Monday, November 02, 2009

Still getting angry

Just because we read something about anger management doesn’t mean that we are going to act on what we read even though we know it might help

Why is this?

Probably because we don’t really believe that we can change or overcome our anger behavior

Anger is an issue for many people

And anger is a tough one to remove or lessen so read this again because while it has many of the same elements as the last one I wrote maybe it will hit some of your buttons this time

And before we start yes it is possible to change ourselves

Learning to change our habits is how we grow

And yes it is difficult but then staying in bad habits can prove much more costly over time so if anger is one of yours then this is for you

Many people are not very good at listening

When upset we don’t pay attention or have any real interest in how the other person is feeling

Often we insist that the other person is wrong

We are waiting for the chance to interrupt and speak

We feel our own point of view to be much more important

And for sure if this is you then things are not getting any better and equally for sure it will happen again

Next time you row and get angry with someone see how many of these you are subject to

The truth is as you see it and you insist that you are right.

You are defensive and you argue and refuse to admit any flaw or shortcoming in yourself

You speak harshly to make the other person feel inferior or ashamed, putting them down along with calling them names.

While doing this you are sarcastic using strong words, and your tone of voice is belittling or patronizing.

And of course you respond to criticism with criticism by going on the attack and implying that the other person is defective or inadequate.

Then perhaps you change the subject or list past grievances, claiming that you have tried everything, but nothing works denying your role in the problem or insisting that you're not upset.

Moving on maybe to the implication that the problem is all the other persons fault and instead of listening, you give advice or so called "help" or you say nothing making sour faces and generally acting agressively.

So what now?

More of the same next time until something gives and your relationship breaks

This is of course likely unless you change and this means work

Work to learn how to listen and show some empathy to the other person showing them some respect.

It is one of the most difficult aspects of good communication because it means that you listen and try to see the world through the other person's eyes.

You learn to find truth in what they are saying even when it seems unfair and very different from your own understanding and you acknowledge how they must be feeling

Next you find the courage to express your feelings openly, using clear statements like I feel uncomfortable with what I am hearing, being tactful not to put the other person down.

Do not hide your own feelings show you are sharing them, but in a softer less antagonistic manner

One of the keys is treating the other person with kindness even though you are probably feeling frustrated and annoyed

If you are able to start moving in this direction even though you might revert to former behavior on occasion you are beginning to see that listening to the other person, treating them with respect and caring for them is a more fulfilling and powerful way to be

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