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My Spiritual Self-Help Guide

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Anger Tips and Help - Why Expressing Anger Doesn't Work

How to Resolve Your Issues with Other People

Red Eyed Angry Woman Bares Her Teeth

Expressing Anger Often Just Doesn't Work!

Can getting angry solve your problems? People appear generally to be getting angrier and anger is often the default reaction when something happens that we don't like. But as a method of dealing with your problems and issues with other people, expressing your anger is generally ineffective and destructive. Would you like to find a way that works to resolve issues and leads to more intimate and harmonious relationships with others? Then read on to find out why expressing your anger often just doesn't work.

Attack and Defence

Think about this. Someone says something that you don't like and it "pushes your buttons". In a rush of emotion, you get angry and you let it show. Now, expressing your anger is generally perceived as attack and any person who is feeling attacked is going to get defensive. He or she may think that you are out of order or possibly even plain ridiculous. The barriers go up and both of you become firmly entrenched in your own position. In other words, each of you feels that they are right and the other is wrong. And, as you get angrier, the other person may even become cooler and more detached, thus fuelling your emotions even more.

Hurt Feelings = Lost Issues

In this scenario, the original issue disappears. Why? Because now you are fighting about how the other person doesn't care about your feelings or how wronged you feel. It's hard to keep the original issue in sight when the emotional drama is high. And so, when you are in the heat of an angry exchange, your issue with the other person's behaviour does not get dealt with, because how ever loud you shout it, it doesn't get heard. And so, you swallow your hurt feelings back into the realm of your subconscious where they live to rise another day.

Starting to Change

When you realise that this type of behaviour doesn't work then you start to want to change it. The first thing to do is to look for the patterns of interaction in your relationships that are caused by anger. This is partly so that you can confirm to yourself that, actually, they are not working for you - they are totally ineffective. Secondly, as you are watching your own behaviour, you start to become more aware of when anger arises and why. This gives you a little space to in your mind to think "Stop! This doesn't work. What is it that I want and how can I deal with this in a more effective way that achieves it?"

Communicating How You Feel and What You Want to Change

So how can you deal with your anger effectively so that your issues get dealt with? Well, first you can check what feelings and emotions are arising for you. Don't go in with all guns blazing, however angry you feel. You may need to calm down first and look at exactly what is the problem and what solution do you want. Then you can then tell the other person calmly and without blame, using "I" statements, how you feel and what you want to change. For example "When you put me down in front of our friends, I feel stupid and inarticulate. I know you don't mean to hurt me but I do feel hurt and I would really like you to stop doing this in the future." Of course, this is going to feel scary but you have much to gain by finding the courage to do it.

Facing Up to the Real Issues

The other person is then forced to face up to your real feelings and the fact that their actions caused you to feel hurt. Whilst they may or may not change their behaviour, the real issues are being brought out into the light. You show your own vulnerability rather than putting up barriers and defences and you also come out with dignity and respect because you didn't accuse or blame. By doing this, you start to deal with your issues in more productive ways. You face up to your hurts and make changes based on what you believe to be justified. This is the only effective way to deal with anger and hurt feelings. It is the only effective way to solve problems with other people.

A New You!

Experiment with this and see how it works for you. It won't be easy. Sure you will slip back into the old ways many times and this is to be expected. But don't give up. Be on your guard for those angry feelings and those same old ineffective behaviour patterns. When you start to see that other people react differently to your new behaviour, you will begin to realise your own amazing potential for change! And then you will no longer need to get angry because you will be able to resolve your issues without anger.

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More Anger Articles

• Anger Home Page - Find Relief From the Most Deadly and Destructive of Emotions • Dissolve Anger, Resolve Problems - Effective Ways to Make Changes in Relationships • How to Stop Emotional Pain, Hurt and Suffering • Why Anger Doesn't Work - How to Resolve the Real Issues • Anger - What's Your Biggest Problem? - Your Situation Or Your Out-of-Control Reaction to It? • Dealing with Difficult People - Using Assertiveness in Your Communication with Others