Anger is one emotion that we are getting all too familiar with. Uncontrolled anger is the reason behind the recent trend of relationship break ups with one partner either suffering physical injuries or even loss of life. The importance we need to place on how couples manage their anger and not flare up or take out their frustrations on their partner can never be overemphasised; people need to be more in control of their emotions.
Anger is an emotion that we all experience, and it signifies that something has to be done. Anger makes you aware that there is a problem. How you deal with your anger can become a big part of the problem. For most couples, anger itself is not the problem. What becomes problematic is how partners deal with their anger and how well they deal with their partner’s. We have listed out simple ways to handle anger in a relationship before it festers.
Address Anger Immediately: When you first start noticing the signs of anger, ask your partner what’s happening. Leaving an angry person to nurse her hurt makes things worse, not better.
Keep Calm: Anger fuels anger, so the calmer you can remain, the quicker your partner’s anger subsides. Shouting at a partner in a rage escalates his/her anger, and joining a passive aggressive partner in sulking can make the situation continue for ever.
Acknowledge Your Partner’s Feelings: Openly saying ‘I can see you’re angry’ and, if appropriate, ‘I understand you’re angry about . . . ’ prevents your partner from feeling that he/she has to prove how they feels either by throwing their weight around or retreating into silence.
Show That You’re Listening: People often continue to be angry because they don’t think they’re being listened to or taken seriously. Use active listening techniques to be sure that your partner feels heard.
Share Your Feelings: If you’re feeling angry too, then say so. If you’re feeling nervous, upset or frustrated by your partner’s anger, then share that also. This is especially important with passive aggression, when a partner may want to deny that her behaviour has any impact on you.
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