Strategies For Anger Control and Conflict-Resolution

0 = I do not use this strategy at all.

2 = I use this strategy only a little.

4 = I use this strategy some, but not very much.

6 = I use this strategy moderately often or pretty much.

8 = I use this strategy highly often or to a high extent.

10 = I use this strategy extremely often or to a very high extent.

Goal Setting

_____1 I am aware of the power that people often get by aggression, and I remind myself that despite this, I have a strong goal of avoiding hurtful words or actions except when absolutely necessary as a last resort.

Internal Sales Pitch, and Motives

_____ 2 I have a written list of the reasons why I want to get better at anger control and nonviolent, respectful conflict-resolution, and I review that list regularly.

_____3 I have convinced myself that I want to avoid revenge or sadism; be very careful with motives of dominance, defense, punishment, and stimulus-seeking; and to cultivate motives of avoiding harm, self-discipline, problem-solving, empathy and understanding, and kindness and friendship.

“Getting Anger” Out Versus Practicing

_____ 4 I have convinced myself that the strategy of “getting anger out” by yelling or hitting things or making other angry displays does not work, and that practicing wise, good responses to provocations does work.

Lists of Provocations

­­­_____ ­­­5 I have a written list of the situations that have made me more angry than I want to be, and I add to this list whenever a new situation comes up.

_____ 6 I know where to find a “standard” list of provocations that other people have found challenging, and I have convinced myself that practicing with provocations I’ve never experienced and may never experience is very useful in learning anger control.

Alternatives to Violence or Verbal Aggression

_____7 I know the meaning of, and can remember, the “Ida Craft” behaviors that are alternatives to aggression: ignoring, differential reinforcement, assertion, conflict-resolution protocol, criticism protocol, relaxation, rule of law, away from the situation, apologizing, friendliness, force of nonviolent nature, and tones of voice that are calm.

_____8 I know the meaning of, and can remember, ways of feeling other than anger, that might be useful in provocation situations: determined, curious, cool and calculating, sympathetic, humble (about my own imperfections), and proud (of my own good choices).

_____9 I know the meaning of, and can remember, ways of responding to criticism (TP Paarisec): Thank you, permission-giving, planning to ponder or problem-solve, agreeing with part of criticism, asking for more specific criticism, reflection, I want statement, silent eye contact, explaining the reason, criticizing the critic.

_____10 I know the meaning of, and can remember, the Dr. L.W. Aap steps in conflict-resolution: defining, reflecting, listing, waiting, advantages, agreeing, and politeness.

_____11 I know the meaning of, and can remember, the 12 thought classification: awfulizing, getting down on yourself, blaming someone else, not awfulizing, not getting down on yourself, not blaming someone else, goal-setting, listing options and choosing, learning from experience, celebrating luck, celebrating someone else’s choice, and celebrating your own choice.

Relaxation and Meditation and Biofeedback

_____12 I know several techniques of relaxation and meditation, (for example: breathe and relax, mind-watching, mantra, psychological skills meditation, good will meditation, images of kindness meditation) and I use at least one of them very often, as part of my daily routine.

_____13 I use biofeedback regularly to help me take control of my body’s responses to situations.

Brainstorming Options

_____14 I practice, with many imagined provocations, thinking of lots of nonviolent and ethical options. I do the same thing with real provocations when they come up.

Twelve Thought and Four Thought Exercise

_____15 I practice the twelve thought exercise with many imagined provocations.

_____14. I practice the four thought exercise (not awfulizing, goal-setting, listing options and choosing, and celebrating your own choice) with many imagined provocations.

STEBC Fantasy Rehearsals

_____16 I practice STEBC fantasy rehearsals (situation, thoughts, emotions, behavior, celebration) with many imagined provocations.

Nonpunitive Power

_____17 I am familiar with the ways that people get power and influence without threatening or doing harm to others, and I am working on increasing my power in some of those ways.

Emotional Climate

_____18 I’m familiar with things to say to improve the emotional climates of relationships, and I work on saying those things more often, using fantasy rehearsal and real-life practice.


_____19 I use physical exercise as a way of relieving pent-up, restless, or irritable feelings, as well as for fun and health.


_____20 I get adequate hours of sleep, and I maintain a fairly regular sleep rhythm.


_____ 21 I avoid misuse of any drug or substance known to increase people’s aggression. Alcohol is the most common of these.


_____22 I avoid entertainment violence or other models of unwise aggressive action. (This does not count instances of violence that one studies for the purpose of learning about them in order to reduce them.)


_____23 If anyone seeks to help me by rewarding friendly, nonviolent and respectful behavior, and penalizing in some reasonable way my aggressive behavior, I try to welcome and be thankful for the person’s efforts, rather than opposing them.


_____24 I keep track of how I’m doing in the goal of anger control and conflict-resolution, and I celebrate my progress. I try to remember each success.

Joseph Strayhorn, M.D.