How to Communicate Without Anger
When you feel frustrated with someone, communicating without anger takes a level of self-awareness most of us do not have. Even if we do have it, it is hard to put it into practice in the moment. It is more common to explode and say hurtful words you might later regret. Even if someone did do or say something that was inappropriate and/ or hurtful, if you commit to communicating without anger, you will have a better chance of understanding others and reducing feelings of resentment. Matching the other person’s anger or irritability is not effective or helpful.
Making sure you and others around you get your needs met requires open, honest, non-blaming communication. Choose not to engage or match communication that harbours anger.
Here are some tips to help manage your reactions to anger:
Listen without countering. It is easy to start thinking about your counter argument before letting the other person finish what they have to say. Try to focus on the words the other person is saying, rather than what is next for you to say.
Stick to the subject. What is the objective? What are the important facts to communicate in this situation?
Look inward. What is the motive behind the words you choose to say? To defend, provoke or communicate?
Ask for behavioural change. What would you like the other person to do differently? What would be helpful for them to do or say?
Remember the other person’s trigger points. Make a list of different triggers that you know irritate the other person. Then resist the temptation to use them.
Remember your own trigger points. Make a list of your triggers that you know create an instant feeling of anxiousness or angst. When triggered, resist the temptation to react to them with a distraction technique (such as counting to 5 before speaking).
To learn more about helpful communication styles, contact us for relationship counselling at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 647-961-9669.
Source: Bellows, A. (2018). Couples Can Communicate Without Anger. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 9, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/couples-can-communicate-without-anger/