Anger is a form of communication. Like all forms of communication, we are trying to get something when we get angry. Usually, what we are trying to get is:
- To change someone else
- To get another person to do something we want them to.
- To get our own way
- To be heard or to be validated
The problem is. anger usually doesn’t get us any of these things – or, if it does, the cost is too high.
Instead, try communicating Â ffom your heart instead of getting mad or angry.
Here is an example: Joe and Mary had been dating for 6 months, both having come out of a long-term marriage. One evening while walking, they encountered a woman getting out of her car that Joe thought was drop-dead gorgeous. Being a rather typcial male, he actually lost his breath when he saw her. Of course, Mary saw this and was highly offended. However, rather than getting angry and thus ruining the whole evening, she chose to deal with it in the following manner:
Mary simply said: “you know, when you do that and ogle other women, it just breaks my heart.”
End of conversation. Joe never did that again.
Mary communicated everything in that simple sentence. It expressed her feelings, it jolted Joe into understanding the effect his behavior had on her (also called empathy), and itÂ motivated Joe to modify his behavior.