Anger is a normal and natural human emotion that can occur during a relationship, often due to frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, failure to control your anger can lead to ugly confrontations that can ruin a once healthy relationship.
Follow these strategies for healthy anger management:
1. Calm down. Before you even attempt to talk to your partner, take a few moments away from the situation to clear your mind. It’s never a good idea to try and talk to someone while you are angry. It will only make the situation worse.
2. Count to 10 before you speak. A good way to calm down while angry is to count to 10 before speaking. This gives you a moment to figure out how you can respond wisely to the situation instead of reacting to it.
3. Listen. Give your partner time to explain their view of the situation. It’s possible that you’ve overreacted. The whole situation may not even be serious once it has been explained.
Try using active listening, where you repeat back what you heard to your partner. This will show that you understand what has been said and that you care about your partner’s feelings.
4. Take a time out. Before you say something that you may later regret, it may be worth it for both of you to step away from the situation. Set a time to revisit this topic later, when emotions aren’t running so wild.
5. Avoid the silent treatment. When you’re having an argument with your significant other, it can be tempting to slam the door and give them the silent treatment. While this approach may calm you down temporarily, it will likely cause anxiety or maybe anger in your partner.
This doesn’t mean that you need to resolve the argument immediately but make your partner aware that you need a little time to calm down and think about the next step.
If your partner has ever given you the silent treatment, you can understand how much anxiety it can cause.
6. Focus on the present. When you get angry, you may want to bring up issues from the past, but this isn’t the time to talk about the past. Focus on what has happened in the present to make you angry.
7. Avoid creating triangles in your relationship. When you’ve had an argument with your partner, it may feel good to talk, or rather complain, to your best friend. Wanting to vent is a natural reaction but talking to your friend rather than your partner will not resolve the issues.
Instead, make a valiant effort to talk through your issues with your partner as this will stop them from feeling isolated and defensive.
8. Forgive your partner. Often, anger comes from the frustration of knowing that past arguments have gone unresolved. It is important after an argument that you both forgive each other, so that you can move on emotionally.
9. Connect physically. Hug your partner after an argument, as this physical connection helps to resolve feelings of resentment. Sex, in particular with men, works wonders.
10. Look past the issue. We all have certain topics that cause anger and conflict, such as money, religion, or politics, for example. Rather than reacting angrily to a different opinion, try to let it go. Change the subject and, instead, talk about things that don’t automatically trigger your anger.
There are things that are going to frustrate you when you’re in a relationship but make an effort to follow these tips and you may discover that your whole relationship experience is changing for the better.