What’s really bugging you?
Many of us get angry, annoyed, frustrated, or downright pissed off from time to time. It is normal to feel these feelings with someone you love in particular. I know for some of us, anger issues are a part of our pattern and either the cause or result of our substance abuse. It doesn’t really matter which came first. If this is a problem for you, then you have developed a habit, if you will, of getting angry and maybe even explosive. Some people will call it “anger issues” and look for resolutions in “anger management” groups. And this may work for some people. It has been my experience that anger is not the issue. It is a result of underlining issues.
One major issue is communication or, more accurately, miscommunication. This usually comes in the form of misunderstandings because people “assume.” We all look at things, situations with filters from our past experiences. In other words, how I interpret what you say or do is primarily affected by my past experiences, what I was taught, and what I believe. For example, if I have been in relationships where my significant other has been unfaithful or dishonest, I may be very wary of certain behaviors my current partner is exhibiting. I may interpret his evasiveness as sketchy or dishonest. This is why it is so important to communicate. Express to your partner how your feeling, in a non-judgemental way. Try to give your significant other the benefit of the doubt but be sure to express your concerns. It’s important not to just “stuff” your feelings or pass them off as nothing. The stuffing of feelings is what causes resentments and ultimately cause you to explode at any given moment, usually when the issue is not worthy of that reaction.
Sometimes we assume we know why someone said or did something. Again we are looking at the situation with our filters. At times when we think we know something, we should ask ourselves, “is there any other possible explanation?”, “is it possible I am wrong?” It’s best to come right out and ask the person, again, not in an accusatory way. Tell them you just want to clarify, or you want to understand better. If you feel the anger in you about to erupt and you feel you probably won’t be able to control your words or tone at that moment, it’s essential to recognize that and take a time out. Go for a walk. Clean something, take a shower. You probably don’t want to go for a drive or operate any type of heavy or dangerous machinery, LOL. During this time-out, ask yourself, “why are you so mad?” “what’s really bugging you?” Is it an old issue that wasn’t entirely resolved? Is it something that has nothing to do with your loved one? Are you not being clear of your boundaries? When you have cooled down, it is important to come back and have that conversation. Try not to let things go too long without being resolved. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to have the conversation. If it helps, write down the points you want to talk about. This may help particularly if your partner (or yourself) tend to get off track when having these discussions. The writing it down process can be soothing in itself, but don’t disregard the talking just because you feel better after writing.
Relationships can be challenging. It doesn’t matter if the relationship is with your partner, your children, your parents, or friends. It does take two, but the change can start with you. Try not to get upset with yourself when trying these suggestions, and you totally mess up. It takes practice. And as I often say, practice makes progress!
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As always, stay blessed and live your life Enthusiastically!!