Using Role Play to Diffuse Anger
Role play is a highly effective communication tool that enables individuals to explore situations, feelings and emotions that are expressed in many environments and for many purposes. Using role play in order to understand, and manage, anger and frustration can provide an individual with another perspective on the situation, as well as an understanding of constructive use of behaviour.
ObjectivesThe main objectives of using role play to diffuse angry situations is to enable individuals to understand that conflict can actually become a positive encounter. This will also widen emotional vocabulary and provide a better understanding of the way in which anger manifests and the effects that it has. A clear understanding also provides an opportunity to acknowledge inappropriate behaviour and ways of finding more constructive anger management outcomes.
Working With FeelingsAt the start of an anger management role play session it is helpful to compile a list of emotions and feelings, so that the individuals involved in role play have a clear understanding of negative and positive responses. A topic can then be chosen. For example - What makes someone angry? To get the most from the role play experience individuals should be encouraged to reflect on an occasion when they have expressed anger before exploring the topic further. This will enable them to understand the importance of the exercise and how they can share experiences in a positive way.
Role Play MethodTo get the most from a role play experience it is recommended that the individuals work with a facilitator. This person will offer impartial support and guidance before, during and after the role play exercises. In a work environment the facilitator role would best suit someone who is a good listener, has a good rapport with others and offers encouragement and inspiration to others. If using role play exercises with individuals outside of a structured environment, for instance in the home environment, it is also important to find someone suitable to fill the facilitator’s position.
Once the facilitator has outlined and explained the role play objectives individuals will be able to take turns expressing and openly reflecting feelings and emotions regarding experiences of anger, stress and frustration. Taking turns enables everyone to share personal experiences and insight, as well as the opportunity to learn positive anger management techniques and expressions of appropriate behaviour in all situations.