Is anger stopping you from enjoying your relationship?
Does anger management just remind you that you need fixing? Do you feel guilty and defensive at the same time — knowing that you are hurting your spouse, and yet not wanting to own the identity that accompanies that judgment?
Do you feel torn between your anger and your desire to be more loving? If so, then you clearly want to change.
Are you willing to take one small but powerful step?
What can you do about anger?
When you ask, “what can I do about my anger?” you come from anger’s perspective and you will do one or all of the following:
- Suppress your anger by holding it in. This may be considerate of you, but the obvious trouble with this approach is that all of that anger will eat away at your insides. You will lose your ability to express finer emotions, and you will eventually suffer with ill health.
- Express your anger by saying what you are feeling. You talk about how you feel, but the anger remains. You try to appropriately vent your anger, but the lines are blurry. A good therapist can help here.
- Calm your anger using relaxation, and visualization techniques. These methods work wonders if you commit to learning them and use them regularly. Mind-body techniques can teach you a lot about yourself. They can help to eliminate the source of your anger.
- Transform your anger by using its power to fuel positive change. Sometimes we need to keep asking the question “why am I angry?” until we arrive at the deeper answer. Is it really because your spouse seems to ignore you when you say something, or is it because you feel a lack of recognition at work? If you find this deeper answer, then use your anger to empower a positive act that will change the situation. You could sit down with your boss and have that long overdue, but calm, talk.
Thinking about how to deal with anger, from anger’s perspective, is valuable. It will help bring more happiness into your life. Research it; work with it; get help with it if needed. But…
Is there a complimentary way to deal with anger that is more positive and empowered?
Work from the other side of anger
When we try to correct something, we begin with a negative concept, and that negative influence detracts from the power of the solution. In dealing with anger you might think, “I am an angry person; I have an anger management problem.”
While owning your issues is generally a good thing, you can unintentionally identify with your problem and wind up giving away the power you require to overcome it.
To provide some balance of power then, it helps to also work with a positive and empowered solution; one that doesn’t come from anger’s perspective. How…?
You can strengthen your relationship with tenderness and understanding.
Try a Little Tenderness
When all the anger management techniques have you feeling like a second-class lover, why not change things up and take an entirely different approach?
Think of it this way: either you can position yourself in negative territory then work to eliminate it or turn it into a positive, or you can work from positive ground, strengthening those positive qualities, and in doing so, weaken the negative.
No one is angry all of the time. In those times when you are feeling good, you can create powerful changes. Rather than feeling misplaced guilt and shame, you will have positive feelings working for you.
When you summon the courage, and it does take courage, to express more tenderness in your relationship, you strengthen your positive character and you weaken your anger. Over time, this will cause a tremendous shift in the balance of power.
Work from your strengths and you will employ the power of positive emotions. You will slowly identify with this person who is tender, who cares, and who understands. The further you venture into positive ground, the more entrenched your personality will become within it.
We could make a list of all the ways there are to show tenderness and understanding to your lover, but we do not need one. Instead, ask your heart, “How can I be tender in this moment? How can I show understanding, not just for my partner, but for myself also?” You will know what to do.
So to compliment the usual good advice about anger management, engage the positive power of anger’s opposite. Try a little tenderness.
Tenderness and understanding are just on the other side of anger.