Control your anger? Anger in a relationship rarely serves anyone.
Although this primitive emotion is essential for survival and is part of our developmental capacities of being human, if you are looking for creating more intimacy, connection and love, anger has a limited upside.
As I have done work with parents and individuals looking to see the value in anger, especially when they want to control your anger, we have shown that at certain developmental stages it is an important emotion to create distance, such as a teenager pushing themselves away from the nest, or gaining a level of independence, or actually using it for physical survival. Anger has value.
In relationships though, especially in communication, anger has lesser a value. What if we can use existing anger to build energy to help us achieve a higher state of being? How can we learn to shift our focus from divide and conquer, to acceptance and connection? In relationship, we look to take our energy from a place of anger to a place of love. Let’s take a look at a few steps we can take to make this shift more effortless…
1) Stop- As in most personal development strategies, stopping what you are doing is an essential step because it has you move from autopilot or knee-jerk reactions to somewhat of reflective, open-ended state.
2) Breath- Another crowd favourite is taking a breath to further expand your energy resources, open up the structure of the body, and further move you away from defensiveness and guardedness. Breath allows the perception of safety and ease, and allows an opportunity to shift your focus.
3) Me to We- A strategy my wife and I regularly use in dialogue is using the pronoun “we”. It help us to access more love. This allows a feeling and sense of inclusiveness, whereby we see each other IN each other, and honour that what I feel she can feel, and visa versa. Instead of me holding my hard-lined position in defence, the WE approach says, “hey, let’s look at this together and stop playing the ‘blame game'”.
At the end of the day, a loving home is much more pleasant that going to bed angry with hostility. The better we become at closing the gap of time between and anger and love, the more energized and healing the home will be.
Best foot forward,
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