How To Beat Anger And Make Relationship Conflict Work For You

How To Beat Anger And Make Relationship Conflict Work For You

How To Beat Anger And Make Relationship Conflict Work For You

YourTango Experts teach us how to get to the root of conflict and fight against anger.

Find us a long-term relationship that's never experienced conflict, and we'll check the sky for airborne pigs. The feelings of anger and disappointment we feel when a loved one seemingly wrongs us can be consuming, even uncontrollable. But anyone who's lost his/her temper can tell you: getting angry and getting revenge never pay off; they never make us feel better, in the long run.

YourTango Experts teach us how to distinguish between emotion, thought and action—and how to get control and keep anger from destroying a perfectly imperfect relationship.

Ask Yourself: What Is This Argument Really About?
As cliché as it may sound, relationships take WORK. They DO. That's because any adult relationship will always be the perfect "landing pad" for our past or what I like to call: our childhood "unfinished business." When unfinished business leaks its way into our current-day relationship, the result is irrational conflict within a couple. This is when the feelings take over thoughts and we become unable to think rationally about the situation. Love & Anger: How To Fight Right

Let's say the way a partner wronged you is about equal to the size of a soccer ball, but your anger feels like the size of a truck. That's a clear sign that something from your past is being triggered. So from there you need to ask yourself, "What is this REALLY about? Is my anger really about the fact that my wife accidentally ordered me the wrong dinner? Or is this really about how incredibly invisible I felt to my mother as a child?" If you're still having a difficult time understanding the nexus of your feelings, ask yourself, "What am I feeling in my body?" Are you experiencing a headache? Does your chest feel an immense amount of weight? Is your stomach in knots? If you're disconnected to the meaning of your emotions then chances are you may be storing it in your body. Use your body as a resource for understanding you.

Once you're able to connect with what the intense feelings are really about, then you're in a much better place to communicate your present day feelings to your partner in a mature, productive way. If you still find yourself struggling to make a connection, then simply pause before interacting with your partner. Just because you have a feeling, doesn't mean you HAVE to act on it. Sit with the feelings. Sleep on it if you need to. Give yourself the space to connect with you first. Only then will you be able to have a productive discussion with your significant other.
Carin Goldstein, Counselor/Therapist

3 Reasons You'll Regret Revenge, Sweet As It Seems In The Moment
Burning her clothes. Emptying his bank account. Supergluing a certain 'member' to the inside of his leg…

We know relationships can be a force of heated emotions; but is getting revenge the productive or wise way to channel your anger? Contrary to what your emotions may be telling you, the answer is a definitive "no." Here's why:

1. Acts of revenge will cause you to lose respect for yourself in the aftermath. When your rage/anger settles down (and it will, guaranteed), you WILL judge yourself for your conduct during this time. And if you've behaved in an uncharacteristically cruel or mean way, feelings of shame, guilt and regret shall next be in hot pursuit of you.

2. Revenge is but an illusion of a quick fix. I KNOW that in your imagination it feels good to do something now – to lash out, reciprocate the pain, and damn well give him what he deserves. But revenge will NOT instantaneously make your pain go away like it wants you to believe. In fact, inflicting pain only ensures you'll experience similar pain, again, in the future.Getting Revenge On Your Ex: Is It Worth It?

3. Fantasizing about and plotting revenge become self-swallowing obsessions. This means they'll indefinitely distract you from what really matters (ie: caring for your kids) and impede, if not completely stop, your healing. Underneath all that rage lies a broken heart…and to its tending and mending is where your energy needs be channeled. Ultimately revenge hurts you more than it does your partner.

If you look deep inside yourself, some wise aspect of you already knows the above to be true. So heed that voice, get the healthy support you need from friends and family, and remember who you really are—a kind, beautiful, loving person—when you're tempted to behave badly.
Delaine Moore, Dating/Life Coach

Map Your Thoughts And Feelings To Help Neutralize Them
All of your feelings are natural, necessary and normal. However it is important to decide how you will let them effect you. This is called emotion regulation and you can practice it by changing your thoughts so that they will create new feelings and moods. The formula is simple but it takes practice.

Let's say that you have a horrible argument with your partner and you are angry and feeling rejected. On a piece of paper, list all the feelings that you are having. Then next to those feelings, list the thoughts that accompany the feelings. What's Your Emotional EQ?

It maybe something like: Feelings Accompanying Thoughts
I feel frustrated. "He makes me feel stupid"
I feel angry. "She always talks down to me"

The next step is to ask yourself: what is the evidence to support that thought? Make a list of what comes to mind.
It may look like: Evidence
He thinks I don't understand what he's talking about.
She uses a tone that sounds really parental

Finally, in the column next to your evidence, write all the facts that do not support your thoughts.
That may look like: Supporting Facts
Last week he told me that I really saved us money on those airline tickets.
Yesterday, she told me that I was a great dad.

Now combine those two statement into one. It may sound like:
Well, although, he makes me feel stupid at times, he does appreciate me too.
There are times that she treats me like a child, but she appreciates me too.

By fleshing out the truth behind your feelings, you can reduce their intensity and are less likely to lash out at your partner because of them. For more information on how to do this, you can pick up Mind Over Mood by Christine Padesky.
Carol the Coach, Counselor/Therapist

Article contributed by

Marriage and Family Therapist
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA.
Credential: LMFT, MFT
Other Articles/News by Carin Goldstein MFT:

5 Ways To Feel Calm, Cool, And Collected In Your Marriage 24/7

The 3 Types Of Nagging That DESTROY Your Marriage

10 Critical Things You Should Do To Raise Emotionally Happy Kids

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