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How To Have A Respectful Argument To Resolve Conflict

Having a civil discussion with someone when you are angry and feel like yelling and screaming can seem extremely difficult, but it is possible. In fact, people who tend to just lose it every time they are frustrated find that living life like this isn’t very pleasant in the long term. Others become afraid and avoid you, relationships disintegrate, employers look down upon it and you might even get involved with the law. The key is to learn how to filter what you really want to say or do by utilizing anger management skills to stay controlled.

It is natural that when you are in any type of close relationship with someone like a spouse, co-worker, friend or family member, you won’t always agree on everything. In fact, an argument can actually be a good thing because it shows that you both want the best out of the situation. If you never disagree, one person is most likely giving in and slowly building resentment. However, when that argument arises, instead of flying off the handle, think about treating the other person in the same way that you would like to be treated. Would you like someone screaming that you “always” do something that is hurtful? How would you feel if the other person didn’t even try to recognize the importance of the matter at hand and interrupted or belittled your feelings?

The next time that a difficult conversation arises, instead of responding with frustration and anger, focus on the issue at hand (not something that you’ve been reminded of from years ago) and do your best to consider where the other person is coming from. Respond respectfully by speaking honestly without criticizing, judging or attacking the other person. It helps to count to 10, take deep breaths and then listen closely to why the other person is upset. Resist making assumptions about their perspective. Instead, listen closely and repeat back what you have heard them say so that they can confirm that you understood correctly. Give the other person time to speak and definitely don’t interrupt with your own point of view. Before you start in with your side of the story, ask them if they have said everything on their mind.

When you are ready to explain your point of view, try your best to speak calmly and politely. Take ownership of your feelings using “I” statements rather than “you need to…” so the other person doesn’t feel like they are being attacked. Once you have stated your perspective, work with the other person to come up with a solution that you can solve together. Look at the pros and cons of each solution and brainstorm to find one that you can compromise on and both live with. And, it’s not over yet. In order to fully resolve the conflict, make sure to check in with the other person to see if the tactic you came up with is working for him/her over time.

Learning how to regulate your emotions to better handle stress and control your angry impulses will help you to recognize and change your harmful arguments with others. This in turn will create stronger, healthier and more successful relationships in every part of your life.

Adjust Expectations To Decrease Your Level Of Stress And Anger

The way you look at life greatly affects your response to a situation. Five different people might have five different reactions to the same irritating event. Some people might think that a person acting out at them with road rage is funny, while others might take it as a personal slight, or for others it might be the last straw proving that everyone is out to ruin their day. In other words, some people have the innate ability to let aggravations role off their backs while others get furious when expectations don’t go as planned. The problem is that you wish that you could have accomplished things one-way, (in this case it’s getting to work without any stress), and can’t get over what actually occurred. When the expectation isn’t met, some people can’t get past the moment and shift their aggression towards another person.

We all have our expectations of how things should work. Hopeful and positive expectations can lead to a more optimistic outlook. However, when we set our expectations of ourselves, others, or circumstances too high, we can end up constantly feeling frustrated, hurt and downright angry. Many people think that if they could just get the other person to change his ways, they’d be much happier. However, a key aspect of anger management is learning how to manage your own expectations to a more realistic level.

So how can you adjust your expectations without feeling like you’ve given up? It’s important to realize that not everyone thinks like you. If you start every day expecting that everyone is going to fall in line behind you and accept all your thoughts and ideas, you set yourself up for failure. The successful management of expectations requires that you don’t just assume others should “know you by now” or “understand you”, but that you constantly communicate respectfully, calmly and clearly what you need and why. Just expecting that your stay at home spouse will have dinner ready when you get home from work, or that your employees will do a project the way you can create confusion and frustration. So, instead of flying off the handle, slow down and try to understand the other person’s point of view. Listen to them closely and repeat back what you are hearing to make sure it’s clear. Having an open and honest discussion can help both sides to feel like their opinion matters and contribute to successful resolution.

