Anger can cause problems in a marriage. How people behave when they are angry can contribute to a breakdown in the marriage. Sometimes people don’t recognize that their anger is a problem. It can be helpful to spend some time thinking about how you handle your anger and how this impacts your relationship.
Think about how you feel when you are upset. What happens to you when you feel those angry and frustrated emotions? Sometimes people feel sad and angry at the same time. Other times, people just feel anger and rage. Consider what range of emotions you experience when you are angry.
How Anger Changes Behaviors
Also, take stock of what happens to your body when you are angry. For example, does your heart beat faster? Does your face to turn red? Our mind is so closely related to our bodies that our physical health can become like a thermometer for our angry feelings as anger causes physiological responses.
How do your thoughts change when you feel angry? Do you start thinking about how much you dislike the person who has hurt you? Do you start thinking about how bad things seem to always happen to you? Anger can cause people to see the world differently and their thoughts about themselves and others tend to change when they are upset.
After you recognize how anger impacts your thoughts and feelings, it is important to review how it impacts your anger. When people feel angry, their behaviors tend to change. People behave irrationally and do things they wouldn’t normally do when they feel angry.
Angry behaviors can include things such as aggression. Yelling, name calling and threats are included as part of verbal aggression. Physical aggression includes breaking things, punching holes in walls, or hitting people.
The Other Side Of Anger
Not all angry behaviors lead to violence. Other behaviors people exhibit when they feel angry may include “giving the silent treatment,” walking away, or simply giving in to other people. Sometimes people use other coping skills such as calling a friend, going for a walk, or listening to music.
Take a look at the behaviors you exhibit when you feel angry. Then develop a list of the pros and cons of your approach. Often, people find that some of their behaviors work well for them and they might find that other behaviors seem to cause problems.
For example, you might find that yelling at your employees is effective. For example, when you yell at your employees for repeatedly asking you for help, they may stop asking you for any assistance. You might think that your approach is helping them to become more independent.
On the other hand, you might find that the negative consequence of your angry behaviors at work is that when your employees don’t ask for help, they make mistakes. Your employees may not like you as much and they may be less likely to confide in you when they’ve made a mistake.
What Do You Get Out Of Anger?
In your relationship, you might find that lashing out at your spouse has some pros and cons as well. For example, yelling at your spouse may cause her to stop nagging you. However, it may also cause some damage to the marriage as it hurts her feelings.
Most people find that they do “get” something out of their angry behaviors. For example, people may respond to angry behaviors in a way that the angry person likes. Sometimes people also feel that their angry behaviors earn them more respect. But, it’s important to notice the negative consequences of angry behaviors as well.
Ask yourself, what others ways could I respond when I feel angry? What other ways could you get your needs met? For example, if you want your employees to become more independent and ask for help less often, are there other ways to promote this without yelling?
Recognizing what other choices you have to get your needs met can be helpful. Sometimes people benefit from learning new skills. Skills such as assertiveness training or communication skills can be beneficial. Other times, people benefit from learning how to empathize with others or learning appropriate ways to ask for help.
If you have a loved one who is concerned about your anger, it is important to examine how your anger may be causing some problems in your relationships. Acknowledging a problem with anger is a great first step to making change. Counseling can also help people learn new anger management strategies.