Arguments are a normal part of relationships. They help us to learn more about others. They help us to better understand ourselves. They can help us to clear any tension that’s been building up and they can help us to feel closer to one another.
If one or both of you is prone to fierce anger issues when you get into arguments, then it can make the whole argument process volatile, long winded, very emotionally distressing and lead to horrible outcomes, namely, horrible things said and done in the heat of the moment.
Once you’re both “back to normal” with each other, post argument, it can sometimes be difficult to forget some of the awful things that have been said and/or done in the heat of the moment. Have you ever had an argument where you later cringed at what you had done or couldn’t forget the words that the other person had uttered? These sorts of associations with the relationship are not good. Very often, it’s the need to keep proving oneself right or the desire to resolve the situation immediately that leads to heightened animosity and flaring tempers.
A desire to minimise heartache can actually lead to more of it when we try to resolve arguments when one or both of us is very angry. Research by the HeartMath Institute shows that when we are angry, we cannot think clearly or problem solve well, so it’s not the time for us to be resolving an inflamed dispute!
7 Anger Management Tips
Follow these steps to help manage anger and prevent flaring arguments in your relationship:
- Proudly be the first one to stop feeding the negativity by halting your speech for the time being. What you say isn’t going to be heard as it is intended and you won’t say it as well as you can in the midst of anger, theirs or yours.
- Step away from the situation. Retreat to a different room than the one that the other person is in. As our heart’s electrical signals synchronise with those nearby, one or both of you feeling angry will only perpetuate the problem as you will both struggle to stay calm and calm down!
- Now you may feel calmer just by getting some time and physical space between both of you. As you do, use steady, deep breathing as it will send a signal to your brain that you’re relaxed if you mimic the breathing of a relaxed person.
- If you’re still feeling angry, do something that always helps you to feel calm, clear-headed and happy. Is it brisk walking, is it cleaning, is it art, is it dancing, is it writing in a journal? You decide; you know you better than anyone else.
- Once you’re clear on how you feel and what you want to convey without the anger getting in the way, think about how you are going to deliver your message in a calm, non-aggressive way (verbally and non-verbally) and ensure you genuinely feel calm as you run it through your mind. If you start getting angry whilst you’re thinking about what you’re going to say, you’re not yet ready to confront the situation reasonably.
- Before you say anything, you must give some empathic thought to what the other person is saying, feeling and where they are coming from. Be understanding of their point of view if you respect them and want to resolve the argument.
- Never rush the process. It can do more harm than good to try to resolve the argument when either one or both of you is still angry.
Bonus Tip For Managing Anger
Personally, I think very brisk walking is a brilliant way to expend any tension or negative energy that you have within and it is easily accessible most of the time. Sure, it may take half an hour or more to reap the benefits, but so what, it will be worth it. Stick on some music that you like, listen to a motivational CD or just have some peace and quiet. Just try it!