Basketball champ to talk ‘Taming the Angry Ant’

Brad Robbins 2 3

Former captain of the Perth Wildcats, Brad Robbins will be in Margaret River this month to talk about ‘Taming the Angry Ant’. Picture supplied by A Stitch in Time.

As a representative of Mindful Margaret River, I have been asked to write a short article to encourage men in the region to attend a lecture/workshop called ‘Taming the Angry Ant’ with Brad Robbins from the Perth Wildcats.

Brad Robbins is a retired professional basketball player and a passionate mental health advocate who has made a significant impact both on and off the court. He is known for his tenacity and leadership in basketball, but his journey extends beyond sports. Brad has fearlessly shared his struggles with mental health to raise awareness and break down stigmas. Brad has been a driving force within the Stitch in Time team, delivering powerful speeches and workshops to promote mental well-being.

Brad’s authentic approach and vulnerability has resonated with audiences, empowering others to prioritise their mental well-being. He continues to make a difference through his involvement in mental health initiatives, driven by a genuine desire to create a supportive and understanding society.

It’s important to understand that anger is a normal emotion that plays a crucial role in stimulating action to address a potential threat. It is a part of the Fight or Flight response and is automatic and subconscious. The intensity of our emotional response to anger is both inherited and learned, mostly during childhood.

To manage anger, it’s essential to identify when we are experiencing it. During the workshop, we will learn how to recognise the signs of anger and how to respond to it effectively. I encourage all men to attend this event and learn some valuable techniques to manage their anger.

That feeling of tension and pressure is a common experience. However, it can be expressed in different ways, which can be either healthy or unhealthy.

Controlled anger can be useful in situations of danger or threat and even in sports, while uncontrolled anger can be harmful to both people and property.

Unhealthy anger can lead to violence and controlling behaviour. Repressed anger is an example of closed anger, when the anger is below the surface, and there is a need to acknowledge it.

Passive aggression is a behaviour in which a person expresses their anger indirectly, often through sulking, moodiness, or sarcasm. It is important to recognise this behaviour for what it is: anger.

Peter Durey Selfie 2020

Dr Peter Durey, retired GP and Deputy Chair Mindful Margaret River.

Internalised anger is another type, in which the person turns their anger inward and can lead to depression, shame, or even physical health problems like an increased risk of cancer, delayed healing, or increased pain.

Finally, cumulative anger is a type of anger that builds up over time, leading to more and more pressure. It is important to address anger in healthy ways to avoid negative consequences.

Sometimes anxiety and fear can manifest as anger, which can be confusing for both the person experiencing it and those around them.

Another type of anger is what we call Social Anger, which occurs when a person feels disconnected from society or from other people.

Social media can often exacerbate this type of anger, as people may express themselves more harshly online than they would in person, and may avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Additionally, some individuals may have a tendency to blame others for their problems, rather than taking a closer look at their own role in the situation. For example, someone who causes a car accident while speeding may be quick to blame the other driver, rather than acknowledging their own responsibility for the crash.

It’s important to take responsibility for your anger and its consequences. Sometimes when we’re angry, we may lash out at innocent people or damage property. Expressing anger in a healthy way means being respectful to others and yourself.

You should own your feelings and ensure that the expression of your anger is beneficial to both yourself and the recipient. It’s not just about getting it off your chest. It’s also about learning from the experience.

When dealing with anger, firstly, it is important to recognise it within yourself. Try to reframe the situation that is causing it and be truthful about your reaction to it. Look for the right words to express your feelings and use “I” messages, like “I feel angry”, rather than using “U” messages, like “you stupid idiot”.

Keep in mind that you are often angry about the behaviour, not the person, so it’s better to say something like “I am really angry about what you did”.

Take some time to slow down and count to three or a hundred, walk away, take some deep breaths, or engage in physical activity to calm yourself down.

Please keep in mind the following advice: Delay your response, but not for too long. Let the other person know that you want to talk about the matter at a later time. It’s crucial to tailor your reaction to the person you’re speaking with. For example, you wouldn’t shout at a small child or an elderly person. Furthermore, it’s important to take responsibility for your own actions and acknowledge that you may have played a part in the situation. These are just a few tips to help you handle difficult conversations. I encourage you to attend the evening or share this information with your friends.

Taming the Angry Ant is on Wednesday March 20 from 6pm at the Augusta Margaret River Football Club. To register for the free event, visit

Peter Durey is a retired General Practitioner who has lived and worked in Margaret River for 18 years. Peter is a volunteer and Board member with Mindful Margaret River and is passionate about the holistic health of his community.

Mindful Margaret River is an incorporated, not-for-profit association of volunteers, mental health professionals, government agencies, and community representatives working together to promote mental health and wellbeing in Augusta Margaret River.

Originally published in the Augusta Margaret River Mail 13 March 2024

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