Anger is a natural human emotion. We all get angry from time to time, and we all have the right to express our emotions appropriately. Unfortunately, anger is often the emotion that ruins relationships. That’s because anger can sting—it can come across as irrational, aggressive, mean-spirited, or even manipulative. It’s an emotion that can quickly push others away.
Therefore, the key is to control your anger rather than have it control you. When you do that, you can express your emotions in a healthy way and not destroy relationships in the process. One of the best ways to take control of your emotions is to focus on some reflective questions. When you take a moment and engage in reflective questioning, you can see the situation in a new light and address the challenge in a productive way. This is how you stay in control of your anger rather than have it control you.
The next time you’re mad at someone or at a situation, before acting on your anger, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my anger appropriate?
- Did I allow something to upset me?
- Will the situation matter tomorrow?
- Can I do something about the situation?
- Is the risk of displaying my anger worth it?
Express anger only if you answer “Yes” to all five questions.
Even then, cool off first so that you speak in a non-accusatory way about what you allowed to upset yourself.
Tip: It’s okay to be angry and it’s okay to express your feelings. In fact, holding in your emotions can have negative effects on your health. The key is to be certain you’re expressing your anger appropriately so you don’t ruin your relationships.
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