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How To Learn From Anger And Grow To Be Happier

How To Learn From Anger And Grow To Be Happier

Anger is one of those emotions that sneaks up on you and takes over. Anger is normal, but if you’re letting arguments escalate every time and your temper is going out of control, then you need to keep your emotions in check. If you have a short fuse, your anger might be damaging relationships‒both work and personal. Make sure you know how to learn from anger and grow to be happier.

How much do you know about anger? It’s important to understand this emotion before you know why it’s important to tackle.

Anger hurts your health.

Anger is accompanied by high levels of stress and tension. If you experience this emotion consistently over time, you will be more susceptible to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, and high blood pressure. But this harm isn’t purely physical. Anger takes over so much of your mind that it clouds your thinking. The stress it creates can also lead to depression and a variety of mental issues.

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Anger hurts your relationships.

Anger hurts both your personal and your work relationships. Debates and arguments can be healthy, but only if you can take a step back and realize these as discussions only, not personal attacks. Getting angry and flying off the handle makes it so that people will not feel comfortable being honest with you. They’ll tailor their words and actions to your reaction, instead of according to what needs to be said or done.

Anger makes you look like a bully.

And everyone hates a bully. People might be scared of you and do what you want if you fly off the handle easily, but they won’t respect you, and they certainly won’t like you. You need to keep your anger in check during arguments and discussions so you come across as level headed and capable of handling anything that comes your way.

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    Now that you understand the downsides of anger, you can work to get over it, which will make you happier in the long run.

    Acknowledge your anger.

    It’s said you’re supposed to “let out” your anger so it doesn’t eat away at you, or become corrosive and hurt you down the line. While this is true, you must vent in moderation. Letting out all your anger will only hurt everyone around you, possibly permanently damaging relationships.

    Understand your anger.

    Is your anger rooted in something from childhood? Are you experiencing traumatic events or heightened stress levels that are causing you to fly off the handle more easily? Is this anger covering up another feeling? Maybe you feel too vulnerable to say what you’re really feeling, so you express it in anger instead. This is especially likely to be true if anger is your default reaction in most conversations. If anger is the only emotion you can express, then you need to work on getting those others to come out more willingly.

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    Take action on your anger.

    Make note of the warning signs before anger takes over your entire body. Does your face get hot? Do you feel knots in your stomach? Do you ball your hands into fists? Keep yourself in check when this starts happening. Try breathing exercises to calm yourself down, then isolate yourself so you can work through your anger without alienating anyone you care about.

    You can control your anger.

    Anger might sneak up on you and take you by surprise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t control it. You might not be able to stop what makes you angry, but you can control how it comes out around others. Don’t throw tantrums, don’t be a bully, and don’t let it eat you alive. When you feel angry, acknowledge where it came from and that you’re too big a person to be brought down by a little negativity.

    Don’t suppress your anger.

    It’s impossible to never get angry about anything. It’s human nature that things will rub you the wrong way and you’ll get frustrated and angered by them. Instead of focusing on suppressing your anger, or even trying to eliminate the sources of your anger, just make sure you’re expressing it in constructive, not destructive, ways.

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    Make your anger productive for you.

    Take that angry energy and use it to propel you around the block for a walk, or go to the gym to blow off all that steam. Funnel your energy into a creative outlet, listen to calming music, or even just sit in silence. Find something that works for you‒something that calms you down and makes you happy‒and use that to stave off the side effects of anger.

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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