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My Spiritual Self-Help Guide

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Dissolve Your Anger, Resolve Your Problems

Effective Ways to Make Changes in Your Relationships with Others

Teen daughter struggles with family fight

How Helpful is Anger?

How good are you at controlling your anger? Does it help you to vent your fury? Actually, anger is a common emotion that many of us find difficult to deal with. It tends to overtake us until we feel out of control. But expressing your anger ineffectively may prevent the changes that you want in your relationships with others from ever happening. Don't allow yourself to get stuck in bad communication habits that do not work. Read on and learn how to deal with conflict effectively so that you can resolve your issues once and for all.

What is Your Anger Telling You?

Next time you feel angry then sit up and take note. But don't allow yourself to be overtaken by negative thinking which leads to rage. If your ways of expressing your anger have not been effective so far in getting the improvements that you want then it's time for a change of tack. Working out what your anger is trying to tell you is the first step. Many times the surface issue is not the actual problem. Our issues may go back to childhood or to previous relationships or may be a symptom of long-term injustices that we feel we have suffered.

When anger starts to rise, try and work out what is behind it. Which of your needs are not being met? What is someone deciding for you that you should be deciding for yourself? What issues are you expecting someone else to deal with where perhaps you yourself need to take the initiative in communicating? And how can you communicate your needs and get them met without alienating, manipulating or bullying others?

Consider the Other Person

Are you being reasonable in expecting someone else to meet your demands? Are you blaming them for your negative feelings? Will you listen to their point of view? Are you taking their own needs into consideration in your requests or are you wading in expecting that they should do as you want? Fighting with someone will just alienate them and your demands will only lead to resistance. You will then end up fighting over the fact that you feel invalidated, ignored or unloved while the real issues go unresolved. What you need are the skills to ask for what you want in ways that get the other person on your side so that they feel receptive to meeting your requests.

Stating Feelings and Requests

When you have worked out your needs and feelings, and separated the real issues from the surface issues, you then need to state them clearly and without blame. It is much more effective to say "When you did that, I felt this" than "You made me feel bad". You can then negotiate over whether your needs can be met or whether you need to compromise.

Stand Your Ground

Beware the resistance of others to your new, mature methods of communication. They will try to drag you right back into the old, ineffective patterns which ensure that change does not happen. Change is scary for both of you, after all, and does not often happen overnight. Of course it is much easier to just get angry - those old habits are going to be fighting for their lives. However, now that you are aware that this doesn't work to make the changes that you want, you are going to resist and not allow this to happen. It is not your job to make another person wrong for the way that they react to your requests. Simply stay cool, stand your ground and continue to repeat your original request.


If you can keep your cool, state your needs and preferences clearly, then most people will want to help as long as you are not blaming and are taking their own needs into consideration. Bear in mind that you may not get your answer immediately. The other person may need time to consider your requests. If you are bringing up difficult feelings let the other person know the things that you appreciate about them, including their support on these issues. If you feel the debate becoming heated on either side, then postpone your discussion to a time when you have both cooled down. And finally, there are times when another person will not meet your requests under any circumstances and you will have to accept this.

Summary of Key Points

So what are the key points that you need to remember next time you need to deal with anger? First, work out what are the real issues so that you can clearly communicate your needs and feelings around them. Stay calm, don't blame or attack and make sure that the other person knows that you appreciate their support. Remember that it will be very tempting to allow yourself to be dragged back into the old patterns but you won't go there because you know it doesn't work. Learning to deal with issues in a mature and way will lead to improved, productive relationships with others where you are able to get your needs met. And when you start to see this in action; when it actually works for you, you will realise your power to effect positive changes in your life.

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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