A hot topic these days is anger management. Most people would agree that they do not like to get angry or be around someone that is . Most people feel bad or guilty after they have been angry or expressed it in a negative form. Some choose to ignore their feelings and deny that anything is bothering them or that they have done anything wrong.
Everyone has different ways of dealing with their anger, but everyone gets angry. There are effective and ineffective ways for expressing anger that will make a difference in a relationship.
Having healthy emotional boundaries will help you to keep your cool in your relationships.
Emotional boundaries are the protective wall that defines where you begin and end and another person begins and ends. They are limits established by owning your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, values, and beliefs.
When you are presented with a conflict, having healthy emotional boundaries will allow you to determine whether the issue is about you or the other person. You will be less likely to take the other persons approach as a personal attack and recognize that this person is experiencing the situation in their own way.
When you can put the situation in perspective, your response will be non-threatening and more inviting to exploring what the other person is experiencing in an effort to understand and hear their needs. The other person will also be more open to understanding your experience and hearing your needs, the result--a greater understanding of each other and a cooler relationship.
Building healthy emotional boundaries should be part of our everyday tasks. They are our means of protecting ourselves and our relationships from being hurt. If you would like to keep your relationships cool this summer, begin by creating safety.
You can take the following steps with your child, spouse, or anyone you want to have a calmer relationship with.
Step 1- Validate the Other
When an issue arises or someone approaches you about something that is bothering them, put all your thoughts in feelings in a bag and put it to the side for a moment (don’t worry about it right yet, we will get to it). This creates safety and significance that they matter to you. Especially important with young kids!
Listen curiously to the other person and try to understand their view.
Listen and reflect back what you are hearing and check to make sure you are getting it all.
Ask that person what it is that he or she needs and try to come up with a solution that will help that person and that you are willing to do. The other person will feel validated and their experience will be just that—their experience.
You will not have to justify or explain yourself, but validate or acknowledge that this is how he or she is experiencing you. Their feelings are valid. You have now established the fact that the two of you are separate beings with your own thoughts and feelings.
Step 2-Validate Your Experience
Continue with this idea of being separate by acknowledging your own thoughts and feelings. Take that bag that contains your thoughts and feelings and ask the other person to hear you out. Start by letting the person know how you feel about them.
Use “I” statements that look like this: “I feel ignored when you do not look at me when we talk.” Let the person know how you feel and what would be helpful. Invite that person to repeat the process and come up with a solution that they are willing to commit to.
Step 3 Keep the Defenses Low
When there is a potential threat in our lives, we tend to allow defense mechanisms to kick in. Our internal fight or flight mechanism is ignited and we either attack back or avoid.
Whether you flee or stay and battle it out, both will trigger a defensive stance from the other. One person on the defense plus the other person on the defense means that both are feeling unsafe.
Negative behaviors triggered such as blaming, name-calling, sarcasm, ignoring etc., will contribute to the relationship breakdown. Eliminate these negative behaviors so that the other person is less likely to attack leaving yourself in a safer position.
Take responsibility for your own safety!
These three steps will help you to create safety in your relationship and keep it from becoming heated. Establishing boundaries in your relationship acknowledges that each person is separate. It validates each person, leaving both to feel like they matter and less defensive or angry.
Keep your relationship cool by implementing these three steps. The cooler you are the better able you will be at handling difficult situations. Watch your life and relationships grow as a result. Best Wishes!