3 Ways to Handle Healthy Anger in Your Relationship

3 Ways to Handle Healthy Anger in Your Relationship

Is it really difficult to handle healthy anger in Relationship?

Have you ever wondered why we get angry?

According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, “emotions are, in essence, impulses to act, the instant plans for handling life that evolution has instilled in us.”

In his book Emotional Intelligence, Goleman tells us that anger causes blood to flow to our hands, making it easier for us to strike an enemy or hold a weapon.

Our heart rate speeds up and a rush of hormones – including adrenaline – create a surge of energy strong enough to take “vigorous action.” In this way, anger has been ingrained into our brain to protect us.

The purpose of anger

Think of anger like an iceberg, a large piece of ice found floating in the open ocean. Most of the iceberg is hidden below the surface of the water.

Similarly, when we are angry, there are usually other emotions hidden beneath the surface. It’s easy to see a person’s anger but can be difficult to see the underlying feelings the anger is protecting.

For example, Dave believed he had an anger problem. When his wife would make a request of him, he would criticize her.

He didn’t like his reactions, but he felt he couldn’t help it. As he worked on mindfulness and started noticing the space between his anger and his actions, he opened up the door into a profound realization.

He didn’t really have an anger problem. Instead, he felt like his wife was placing impossible demands on him.

By seeking to understand and accept his anger, rather than fix or suppress it, he began to improve his marriage by recognizing his anger as a signal that he needed to set healthy boundaries for what he would and would not do.

Dave’s story points out an important concept. As Susan David, Ph.D., author of Emotional Agility says,

“Our raw feelings can be the messengers we need to teach us things about ourselves and can prompt insights into important life directions.” Her point is there is something more below the surface of our anger.

Anger as a protector of raw feelings

Anger is often described as a “secondary emotion” because people tend to use it to protect their own raw, vulnerable, overwhelming feelings.

Underneath Dave’s anger was pure exhaustion and feeling that he wasn’t good enough for his wife. So his anger was protecting him from deeply painful shame.

Learning to recognize anger as a protector of our raw feelings can be incredibly powerful. It can lead to healing conversations that allow couples as well as children and parents to understand each other better.

Below is what we call the Anger Iceberg because it shows the “primary emotions” lurking below the surface. Sometimes it’s embarrassment, loneliness, exhaustion, or fear.

anger-iceberg-1

You can download a free PDF version of the Anger Iceberg here.

3 tips for listening to anger

One of the most difficult things about listening to a child or lover’s anger, especially when it’s directed at us, is that we become defensive.

We want to fight back as our own anger boils to the surface. If this happens, we get in a heated verbal battle which leaves both parties feeling misunderstood and hurt. Here are three powerful tips for listening to anger.

1. Don’t take it personally

Your partner or child’s anger is usually not about you. It’s about their underlying primary feelings. To not taking this personally takes a high level of emotional intelligence.

One of the ways I do this is by becoming curious of why they’re angry. It’s much easier for me to become defensive, but I’ve found thinking,

“Wow, this person is angry, why is that?”

leads me on a journey to seeing the raw emotions they are protecting and actually brings us closer together.

2. Don’t EVER tell your partner to “calm down”

When I work with couples and one of the partners get angry, I have witnessed the other partner say, “Calm down” or “You’re overreacting.” This tells the recipient that their feelings don’t matter and they are not acceptable.

The goal here is not to change or fix your partner’s emotions but rather to sit on their anger iceberg with them. Communicate that you understand and accept their feelings.

When you do this well, your partner’s anger will subside and the primary emotion will rise to the surface. Not to mention they will feel heard by you, which builds trust over time.

Maybe you grew up in a family where anger wasn’t allowed, so when your partner expresses it, it feels paralyzing and you freeze.

Or maybe you try to solve their anger for them because their anger scares you. Open yourself up to experience you and your partner’s full spectrum of emotions.

3. Identify the obstacle

Anger is often caused by an obstacle blocking a goal. For example, if your partner’s goal is to feel special on their birthday and their family member missing their special day makes them angry, identifying the obstacle will give you insight into why they’re angry.

The bottom line is that people feel angry for a reason. It’s your job to understand and sit with them in it.

By doing so, you will not only help them to understand their anger, but you will become closer to them in the process.

