Although anger is a normal human emotion, when it is not handled well it can create damage and a breakdown a relationship.
What many men and women do not understand is that allowing their unedited anger to come out, especially in the heat of the moment, cannot be undone. It is forever in the memory of the other person and part of the dynamic of the relationship even if they have forgiven it.
Learning how to identify, understand, and process ones anger is vital in not only our primary relationship but in all of our relationships. Unfortunately, many are not taught these skills causing them to harm their most valued relationships.
Identifying anger may sound easy but can be difficult to accomplish when we are not paying attention.
Little things that are minor irritants can easily add up throughout the day, leading someone to explode at the end of the day at their partner’s innocent comment. Therefore, staying what I like to call “conscious” keeps us from falling into that type of trap. By staying conscious we choose to stay aware of our thoughts and feelings. We do not go on autopilot through life but are aware of ourselves in the moment. This gives us a great opportunity to witness what we are experiencing instead of immediately reacting to it. It provides us with a safety net of time to evaluate before doing or saying something we will regret.
Understanding our anger is the next important step as it gives us the window to the core reason we are feeling the anger. For instance, if we are upset about our partner not putting their dirty dish in the dishwasher, when we look closer we may find that the core of the anger is really about feeling taken advantage of or unappreciated by our partner. By employing this tool, one is able to get to the bottom of the cause of the anger and address it.
Finally, there is the processing of the anger.
There are many healthy ways to do this — talking it out, journaling, going into a private room and screaming, hitting a pillow, etc. The important element to remember about anger and other emotions is that they are actually forms of energy. When we do not process through these feelings that energy either gets stuck in our bodies causing physical manifestations or comes out in inappropriate or harming ways towards others.
I work with clients quite often on this particular issue, as it is a common cause of relationship problems. I guide and teach my clients the step-by-step process of handling their anger and other emotions in a healthy way. It works wonders in creating a happy and thriving relationship!
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Bree Maresca-Kramer, M.A. is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.