Furthermore, consider cognitive restructuring, or changing the negative way you look at things. This involves making a conscious effort to look at the brighter side. For example, instead of thinking that someone is purposefully driving slowly in front of you to make you late to work again, adjust your thought process to “I allowed myself enough time to get to work on schedule but couldn’t get out from behind a slow driver. I will add another 10 minutes driving time in the future”. Use your problem solving skills in conjunction with a more positive spin to resolve the issue going forward instead of harboring anger.

The more you are able to utilize skills in problem solving, communication, expectation levels and positive self-talk, the less stress and tension you will carry around with you.

Change Your Negative Thought Patterns For Better Health

We’ve known that a chronic hot temper isn’t good for anyone, but it’s now been confirmed once again. Harvard researchers recently reviewed evidence of studies done between 1966 and 2013 that examined the link between anger and cardiovascular risk. After thorough analysis, they have concluded that within 2 hours after an angry outburst, the individual has 5 times the chance of having a heart attack and 3 times the risk of stroke. Researchers speculate that this is because the stress the emotions cause trigger the body to increase heart rate and blood pressure; incite sweat glands to start pumping and alter normal breathing patterns. Without a doubt, not only does anger provoke changes in your state of mind, but also in your physical wellness.

Some people think that this explosive anger makes them feel better. If I scream, yell and throw things, I’ll get it out of my system and then relax. However, in actuality, if your body is continuously pushed into this “fight or flight” response, it will eventually break down in some way resulting in insomnia, hypertension, gastrointestinal issues, and a compromised immune response. Not only this but it can lead to other negative emotions like depression, bitterness and futility. In the long-run this continued response breaks down relationships, can cause trouble at work or prevent you from holding down a stable job, and can even turn to violence.

The bottom line is that life is just too short to live with uncontrolled anger. So the question becomes “Is this reactive, hostile behavior working for you?” If the answer is no, then now is the time to gain control by learning preventative tools to help manage your anger. Instead of letting your rage and hostility build up inside, or taking it out on those around you, you can gain control in a few different ways. It’s always helpful to have a support network to lean on like a friend or therapist to talk to, you can learn breathing techniques for calming purposes, make sure to get regular exercise to help release tension, try to get enough sleep (7-8 hours per night), and change your attitude. The way that you look at things and talk to yourself in your mind greatly influences your level of anger.

Changing negative thought patterns as part of learning new anger control skills can be challenging and will take time. When you notice that your self-talk is bringing you down, look for ways to creatively come up with a solution to the problem. For example, instead of getting angry with your boss and yourself because you won’t have enough time to finish a project, look for responsible ways to clear your schedule until it is completed. Look for a solution to the problem instead of wasting time just fuming about it. Even if positive thinking doesn’t come naturally, you can make a conscious effort to redirect your negativity and put your energy into finding solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.

In the end you will find that utilizing basic anger management skills will help you to improve your health by lowering your stress level, your risk of heart attack, ulcers and hypertension. We all know that difficult situations happen in life, but constantly responding with anger only makes it worse. Opening your mind to ways you can improve things will lead you on a healthier and happier path.

Learn Constructive Ways To Turn Your Anger Into A Positive

Anger is a completely normal response that we all experience. Something or someone hurts or embarrasses you, or makes you feel vulnerable or ashamed so your adrenaline kicks in, heart rate speeds up, and you want to control the damage immediately. If you are hot tempered and don’t know how to calm yourself down, this can send you uncontrollably off the deep end. You might respond by yelling and screaming, throwing things or even by becoming physically abusive. The angry feelings aren’t a bad thing; it’s the way you respond to those feelings that can become constructive or destructive in your everyday life. The reality is that you don’t need to continue to live like this. You can become more adept at controlling your anger by learning how to turn your anger into a positive and improving your social skills.

