There are times when people do and say things that makes us angry. Certain situations that happen unexpectedly, or that are out of our control can leave us feeling angry.
In this blog, I am going to explore what anger is and how we can communicate it safely.
What is anger? It is a powerful emotion.
When we are hurt or feel sad deep down, a burst of anger feels like the best way to communicate how we feel, as it seems situation out of our control or perhaps, the other person just is not listening or understanding us.
It is good to note that no matter how organised or prepared we might be, we can not be in control of everything as external circumstances can catch us off guard and throw us off balance at times. Often when our opinion and values are challenged, dismissed or disregarded we can feel aggravated. At times like these, our feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can make us vulnerable and angry.
Some may express their anger by shouting, screaming, smashing and banging things. It can also result in hurting themselves or others. This is an aggressive way of communicating anger. It is a non-productive, disruptive and destructive way when it starts to damage themselves and others.
Some people choose to communicate their anger in a passive and non-aggressive manner where they are not able to express how they feel. They accept others views even though they do not feel that way. They do this in fear of causing confrontation or being disliked, in some cases they punish themselves. This is also an unhelpful way of communicating the anger.
So then how should we communicate anger safely?
Below I outline 5 ways to communicate anger safely:
1 - Take deep breaths and count 1-10 or more if necessary to calm yourself down. When we are angry, we could become irrational in our thinking and in our behaviour and may act in a way that we would regret it later or cause some damage, emotionally, physically or mentally. So taking deep breaths we can adjust our thinking and calm our bodies down.
2 - Scream into a pillow or punch a pillow. When we get angry, our body generates excessive energy and we need to release this energy. Remember, we need to release this excessive energy in a constructive way. Screaming into a pillow or punching pillow helps to release this energy and can calm us down to a better state of mind. This way we could avoid any destructive behaviour through our words or actions.
3 - Write down your thoughts and feelings. Get a pen and paper and get it all out on paper. Write down everything that comes into your mind without editing, when you feel angry until there is nothing else to communicate. Then tear the paper in to tiny little pieces. This technique has proven to be very a therapeutic way to calm yourself down and to help communicate your feelings of anger and frustration to people around you.
4 - Get yourself away from the situation. If possible walk away from the situation, go for a walk or a run, this will help to calm down your mind. If a walk is not possible, then find a distraction like doing a task, lying down or watch something light or funny on TV. This will help to calm your body down.
5 - The most important one is after trying one or more of the above techniques and you have calm down, speak to the person with whom you might be angry with or speak to someone who will listen and understand you. Try to speak with the person whom you are angry with in an assertive way as this will help you to communicate your feelings clearer. Let the person know what is was that hurt you and made you angry. Explain how you would like to deal with the situation going forward and what you would like to happen in the future should a similar situation arise.
These are my top tips help you communicate your anger safely. I urge to to try at least one of these because I believe it will make a difference when you are feeling angry. It may be difficult at first, but the more you try it, the more it will become part of your own strategy to communicate your anger.
With some practice you will come to be communicate your anger in a way that will help others understand how you feel and leave you feeling heard.
If you feel you need assistance in exploring your feelings and thoughts, as well as working through the