Relationships are full of emotions. We often think of these as happiness, joy, and excitement. In fact, with how many emotions you may experience, it’s no surprise that there are negative emotions that will appear as well. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t properly handle a negative emotion and ultimately convert it to a positive one! One of the most destructive emotions is anger — simply because it is such an easily misunderstood emotion. Many couples don’t express their anger in a constructive way, which leads to it being a hurtful experience.
Recognizing Your Emotions
When anger is expressed in a way where one partner takes it too personally or begins to feel alienated, it can have a toxic effect on the relationship as a whole. But it’s important to realize that each person has their own perceived reality, and while you may feel strongly about a situation, the other person may not feel exactly the same. With that in mind, you must take responsibility for your emotions– it isn’t bad to have them, but you should understand them. Make an effort to figure out how to handle the feeling in a way where you can satisfactorily address the problem with your partner. This is critical for communication!
“It’s not about me.”
As you come to the understanding that our emotions are a response to our own thoughts, beliefs, and other stimuli, try to be more mindful in situations when your partner is angry. While the emotions may have been brought up by something that you’ve done, they are telling you about themself. It isn’t completely about you. With that in mind, listen respectfully to what your partner has to say about the situation. It can be extremely difficult to listen without interrupting, especially in situations where you feel blamed. However, you should keep in mind that this is a form of intimacy. But instead of getting defensive, you should encourage yourself to feel curious. Ask yourself: why do they feel this way?
When you start asking yourself these questions, you place your focus on the real issue and opportunity. Not only do you get to learn more about your partner, you can understand how the things you do impact them. Conflicts are hard to handle, but by being a respectful and caring listener, you can peacefully diffuse and resolve problems.
Tips to Remember:
- Ask questions that help you understand why they feel the way they do
- Do not get defensive
- Encourage curiosity between each other
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