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Why is it hard to express your anger in English? (Plus 3 techniques)

Expressing ourselves in a second language can sometimes feel like a challenge – especially when it comes to an emotion like anger 🤐. That’s why today I want to encourage you to tap into a different side of English, a side that allows you to express your anger, because sometimes, we need to be angry!

In this video, we will explore three different techniques for expressing anger, empowering you to communicate your emotions effectively and confidently.


Podcast intro:

Welcome to the InFluency Podcast. I’m Hadar, and this is episode number 321. Today we are going to talk about being angry in English.

So one of the things I believe are challenging for my students, and maybe for you, dear your listener, is to express strong emotions in English, and in particular in a second language. Right? It’s not just the English language, it’s another language that is not your native language, where you’re not internally connected to all your emotions in that language.

And it might not be the case for everyone, but sometimes we feel like we need to give ourselves extra permission to be able to be angry in English. And even when we do, we may not let all our emotions out or fully out. And I wanted to create a practice that will help you experience what it feels like to express anger in English.

You know, in my programs, and in particular, inside of New Sound – my program, my signature program, I have a specific exercise that we do during the Mindset Module, where I ask my students to memorize a very intense monologue, I call it the power speech. And I ask them to record themselves on video performing that monologue.

And why? Because I believe that being able to, first of all recall the words easily. And if you struggle with memorizing words, then I have a special episode about how to do that, I’m going to link to it. I’m excited that I have that resource for you now. So once they memorize it, they don’t have to think about the words, it’s easy to concentrate on the emotion.

And then also to talk about different intonation patterns or just tapping into your angry part in you, which is important to know how to express it, and to use intonation and your voice to express anger. So, we do that when we do the power speech. And today I wanna do that with different parts and different scenes from TV and movies.

So I collected a few clips from movies where we are going to practice those scenes where the characters are very angry. And by that we’re gonna talk about intonation, but also give you permission to be angry in English. So close the door, make sure you are on your own, maybe you can be in your car. And let’s do it.

Video transcript:

How do you express anger?

How do you express anger using your voice?

For many people, it is very hard to express anger in any language, even in their first language, let alone when it comes to expressing anger in a second language. However, connecting your voice with your emotions can help you feel more expressive, authentic, connected with your emotions, and also will help you create rapport with a person you’re speaking to. It’ll also help you get what you want and say what you wanna say. But more importantly, expressing your anger will help you release the negative energy that is in your body and help you move on with your day.

In this video, we’re gonna do three things to help you express your strong emotions using your voice. First, I’m gonna teach you an exercise to help you connect your voice with your emotions. The second thing is I’m gonna teach you some phrases to use when you are angry. And through that we’re gonna practice expressing your anger. And three, we’re gonna imitate a scene where strong emotions are portrayed. And you are going to allow yourself to be angry using someone else’s words.

By the way, if you are new to my channel, my name is Hadar, I’m a non-native speaker of English, and I am here to help you speak English with clarity, confidence, and freedom. You can check out my website at hadarshemesh.com where I have a ton of exercises for you and free downloads for you to build your confidence and fluency and pronunciation in English. And you can also follow me on Instagram and TikTok for daily motivation and practice.

So the first thing is I’m gonna teach you an exercise to help you connect your voice with your emotion. By the way, I recommend that you do these exercises when you’re on your own. So close the door, get in the car, or go into the shower, and make sure that there’s no one around you so you don’t feel like someone’s judging you. We don’t need that, not today.

All right. So let’s get started. I want you to stand up and make sure that your knees are loose, right, so you wanna bounce them around. And now we’re gonna release sound. So you’re gonna take a deep breath into your belly and then you’re gonna release sound on your breath and try to go as low as possible.

When the voice resonates in your chest and you connect with your lower pitch, the lower pitch of your voice, then this is where you can tap into all the emotions that you have inside your belly. All right, so let’s take a deep breath and release air. Now let’s take a deep breath and release sound: [ah].

Now pay attention that you’re not releasing your voice from up here, or that your voice is not stuck here. All right? We don’t wanna yell. You just want to release sound on top of your breath. Okay? So shake your body a little bit, bounce your knees, and let’s do it again.