So, what’s the positive side of anger you might ask? First of all, your anger brings your feelings to the forefront reminding you how unhappy or unsatisfied you are. It then can give you the energy you need to shake things up. It can motivate you to make a change in your life by letting go of a toxic relationship or a frustrating job, lose weight or eat healthier, to change the status quo. In the bigger picture, famous people like Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa have used their anger to help change the world. Lastly, anger helps to protect you from harm. It triggers the fight or flight response to help you defend yourself to survive a challenge. You’ve been passed over for a promotion at work one too many times? Your angry emotions can push you to talk to your boss about how to move up in the company.

Many people think that they can deal with their angry emotions on their own and end up ignoring or repressing them. This often just delays the hostile reaction by days or years until you reach a boiling point and can’t hold it in anymore. Or, they have a detrimental outburst and then move on, losing respect from those around them and even leaving them afraid. A better solution is to learn to deal with your anger related issues to respond in a more constructive way.

When you learn the necessary skills to handle your anger, you will learn how to resolve conflict by expressing your anger in a calm and respectful way so that the person on the receiving end doesn’t feel completely attacked. Then a positive discussion can take place in which a misunderstanding is worked out to the benefit of both parties involved.

Anger management classes both online or in a group setting give people a safe and non-judgmental setting to provide the support and techniques necessary to improve the relationships in your life, improve your experience at work and even prevent your anger from turning into a violent reaction. This is done by learning how to understand your own personality traits and trigger points. Then through learning how to better manage your stress, improve your emotional intelligence and techniques to talk yourself into a calmer state, you can ultimately tame your angry reactions and get your life on track.

Forgiveness Is An Important Tool In Anger Management

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.” Oscar Wilde

Everyone has been hurt at some point in his or her life. At the root of anger and resentment is generally an attack to the ego. It might be a teacher’s critical response to a paper you have worked so hard on, a parent who tells you to shape up, or a friend who begins to draw away after years of closeness because of a difference in opinion. When we hold on to the feelings of being mad and hostile at someone or something, we harbor negativity, confusion and insecurity that leave us with bitterness and anger that drain our energy. If this becomes a chronic problem, it can ultimately lead to depression, insomnia, physical health issues and even isolation.

People generally carry grudges and hold on to their anger because they keep hoping that some kind of justice will be served in their favor. As we all know, in reality an entire lifetime can go by without receiving an apology or resolution. Instead, of living life like this, learning to let go and forgive can be empowering. It means that you no longer give the person who hurt you the power to control how you feel, but take responsibility by forgiving, healing yourself and moving on.

Forgiveness is a key tool in anger management. It gives us the upper hand by clarifying our thoughts and enhances peace of mind. Studies of couples that have gone through divorce show that those who chose to forgive the ex-spouse had lower anxiety, depression and greater sense of emotional well-being. This is something that plays out everyday in our office. For example, six years after divorce, Jerry, the ex-husband, remains bitter, upset, and has put on weight. He can’t even think about his ex without getting outraged and has not been able to develop a new stable intimate relationship. Instead he obsesses about how she is has such a pleasant lifestyle while he has to work so hard and hand over alimony. She, on the other hand, chose to forgive her grievances years ago and has moved on with her life in a happy and positive way. She has started a new career and has a new partner in her life. She looks and feels good and is unburdened by the resentment her ex-husband is carrying around.

The act of forgiveness is actually good for your health. Studies show that those who blame someone else for their problems have higher incidences of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses than those who have chosen the path of forgiveness.

People are often hesitant to forgive because they feel like it shows weakness. Its important to remember that just because you choose to forgive a situation like for example, an extra-marital affair, or a lie, it doesn’t mean that you condone or excuse it. You don’t even need to come to terms with it or learn how to understand the situation differently. You just need to learn how to get past the situation by acknowledging what happened, communicating that you don’t want to carry the resentment and frustration anymore and putting it behind you. It’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and if you can forgive those poor judgment calls you will end up in a more emotionally healthy place. Anger management classes can help individuals to learn the tools necessary to forgive and live a more peaceful life.