Good News. It’s OK to be angry.
Anger is simply another natural human emotion, which is neither good nor bad.
SOURCES OF ANGER:
For most of us, anger stems from hurt, frustration, disappointment or simply being ticked off at some person, place, thing or situation.
The real problem is not that I get angry, everyone does. The real problem is how I handle my anger and how I decide to express it. And, it is healthy to express one’s anger.
Anger is often fueled by little things
To more effectively control anger, it’s worth the effort to ascertain the “real” issue,” and address it.
CONTROLLED OR BE CONTROLLED:
It is healthy to express one’s anger.
Try not to “stuff” your feelings. Repression and avoidance only worsens the situation and it can lead to more serious problems, emotionally and physically.
So, the name of the game is to learn to control angry feelings, rather than allow the angry feelings to control us.
SOME WAYS TO DEAL WITH ANGER:
When you feel anger beginning to well up, tell your partner you need to take a break. It’s called a “time out,” much like the time out many of us enforce on our children. Fifteen minutes can pretty well do the trick. It helps to sit quietly and take deep breaths. By breathing deeply, and in as little as seven seconds, feelings of anger, which once threatened to overwhelm, begin to disappear.
By the way, don’t just split. Tell your partner you’ll be back in 15 minutes and you’d like to make another attempt at resolving the issue.
A quick walk can help, while a brief jog is also effective.
When you do return, begin the conversation by using “I Statements.” As an example, “Susan, I love you. I care about you. I really don’t enjoy fighting. The last thing I want to do is be hurtful.”
“I Statements are best used in place of “You Statements,” which tend to put your partner on the defensive. “You Statements” imply blame and fault and are often phrased as accusations.
“I Statements” simply share what you are feeling inside of you. They are non-accusatory and non-blaming.
I statements are an expression of your feelings. They can also help reduce the stress between you and your partner.
Before sharing your thoughts, think carefully about what you want to say. Be constructive. Do not accuse your partner of anything. He or she is probably hurting as badly as you.
Take a piece of paper and write down the issues you want to address. Two at most. Then stay on topic. Do not bring up past problems.
Have a filter and use it. Not everything needs to be said, no matter how you are feeling.
If you and your partner can’t resolve at least one of the two issues in 15 minutes, agree to disagree. Move on to another issues. If after 15 minutes that too remains, make an effort to stop and simply agree to disagree.
For most of us, this is a new way of handling our anger and, the good news is, it works, if we work it.
By Jerry Miller, LMFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist at Arvon and Associates in Counseling