How to Make Peace with Anger

Do you have trouble accessing or expressing anger? Here’s how to build a healthy relationship with it.

Matt Gangloff
7 min readMar 7, 2022


I learned the power of anger in the backwoods of Missouri, on an Army Base called Fort Leonard Wood.

Or, as the bus driver called it, smirking as if he’d come up with it himself, “Fort Lost in the Woods, Misery.”

On that base, there’s a 47-foot-tall tower. And the day I learned about anger, on top of it stood two men — one Drill Sergeant and one Private.

The Drill Sergeant is straight out of the movies , complete with that deep, gravelly voice. He’s towering over the Private who couldn’t be more his opposite.

I can’t tell if his helmet is on crooked or if that’s just how his head is shaped. He looks like he didn’t drink enough milk as a kid. He’s frozen there, eyes locked on the Drill Sergeant.

He’s attached to a rope. That rope’s attached to the tower at one end and the other end plunges off the edge into nothingness.

They call it “repelling” but it’s more like a test of courage and the private is currently failing that test, a fact of which I’m keenly aware because I’m in line to go next.

“SHOW ME YOUR WAR FACE,” the Drill Sergeant barks at the Private.

The Private bears his crooked, gray teeth, shivering like a Shitzu.

“THAT’S NOT A WAR FACE! SHOW ME YOUR WAR FACE! YAAAAAAH,” the Drill snaps, now, just inches from the Private’s face.

His voice squeaking and cracking, and at a higher pitch than the Drill Sergeant’s, like a Husky puppy learning to howl, the Private growls back.

And now these two men stand atop the Warrior Tower inches apart, snarling back and forth at full volume, roiling to a crescendo.

“NOW, GO!”

And the Private disappears off the edge.


That’s one of the most important things they teach you in Basic Training — how to get angry.



Matt Gangloff

I teach the how-to’s of Post-Traumatic Growth: How to heal and grow, find a new mission, become your best self and build a meaningful life.