NEXT TIME YOUR ARE ANGRY AT YOUR LOVER, DO THESE THINGS
by (PAPAMIKE) your marriage psychologist and dating expert
What you need to know :
The key is managing your emotions, especially anger. That doesn’t mean keeping quiet about your feelings.
Many relationship problems are actually caused by our own personal difficulties. Anxiety or insecurity, for example. But instead of seeing how our own personal issues are stressing the relationship, we blame the relationship for our issues.
So we get angry at our partner, or try to get even, and resentments start to grow. You might still be a couple, but you’re no longer a team.
The key is managing your emotions, especially anger. That doesn’t mean keeping quiet about your feelings. It’s natural to be angry when you’ve been offended. And if you don’t speak up about your issues they won’t ever be solved.
So you must talk about your feelings with your partner. Except for the anger. Because expressing anger pushes people away rather than solving problems.
But how can you control anger? The key is being aware of your irritation, rather than being swept along by it. Because actively observing your resentments changes the way your brain processes them. It damps down the emotional parts of your brain, and boosts the areas which control your rational behaviour.
Visualizing being in control will also help you stay calm, even when there’s lots happening. Rehearsing cool headed approaches to conflict also helps. For example, seeing your partner’s outburst as a cry for help, rather than shouting ‘Don’t talk to me like that!’
So the next time something awful is happening, resist going on the attack. Instead, think about why you’re angry, including trying to see the incident from your partner’s point of view.
Do things differently
Or do something a bit different, like smiling or touching them, instead of getting riled up. Or separate yourselves for a few moments – maybe just go to the bathroom.
All these approaches will help you stand back from your feelings. After which you can start to tell your partner what’s going on for you. Talking about the issue without anger will bring you closer, and help you start a constructive conversation rather than an argument.
What if it’s your partner who’s angry? Or grumpy, unreasonable, you name it. It’s tempting to respond with more of the same. But instead, make it a rule that only one of you can be crazy at a time. And try to be patient, caring and kind.
So instead of yelling, try saying, ‘I am sorry you’re upset — how can I help?’ There’s nothing to fight about if you’re being helpful.
Try to express your needs positively. For example, if your partner is forever coming home late, it is tempting to shout about how they never make time for you. And the stage is set for a row.
Instead, tell them what you’d like to happen. Something like ‘Can we figure out a way to spend more time together?’ Try to avoid including contempt or criticism: ‘You’re such a jerk.’ Or focusing on the past: ‘You’re always late…’ Focus on moving forward, avoid expressing anger, and you’ll soon start recognizing how you can both fix your individual issues without affecting your relationship.