Apply these 3 ways to handle healthy anger of your partner and also preserve your relationship

By Kyle Benson

Become a Contributor at The Minds Journal

We Want To Hear Your Story. Share your work,thoughts and writings and we will make sure, it reaches the world! Submit Now


You may also like:

3 Ways to Handle Healthy Anger in Your Relationship
Ads

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

Bad Husband But Good Father? 8 Tips On How To Be A Better Dad And Husband 

Practical Tips on How to Be a Better Dad and Husband

Being married to a man who is a bad husband but a good father is a complex and challenging experience. It’s a situation where the joys and struggles of parenting coexist with the frustrations and disappointments of a strained marital relationship. So how to be a better dad and husband?

Today, we will try to gain a better understanding of the psyche of a bad husband but a good father and shed light on how you can encourage them to be both a better husband and father. Let’s dive in.

Who Exactly is a Bad Husband and Good Father?

A bad husband can be someone who falls short in their role as a partner. T



Up Next

3 Reasons Why Alcohol Affects Your Relationship And What To Do About It

Alcohol Affects Your Relationship? Critical Reasons Why

Is alcohol impacting your relationship? If your answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place. This article is going to explore how alcohol affects your relationship, the reasons behind it, and how to cut back on alcohol.

During an interview on the popular podcast The Tim Ferriss Show, famous entrepreneur and businessman Sir Richard Branson once suggested a simple yet important thought experiment to listeners.

We’ll paraphrase that thought experiment here:

Think back to the few biggest mistakes or arguments of your marriage. Now think how many of them occurred when one or both of you were und



Up Next

4 Signs Of Relationship OCD And How To Make Sense Of It

Signs Of Relationship OCD And How To Make Sense Of It

What is relationship OCD and what are the best ways of dealing with relationship OCD? This article is going to talk about all that and more.

Relationship OCD refers to someone who has become consumed with obsessive doubts about their partner and their past.

Experiencing changes in the emotions we feel towards a romantic partner is a natural part of developing an intimate relationship. At the same time, we all might pay more attention to our partner’s flaws as the relationship progresses.

But for people in the grip of relationship OCD,



Up Next

Why Cameron Diaz Supports Separate Bedrooms For Couples: Is It Key To A Happier Marriage?

Separate Bedrooms For Couples: Strong Reasons Why

In a world where we are always sharing everything, Cameron Diaz has a fresh take on love: separate bedrooms for couples. Yes, you heard that right!

The actor has recently been in a conversation about how couples who sleep in separate beds are happier — and it’s got us questioning everything too.

Why Do We Need Separate Bedrooms For Couples?

You’re lying in bed, ready to drift off to sleep when you hear it… A chainsaw-like noise ringing through your ears. It’s your partner’s snoring — and it’s not the cute gentl



Up Next

What is Fatuous Love? 3 Key Factors Leading to Infatuation!

What is Fatuous Love? Key Factors Leading to Infatuation!

Have you ever felt that super strong crush where everything seems like a fairy tale? You know, the kind where you meet someone, feel a quick connection, and suddenly, it’s like you’ve found your perfect match.

According to experts, that is what is fatuous love all about!

It is like building a house on shaky ground. At first, what feels like love at first sight might not exactly be the case later. You dive in quickly without really taking the time to connect on a deeper level.

In this article, we’ll explore what fatuous love is all about. We’ll unravel the layers of this intense yet fleeting kind of love and understand why it might face some challenges along the way. 



Up Next

7 Qualities Of A Healthy Relationship

7 Qualities Of A Healthy Relationship: Foundations Of Love

In the world of connections, relationships are like cozy blankets made of feelings and shared moments. Just like caring for a garden, a good relationship needs attention to grow and make you happy. Think of it as a dance where two people move together smoothly, helped by a strong bridge of understanding. Let’s explore the 7 qualities of a healthy relationship.

In this discussion, we’ll explore the seven things that make a relationship strong and happy, like the simple notes in a beautiful tune of love and connection. So, are you ready to explore all the signs you are in a healthy relationship? Come on.

Related:



Up Next

Married To An Introverted Man? 9 Reasons They Make Exceptional Husbands

Married To An Introverted Man? reasons why it's a blessing

Are you married to an introverted man? Ever wondered about how he can be so unique and amazing as a husband? In a world that honors extroversion, it is crucial that we acknowledge the invaluable qualities that introverts offer in a marriage.

Today, we will explore some compelling reasons why introverts make great husbands and highlight some challenges that might arise in such marriages.

Whether you are an extrovert who wants to understand your quiet spouse better or if you are dating an introverted man, we are here to help you appreciate the joy of marrying an introverted man.

Do Introverts Make Good Husbands?