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To Sam

Lonley

I sometimes get really angry, and end up taking it out on my friends. I feel so bad after, but I hate apologising, it makes me feel weak. My Mum says it might be hormones, but I dont think it is. I'm worried I am becoming a bully...I dont like the idea of being a bully, and I'm worried Im going to get in trouble at school if I do. Please give me some advice...
From L
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi L,

Thanks for your letter.

It sounds like you’re concerned about taking out your angry feelings on your friends. You said that you’re worried about becoming a bully. I think you’ve been really brave to recognise that you might need to change some of your behaviour. Well done for asking for some help with this.

Although you don’t agree with mum that your feelings are caused by hormones, it’s true to say that young people often feel quite overwhelmed by strong emotions like anger when they reach puberty. It can be scary to have these strong feelings and not know how to deal with them.

I can hear that you don’t like the way your anger makes you behave with your friends. This tells me that you are a considerate and caring person. You are doing exactly the right thing by talking about your angry feelings and this is one way of getting some of the anger out more safely. Hopefully learning to express your anger in a more controlled way will stop you from saying things you regret to your friends. Another way of doing this is to keep a journal of how you feel each day. Then you will learn to recognise the things that trigger your anger and it’ll help you manage it better.

Doing physical exercise or sport will also help to release some anger. There are also safe ways to express anger, like hitting a pillow until you’re tired, or twisting a towel as hard as you can. Find somewhere where you can scream as loud as you want, or scream into a duvet.

Talking to a ChildLine counsellor could also help you to understand and manage your anger better. You can do that by phoning 0800 1111, or by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat. Take a look at what other young people are saying about anger on our message boards. You could also check out the helpful advice on the Kidscape and Young Minds websites.

Well done again for writing in, I hope this helps.

Take care,

Sam.

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