world
    * In justice in Australia
    * Injustice in my own life.
    Thanks for this piece. Important topic!

  • Reply March 28, 2013


    It is also important to realise that a diet can make us angry. In India and China certain foods are known as bad for the LIVER. Certain foods are GOOD for the Liver. I have not noticed many of the people who eat junk foods propping up their livers with Green salads and veggies. If the liver gets fatty we are unable to control the outbursts and JUNK food is designed to be addictive so round and round we go.

  • Reply March 28, 2013

    Sarah @ Style Unearthed

    People do seem to be getting angrier. I think so many people are time poor, and they get frustrated at having to wait for anything. We’re so used to having everything at our finger tips, that waiting for something is just unfathomable. My anger does get th better of me at times, but I’m really trying not to sweat the small stuff at the moment.

  • Reply March 29, 2013


    I am not an angry person – or rather I don’t hang on to my anger. Mostly I get angry, have something to say and then let it go. But, I live with an angry person. He is angry for all kinds of reasons, some of which have to do with the liver-abusing substances he puts in his body every day. I feel that he spends his working day being nice to his boss and the people that he works with, and that we get the left overs, the paltry dregs. I am angry and sad about this today, and it is difficult to express in words to him.

  • Reply March 31, 2013


    I’ve learnt over the years to expect little from certain family members. My husband of 30 years and I have endured some pretty horrendous behaviour, which people can always seem to justify….I get angry and stew over things far too much whereas he takes, in my opinion, a far better approach, just accepting that this is how people choose to behave. To quote Oprah or possibly someone else “Being angry with someone is like drinking poison and hoping that they will get sick”. I find it best to distance myself from such people and try to get on with my life. Life is too short to waste time on so much negativity.

  • Reply March 31, 2013


    I am glad you shared this! I have been angry a lot lately, and I think this article came in the nick of time.

  • […] Mrs Woog’s Anger Management […]

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  • Reply March 12, 2014


    I became very angry when I became menopausal. I recognised my behaviour was due to this event but I couldn’t control my outbursts which were usually directed at family members and was exacerbated by a total lack of empathy much less sympathyfor me. This was due to the belief in our house that, “We don’t do depression!” It was meant as a bit of a joke as our kids were growing up to present a positive attitude but I bore the brunt of it ultimately. I ended up imploring my husband to recognise that I was momentarily sick in the head and needed his support or I was on the way to going nuts. Only then did he sort of see that I was a bit cuckoo and warmed up to me a bit. Thank goodness that episode has subsided now and I’m more normal. I have a couple of painful memories of my outbursts which could easily have been neutralised had my family been more empathetic. I try not to be too hard on myself.

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