Communicating Anger

Ever poorly communicated your anger?  If so, you’ve likely experienced the negative consequences that happen when this occurs—wounded relationships, offenses, guilt, and regret. Often, because of past negative experiences with anger—our own or others, we have a difficult time communicating our anger in healthy ways that enhance cooperation and reduce conflict effectively. Instead of asserting anger in ways that establish self-respect and preserve the dignity of all parties, we suppress our anger out of fear or act out in aggressive ways that cause our legitimate concerns to be dismissed. Here are 5 tips I have found that help me communicate my anger more effectively.

  1. Discover what is making you angry. Do you feel disrespected? Invalidated? Frustrated? Understanding your anger triggers will help you to understand what it is that you truly want to communicate.
  2. Deciding to act on your anger. Sometimes it is best to set aside your rights if it is evident that there will not be a positive outcome from asserting your anger. If that’s the case, overlooking offenses displays emotional maturity and a willingness to accept the flaws in others.
  3. Asserting your anger. If you decide to assert your anger, communicate your legitimate needs while respecting the dignity of others, even when they are wrong. Speak the truth in love and move on.
  4. Give others room. Allow others to disagree with you even while you still hold on to your convictions.
  5. Setting boundaries. If dealing with people who continue to disrespect, invalidate, or violate your worth, needs, and convictions, establish good boundaries while leaving room for growth and change.

Managing anger in healthy ways that prioritize truth and dignity takes time and practice. Thankfully, there is no shortage of opportunities in this life to learn and grow in all these ways.

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