Does anger belong in your relationship, or better yet, in your life? Is it Okay to express anger or is it a deadly sin? Depending on culture, religious beliefs and personality, you will find different answers, but make no mistake, anger is a controversial topic.
Just this week in bible study, I got into a heated debate on the topic of anger. Part of the group came alive engaging the discussion while others got on their knees and asked the Lord to resolve this conflict! Maybe not; however, they could not wait for us to settle down and resume the study.
You may embrace peace as the highest virtue and anger— the enemy. Therefore, anger is not entertained, but rather released for the higher purpose of serenity and homeostasis. Living in peace brings contentment without having to achieve much else.
Or you may recognize anger as an emotion having a place and time, which moves you into action. You live by different sets of higher values such as integrity or altruism. The energy generated from anger is channeled to formulate a plan to attain goals and to unleash creative energy.
Okay, so you are in a relationship and conflicts and tension are unavoidable, if you both express your needs. You subscribe to expressing anger and your spouse subscribes to keeping peace. Sounds like a match made in heaven! The truth is the Warrior and the Peacemaker can co-exist in a harmonious relationship; after all, opposites attract to make things so much yummier.
Tips for the Warrior…express yourself and ‘sin not’:
- Keep your tone and expression of anger somewhere between low and moderate. Anything more will trigger your partner’s defenses.
- Maintain self-control at all times.
- State the obvious with humor.
- Do not put your partner down for his or her views. Seek to understand differences.
- Figure out what you are fighting for: Do you need to be affirmed, recognized, be heard or seen?
- Set your partner up for success and ask for what you really need.
- Listen. Do not interrupt.
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