How to Express Anger Safely
Do you know how to express anger safely? Recently, my laptop charger stopped working. My father, an agricultural engineer with no computer expertise, attempted to fix it without my permission and after I warned him not to mess with it. Needless to say, he broke it even further and I'm now writing my posts at the library for the next few weeks. I was angry, but both parents told me to be quiet when I expressed said anger. This made me think of how to express anger safely, especially when you're not allowed to show any anger.
Express Anger Safely: Use "I" Statements
Even if it is their fault, don't blame. I bit my tongue to avoid saying "I told you so" or "You broke the computer because you wouldn't listen to me." Blame statements don't help anybody and put the other person on the defensive. "I" statements express how you feel and give the other person to see the problem from your point of view.
I told my father "I'm angry because you messed with the computer after I told you not to, and I feel that if you would have listened to me it wouldn't have happened." Sadly, this does not always work. My father simply couldn't get his head around why I was angry, and my mother took his side and told me to be quiet because I was embarrassing her and my father.
"I" statements do not always work, which leads to Tip Two.
Express Anger Safely: Talk to Someone Else
The principles set out in the biblical Book of Matthew are good for solving relationship problems. First, go directly to the person involved. If that does not work, go directly to the person involved with one or two others. Talking to someone else, especially using a mediator, can often resolve the conflict.
Since I was not allowed to talk about my anger with my parents (in my family, we ignore problems and hope they go away), I went to my psychiatrist. She told me my anger was perfectly justified, but that I needed to channel it constructively. We then talked about coping skills, which ranged from playing music to riding my bicycle around town. It was important to get that rage out.
You may not choose to go to a mental health professional. You may choose to go to a friend, to clergy, or to a mentor such as a teacher. Whoever you go to, stick with the facts and tell them how you feel about said facts. More often than not, they will have insight into the situation you don't have to express anger safely.
Express Anger Safely: Find a Solution
When you are angry, you usually have a problem that seems insurmountable. This is the time where you need to find a solution. Brainstorm, ask others' advice, just come up with a solution however you can.
My solution was to go to the library and run my freelance writing business from there. I also check my Facebook page, check my e-mail, and play video games (I'm especially fond of "Game of Thrones Ascent" for Facebook). I make a day out of it and enjoy it. Plus, it gets me away from the drama at my current residence. It is an acceptable solution until I get my laptop again.
Sometimes the person you are mad at may offer a solution when they realize you're angry. My parents lent me a tablet a few days after the laptop fiasco--their way of apologizing without saying anything. Solutions to the problem causing your anger may come from the most unlikely of places.
So that's three ways to express anger safely. What ways have you found? Leave your message in the comments.
Oberg, B. (2015, July 20). How to Express Anger Safely, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2015/07/how-to-express-anger-safely
Author: Becky Oberg
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