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Healthy Ways To Express Anger

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No matter how much we love our partner, or how happy we may be in our relationship, anger is inevitable. Bottling up your anger or expressing it in the wrong way can damage trust and result in a loss of intimacy in your relationship. However, expressing anger in a healthy way will bring you relief, and in most cases, bring you and your partner closer.

Anger is a natural, normal part of any relationship that can actually be helpful because it can clue us into things that need to be changed, and motivate us to embrace the change. But there is a big difference between being assertive in expressing anger and being aggressive.

Expressing anger in an aggressive way includes: ‘telling them off’ or ‘unloading’ on someone else.  Telling your partner how you are feeling and what you need does not have to come out as nagging, criticising, complaining, or worse, physical or verbal abuse.

The next time you’re inclined to either ‘tell them off’ or ‘hold it in,’ follow these steps to help you express your anger in a healthy way instead:

 

Take a time-out

Take as much time as possible to cool down. Try deep breathing techniques, taking a walk, or distracting yourself with some light tasks or entertainment.

Identify the ‘core’ emotion. Underneath anger lies one of the following ‘core’ emotions: hurt, sadness, fear or loneliness. Take the time you need to identify where exactly your anger is coming from. It may be helpful to take some time to reflect by journaling, talking to a friend or speaking to a therapist about what is truly making you upset.

 

Organise your thoughts

Before talking to your partner, organise your thoughts into this three-pronged formula:

Clearly describe the problem: State how it makes you feel using your ‘core’ emotions and make a specific behavior change request.

Make sure to use ‘I’ statements: Like “I feel disappointed, sad or upset.” This will help your partner get less defensive and more motivated to solve the problem with you.

Be Patient: It is okay to express yourself directly and firmly, if needed. Once you have expressed yourself, step down and give your partner space to process what you have just said.

 

Take Care of Yourself

It is not easy to be vulnerable and express the reasons behind your anger. Be gentle with yourself and treat yourself with a healthy activity that is relaxing or something that brings you pleasure.

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