What's eating Naomi?

Last week she lost her temper in public... again. But exploders like her are in less danger than those who bottle it up, learns Sarah Harris (an inveterate imploder)

Share

Naomi Campbell's anger steals so many headlines it should probably get its own agent. Last week it landed her in trouble yet again when police questioned her for allegedly assaulting her counsellor and leaving the woman with claw marks across her face. It's not the first time the authorities have questioned the supermodel over alleged assault charges. In fact, it's the eighth time. She is also awaiting trial in New York over claims she threw a jewel-encrusted BlackBerry at her personal assistant.

I may not be rich or famous, but I do know how to keep my personal organiser in my Gucci handbag. Naomi has forged a glittering career as an haute couture clothes horse and grand dame of the huge outburst. I, however, have always prided myself on my pathological aversion to making a scene.

But after a lengthy session with Mike Fisher, founder of the British Association of Anger Management, I find I may have more in common with Campbell than I thought.

I never lose my temper, I tell Mike as I settle down on to his leather sofa for my anger management session. He smiles and explains that this is probably because I suffer from "implosive" as opposed to "explosive" anger. Apparently we "imploders" are prone to swallow our anger because we lack self-esteem and fear rejection, and this can cause indigestion, jaw problems, skin irritation, migraines and even cancer. I'm gutted. I've always felt vaguely heroic about my ability to contain myself, whereas exploders are prone to violent, irrational outbursts, creating chaos for those around them.

"Naomi is a hothead who suffers from high-chair tyrant tactics," explains Mike, "Every time someone doesn't do what she asks, she just throws a wobbly."

He says that anger is a healthy feeling until you cross the line and you think that you're omnipotent - and that's when it often becomes violent.

However, Campbell is in the minority. Around 45 per cent of Mike's clients are women and he believes that women are taught from a very young age that anger is a dangerous emotion.

"Turning our anger in on ourselves may appear to cause us little harm," says Mike, "but an imploder is a walking time bomb. The longer their anger is held in, the more damage it does them, both physically and emotionally." Which is why, he argues, you get higher numbers of female smokers and more women being medicated for depression.

Anger is everywhere: on sweaty trains, lurking behind your desk or even sitting next to you on a plane. A recent survey revealed that 45 per cent of us lose our tempers at work, 71 per cent of internet users have admitted to net fury, and 50 per cent have reacted to computer glitches by hitting their PC.

The key to all anger management, explains Mike, is communication. He gives me a few tips. Imagine a crowded, hot, rush-hour Tube carriage. Your face is buried in someone's armpit, and there is a man behind you whose briefcase keeps banging against your leg. Mike suggests that you "back off, stop, think and take a look at the bigger picture". Count backwards from 21 to one, breathe in for seven seconds and out for 11, and this will create time for you to feel your feelings, forgive yourself and the other person and prevent you doing something which you might later regret. Many people find yoga, meditation, gardening, punch bags or shouting into a pillow therapeutic.

The next step is dealing with confrontation, which Mike calls "the clearing process". That is expressing anger in a way that is "clean, healing and empowering". You should ask the other person whether they have 15 minutes to "clear the issue up", and ask them to listen while you explain your feelings, needs and wants, and offer them the chance to respond. The prospect of requesting 15 minutes with the object of my wrath makes me want to run for the nearest hill.

"You avoid confrontation because you don't believe that you have a right to be angry. Don't take things so seriously," he says.

Going down to the Tube, with Mike's words buzzing in my head, a man shoves past me, as if on cue. I smile sweetly, mutter an apology and hope I've made a good impression. But if anyone else does it, I'm going to punch their lights out.

The British Association of Anger Management: 0845-1300 286

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas