Today I got angry. My buttons were pushed. It happens.
When was the last time you felt anger?
Was it with the kids or your spouse? Maybe someone at work or on the road.
We all get angry.
Anger is a clear boundary marker for your protection and should be used just for that and not to intimidate, influence or to be heard.
When anger is not acknowledged or expressed effectively it can be damaging to your relationships. It can destroy a marriage and it can hurt your children.
Let’s not focus on the damage it can do, but rather its usefulness.
Can anger be useful? Of course it can and here is how….
Anger can be used as a tool and help you to create deeper connections in your relationships. It will also contribute to a more joyfulness in your own life.
Here are 4 Steps to take that will help you to use anger as a tool:
#1 Honor your feelings. Acknowledge that you have a valid feeling. Tell yourself, “Ok, I am feeling angry right now.” Do this in the moment. Identify that you are feeling angry and other emotions that come with it.
Ask yourself…are you feeling hurt, disrespected, ignored, lonely, unloved, etc.?
Your emotions will tell you what it is that you are not getting at that moment. By just stopping in the moment and honoring your feeling of anger, will help you to respond to the situation rather than react. Being more conscious of this is key to the safety felt in a relationship. This is especially important when dealing with children. Reacting can create uncertainty for children and lead to problems in their behavior. (See more on creating certainty)
Breathe deeply into your heart and get out of your head. The response that flows will come from a higher self and more authentic.
#2 Turn your feelings into needs. Determine what it is that you are not getting emotionally and what you need. For example, if you are feeling disrespected and you may have a need for more respect, significance, or validation in your life.
#3 Identify vehicles for meeting those needs. What could you do that could help you to gain more significance in your life? Would it be a new job, recognition from your spouse, etc.…? Get specific and identify measurable means for meeting this need.
#4 Express to others how you are feeling and what you need. Do this clearly without yelling, attacking or avoiding. The latter behaviors are sure ways to not get your needs met and to damage your relationships. You must validate your own state of emotions and you will feel more in control of you and your happiness.
When anger is used as a tool and expressed effectively, it can enhance your relationships. As a bonus, your children will learn how to manage strong emotions as you model these steps for them.
Creating and maintaining healthy relationships will require you to take control of your anger and to use it as a tool for building intimacy and connection. It is ok for you to be angry. It is an emotion and you should honor this feeling and take care of yourself.