Now I want you to do it again, and I want you to bounce your knees as you’re releasing sound, and you want the sound to be affected by it. Let’s do it. All right, good. So, the more you do it, the more you connect your voice with your breath. And when you do that, when you’re able to do that, when the voice is not detached from your breath, you are more likely to be able to connect it with your emotions in your body.

So if you’re doing this and you’re tapping into a sound that you’re not used to experiencing, you may be surprised to notice that you’re starting to feel all these different feelings. It really taps into areas in your soul, sometimes, that you weren’t connected to.

All right. The second thing is that we’re gonna take some phrases and we’re gonna charge them with emotion. So the first phrase is going to be ‘No way’. Okay? ‘No way’. So it’s a good vocabulary practice as well, and connected speech. ‘No way’. ‘No way’. Okay. Take a deep breath. ‘No way!’ Let’s do it again. Take a deep breath. ‘No way!’ One more time. ‘No way!’ Now, when you do this, you can also put in front of you someone that you have always wanted to speak up to or to say ‘no way’ to, and that might even help you connect with those emotions.

All right. Now, let’s say ‘How dare you’. ‘How dare you’. Stress is on the ‘dare’. ‘How dare you’. ‘How dare you’. All right, let’s take a deep breath. ‘How dare you!’ And if you feel like you’re straining your voice: [how dare you] or [how dare you], try to bring your voice as low as possible, okay? Connect it with your breath, breathe into your belly, and try it again. ‘How dare you!’ ‘No way!’ ‘How dare you!’ One last one: cut it out. ‘Cut it out’. ‘Cut it out!’ ‘Cut it out!’ Or, ‘Stop it!’ ‘Stop it!’ ‘Cut it out!’ ‘Stop it!’ ‘Cut it out! ‘Stop it!’. All right. Let’s shake. Shake it out.

All right. Last but not least, we’re gonna take a scene and we’re gonna practice it together. Now, I have more scenes that are very powerful on my website, so you can just click the link below to get it. But this is something that I often do with my students, it’s called the Power Speech, where they need to memorize a scene where strong emotions are expressed, and they need to make it their own.

And I wanna tell you a story of one of my students, her name is Juliet. And Juliet had a very soft spoken voice, beautiful, delicate voice. And there she had to do the power speech, and she did a magnificent job. And afterwards she told us, “I did not even think it was possible for my voice to be this powerful. I never gave myself permission to feel angry, let alone to express my anger.” And that was an ‘aha’ moment for her. And all it took was one exercise where she allowed herself to explore other areas of her voice and of her emotions.

So the scene we’re gonna practice is from ‘Shameless’. And let’s take a quick look at the beginning of the scene.

“I was nine! Nine, and taking care of you, taking care of all of us. I was in fourth grade dragging your ass, passed out, in from the yard so you wouldn’t freeze to death. Staying up all night with Ian when he had chickenpox. I washed Carl’s shitty diapers. I picked lice out of Liam’s hair. And I was here when Debbie got her first period. Not Monica.”

So we’re gonna practice together just the first few sentences, but if you wanna practice the rest or other scenes, then go to my website. All right, let’s do it.

“I was nine!” ‘I was nine!’ Now, if you want to improve this exercise, think about what this character is experiencing. In this case, it’s betrayal and abandonment and anger and frustration, right, all of these different emotions. You can even tap into that emotion and think about what it means for you, how it feels like inside your body. And try to channel it through the words. ‘I was nine!’ ‘I was nine!’ Try it again. And again.

“Nine, and taking care of you”. ‘Nine, and taking care of you’. All right. Go full out. You’re angry, you’re frustrated. ‘And taking care of you!’ Let’s do it again. ‘And taking care of you!’

“Taking care of all of us.” So the sentence here is: Taking care of all of us. So first, let’s get comfortable with the pronunciation: taking care of all of us. It’s all connected. ‘Taking care of all of us’. ‘Taking care of all of us’. Right? So now breathe in, and with anger or whatever strong emotion that comes up: ‘Taking care of all of us!’ Again. ‘Taking care of all of us!’

