Uncontrolled anger ruins many relationships. In challenging times, we can feel stressed, angry and ready to blow like a pressure cooker. Frequent angry conflicts can destroy respect and relationships at work and home. People who manage anger well have better relationships, better health and greater success in life than people who lose control of anger.
Occasional angry blowups are normal in any relationship. A healthy choice is to see them as a wake-up call to find the win-win remedy for an irritation.
If uncontrolled anger is ruining your relationships, you can learn to manage anger and keep love alive. Learn how to disarm the causes of anger and use 8 tools of anger control, as explained in this summary of Hadley Finch’s radio discussion with Dr. Anthony Fiore, a top anger control coach.
Why is it important to understand the cause of our anger?
Understanding the cause of anger can help you control it. People often express anger for three reasons:
When they don’t get what they want
When they aren’t being heard or validated
When they feel disconnected and want to be closer in a relationship.
Is anger ever an effective communication tool?
The more anger you vent, the more you drive someone away. So anger doesn’t help you get what you want unless it’s handled correctly by anger venters, and also by anger stuffers who pretend they’re not angry when they are angry deep inside.
If you feel you’re beyond anger because your partner is lesser than you or you’ve given up trying to solve the anger problem, this is an attitude of contempt. It’s the death blow of most relationships and the greatest predictor of divorce.
If you want to save a relationship and keep love alive, it is essential to learn how to deal effectively with troubling issues as they arise by practicing–
8 Tools To Control Anger and Keep Love Alive
1. Reduce stress in your life and in your relationship
When you’re stressed, you can react irrationally. Identify the issues that cause stress and either avoid or resolve them. If caffeine revs up stress, you may have to give it up or switch to decaf. If anger boils up when your defenses are down under the influence of alcohol, then don’t do alcohol and conflict resolution at the same time.
2. Develop empathy for the other person
See through their eyes, walk in their shoes, think their thoughts, so you understand what makes them angry. These insights will help you resolve or avoid the anger triggers.
3. Respond instead of react
We react when we do things automatically with the certain triggers, like a knee jerk reaction. Even though this doesn’t bring us the results we want, we keep repeating the behavior.
We respond when we choose behaviors that lead to positive outcomes. You can respond in new ways that decrease the probability that you’ll trigger an angry reaction from your partner.
4. Change your self talk
It’s not as much about what someone did, as what we tell ourselves about what they did that triggers our anger. You can retrain your self talk about what you think of someone’s behavior to change your emotional reaction to it.
Many times you over-react to things because of your previous life experience or baggage. Once you’re aware of your negative self talk, you can replace it with positives that lead to forward progress.
5. Assertive communication
Let someone know where you stand on an issue and set your boundaries without offending them.
Speak calmly from your heart to their heart, so it isn’t experienced as hostile criticism. Understand that you can’t change another person. You only can change your reaction to behavior or character traits that irritate you. When you start to change, you often pull different, improved behavior from your partner.
6. Adjust your expectations
Anger is often generated not by what happened but because what happened is so different from what you expected. It’s not that you expect less so you won’t be disappointed. We encourage you to be realistic about what to expect in marriage or relationships, so you don’t keep getting upset over things that may never change. Let your partner be who they are and vice versa.
7. Forgive but don’t forget
You let go of resentment of hurtful things people did to you, instead of letting it fester for years. You don’t forget what was done and you won’t allow it to happen again. Through forgiveness, you disconnect emotionally from it.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself because it frees you from the pain of your past. If you can’t give up the pain, it festers and will bring down the relationship.
8. Retreat and think things over
Take a time out to step back from an anger trigger so you don’t react in the usual ways. The amygdala in our brain is hard wired to destroy a threat, so you may need to consciously over-rule your reptilian brain and choose to behave in smarter ways.
Taking a time out is not like sweeping the issue under the rug; it’s taking time to reflect and find out the best way to resolve an issue. In a calm moment you go back to discuss and solve the issue.
What if you want to use these tools to manage anger but your partner refuses?
If abusive angry behavior doesn’t stop, then it’s best you protect yourself and separate from that relationship.
If you start to change your own behaviors, you will pull different behaviors from your partner, and they will feel less defensive and act less angry. This is how you start positive changes and see how your partner responds.
A healthy choice is to see anger as a wake up call for positive action. When you begin to feel anger bubble up, take a deep breath and ask yourself:
What can I learn from this irritation?
Do I have old resentments I can let go of?
How can I suggest other words someone could say to make their point without hurting my feelings or making me mad?
How can I make a better choice than my typical angry reaction?
When you find the answers and take action on them, you break through an angry rut and shake things up in positive ways that keep love alive.
If anger is a serious block against greater love and success, you can get additional help to manage anger in the privacy of your own home when you work in an online course with Dr. Tony Fiore at http://www.angercontrolcoach.com
And I’ll give you all the relationship success tools you need to be even more successful and build better relationships with everyone in your life when you begin your program at http://GreaterSuccessAndLove.com
Love deeply and live your dreams now,