This is an area that is vital to understand and know how to manage in order to have a healthy, compatible relationship. Not knowing how to reduce anger and handle it can sabotage a couple’s ability to communicate and get along on many levels. Anger unchecked can destroy relationships and sometimes lead to violence. Over the years I have developed many techniques to help people reduce their anger, and have taught them how to communicate with their partner effectively.
Below is an article which gives you the general idea – but there is much more we can do together. I encourage you to read the article but to realize this is just a starting point.
When I help someone deal with their anger, it is not really “anger management,” it is anger reduction. The process I have developed over the years helps folks automatically reduce their anger rather than manage it.
What is anger? There is some evidence to suggest that anger may be a feeling that is associated with helplessness and loss of control. People may respond to these feelings in one of two ways. When we lose control we might show it an outward way by being angry and/or violent. If we still don’t feel as if we are getting satisfaction, control, or being heard, then this anger can turn to rage. The other way we emotionally respond to a lack of control, or feelings of loss, or disempowerment, is that we feel depressed. We think “what’s the matter with me, I should have said something to him/her.”
Anger takes a great deal of energy from us and distances us from people that we care about. If we over do it, we can lose friends, spouses, our jobs, and it upsets our children’s world greatly. It can make us feel unbalanced, lost, and exhausted.
Here is a quick test for you to get a perspective on the role that anger plays in your life.
What is the best way to handle anger?
1. Get even with that son-of-a-gun.
2. Forgive the person who you are angry with.
3. Ignore the situation and/or the anger.
The correct answer is none of the above. Anger consumes an inordinate amount of time, energy, and space in our brain that could be put to better use. Here are five steps simple steps that can help you manage your anger.
1. Rate yourself on Dr. Marty’s “Anger Scale“
On a scale of 1 – 10 rate how angry you are:
(1) being mildly angry to (10) being intensely upset and out of control.
2. Step back from the angering event and calm yourself. Too often we want to go after the person or situation that is angering us. While we may feel that that is a useful outlet at the moment, it in fact only reinforces the negative feelings.
3. Understand the anger’s origin
What made you feel powerless/out of control/angry in the first place? I believe that anger is powerlessness turned outward. Let’s test my theory. Think of a time when you were furious. Imagine that you had complete control of the situation. What happens to your anger? I bet that it is either significantly diminished or has just gone away. Finding the origin is not always obvious but together we can figure exactly where this anger is coming from.
4. Think about how these angry feelings have left you with a sense of loss of control – (Only do this after 20 to 30 minutes after doing steps 1 and 2.)
5. Develop a plan about how you can regain control. We get angry when we feel powerless. The moment you feel you have regained control you will find your anger starting to fade away.
There are several things you can do to help you with the five steps:
No matter what you decide, please make sure you do something. Anger can cause many problems such as health issues, violence, projection onto our children, and lack of self worth.
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