“I was in fourth grade dragging your ass, passed out, in from the yard.” ‘I was in fourth grade, dragging your ass, passed out, in from the yard’. ‘dragging your ass, passed out, in from the yard’.

“so you wouldn’t freeze to death”. ‘so you wouldn’t freeze to death’. Stress is on ‘freeze’. ‘so you wouldn’t freeze to death’. ‘so you wouldn’t freeze to death’.

“Staying up all night with Ian when he had chickenpox”. ‘Staying up all night’. ‘Staying up all night with Ian’. ‘Staying up all night with Ian’. Now charge it: ‘Staying up all night with Ian!’ ‘When he had chickenpox’. ‘When he had chickenpox’. Now charge it: ‘when he had chickenpox!’ Good.

Now I’m gonna show you the clip and the line and you repeat it.

“I was nine!”

“Nine, and taking care of you,”

“taking care of all of us.”

“I was in fourth grade dragging your ass, passed out, in from the yard”

“so you wouldn’t freeze to death”.

“Staying up all night with Ian when he had chickenpox.”

All right. Let’s take a deep breath, and shake it out. Good.

All right, my friend, you did great, great job. Okay, so a quick recap: to be able to connect your voice with your strong emotions, here’s what we did. First, we did a vocal exercise to help you connect your deeper voice with your breath, and recognizing that your entire body is a part of it. Second, we took some phrases that express anger, and we used them and we charged them with our strong emotions. And the third thing we did is we practiced a power speech – a strong monologue or dialogue, where we use someone else’s lines to express our own emotions.

I hope this was helpful. Like I said, there are more resources on my website, so check it out, the link is in the comments, in the description. And I would love to hear from you – how you feel, what you think about it, how this exercise made you feel. And of course, if you like this video or exercise, whether you are a native speaker of English or a non-native speaker of English, please share this video with your friends, your family, your students. And subscribe if you’d like to get updates about my weekly videos. Also, you can always find me on Instagram’s DM, I’m very available there.

All right. I hope you have a beautiful, beautiful rest of the day, filled with all the possible emotions that you would like to experience. Take care, and I’ll see you next week in the next video. Bye.

The InFluency Podcast
321. Why is it hard to express your anger in English? (Plus 3 techniques)

Continue your practice with these powerful scenes:

Shameless (2011)

Watch the full scene


She left! I was nine! Nine, and taking care of you, taking care of all of us. I was in fourth grade, dragging your ass passed out in from the yard so you wouldn’t freeze to death. Staying up all night with Ian when he had chicken pox. I washed Carl’s shitty diapers, I picked lice out of Liam’s hair. And I was here when Debbie got her first period, not Monica, me. And never you, you were too fucking loaded.

How to Get Away with Murder (2014)

Watch the full scene


– So you’ll forgive everyone but me.

– Why is it so hard for you to follow instructions?

– You meant something to me. I’ve never met anyone like you, someone successful and outspoken and nice.

– I was nice until you lied to my face…

– For my friend whose father killed her boyfriend.

– Lower your voice.

– I just wanna make things right. Please let me.

– You knew what I gave up for this job. My girlfriend, friends, a family. It was worth it because I was about to be crown king of this firm. But look at me now, playing second fiddle to Annalise and taking orders from another flawed white man who keeps failing up.
And if that weren’t bad enough, I have to see you in the Halls, giddily building your career while mine’s on life support. We’re way past you making anything damn right, Michaela.

Better Call Saul (2015)

Watch the full scene


You’re sorry… You’re sorry? You killed my brother, and you say you’re sorry? Lemme tell you something. The job offer, it didn’t upset me. It amused me. Big job at the illustrious HHM. Chance to play at the palace. Little old me? You have no idea what’s going on. You’re a teensy tiny man in a teensy weensy little bubble!

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3 Responses

  1. Haddar you inspires me to Improve my English speaking and listening you ate a wonderful teacher because I can see your pation for teach your videos are so interesting that I can see allá days and everyday I learn so much with you
    God bless you and continue teaching with that Energy that you have

  2. It is so good
    Thank you for you
    Because of you have to give being a confiden and encouragement

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