Anger is a powerful emotion, and, when used inappropriately, it can damage relationships in significant ways. Whether you are currently single or in a relationship, understanding the impact that anger can have on you and others may give you insight to educating yourself on effective coping strategies and ways to express anger. When it comes to your love life, Psych Central claims that even mundane instances that occur throughout the day can lead up to resentment, which further harbors anger. Here are the following steps that you should try to follow when feeling angry:
- Utilize “I” statements rather than “you” statements. Say “I feel resentful because X happened,” rather than “You did X and you shouldn’t have done that.”
- Recognize moments where you are placing inappropriate blame on your partner, and exercise compassion. Psychology Today notes that if you’ve been conditioned to blame others, or life in general, when things don’t go your way, this can lead to you mistreating your partner and it’s your responsibility to recognize this and practice healthy ways of arguing.
- Count to “10” before speaking, so that it gives you more time to think before you speak.
- Practice active listening. Psych Central claims that repeating back what your partner is saying can help you to better understand where they are coming from, which will help them feel heard. This will make any argument or discussion go much more smoothly.
- Practice tools in your head to help you view your anger as less “serious”. For example, if you’re feeling angry towards your coworker and you view them as a “dirt bag”, imagine them as a literal bag of dirt, talking on the phone. This form of imagery can help you de-escalate your anger and the silliness can help you regain some of that control back.
The American Psychological Association notes that along with imagery, combatting your anger with logic can help you tone down feelings of aggression. If you find yourself saying “always” or “never”, replace those words with “sometimes” or “at times”. When we use statements that involve an indefinite amount of time, we hold ourselves back from finding a solution and we may feel even more justified in being angry, which will not help the situation. If you feel that your anger has really damaged your relationship, consider attending anger management therapy and even couple’s therapy to develop healthy alternatives to expressing anger.
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