Anger is a good emotion. Like all emotions, it tells us something. Anger tells us we have been hurt in one of three ways, or maybe in all of three ways.
After recognizing that you are angry, take a break for about 20-30 minutes and don't think about the problem, argument, or issue. During the break relax, walk the dog, read a book, or do anything that gets your mind off of being angry and allows your body physiology to calm down.
Then after the break, come back to the issue and ask yourself why you got upset. Did someone or something infringe upon: your sense of self worth, your essential needs, or your basic convictions?
Whatever the problem, it will fall into one, two, or all three of these categories.
For example, let's say ladies that you have asked your spouse to come with you to your parent's house for dinner on Saturday and he agreed. All week long you have done things for him (some he didn't even asked you to do) like picking up his dry cleaning, making the Tacos he loves for Taco Tuesday, attending a business dinner with his boss... things like that. And when Saturday rolls around hubby has forgotten all about eating dinner with your parents and tells you he would rather stay at home and watch the ball game. Do you:
- Hit the ceiling and let expletives fly?
- Tell him it's okay, you didn't want to go anyway, or
- Go without him?
If you said #2 or #3 then you're cool with it or you aren't going to let anyone get in the way of your good time.
If you said #1, let's pick up with the example and assume you have taken a break and are ready to think about what upset you.
You are now zen, able to think rationally, and you ask yourself what area or areas just got hit?
Did it hurt your sense of self worth? Probably, because you have done things all week long for him and he doesn't seem to care about what you want.
Did it interfere with your essential needs? Likely. Most of us have an essential need to stay connected to family and share in their lives.
And lastly, did it go against your basic convictions? Sure, a standard basic conviction is that in a marriage there is give and take and in this scenario you are not being given to.
So now rather than yelling, pouting, or slamming every door in the house, you can go to him and calmly say that you are sorry you got so upset and here is what was going on....
Men respond much better when we speak with them calmly. John Gottman calls it a soft start-up.
That example is just a glimpse of how to manage anger. If you have been told you are too angry, maybe explosive, highly passionate about issues, or have been court ordered for anger management, then Lasting Love Ministries Anger Management Program is for you!