Managing Anger in Relationships

Managing Anger in Relationships

The stress and demands of relationships can often be frustrating. This can result in anger and conflict in your primary relationship. Cooling Red Hot Relationships by Kirkland and Lindstrom, both psychologists, addresses this issue. Managing anger in relationships can save your marriage or can become a nagging issue until resolved.

The book goes into depth identifying the sources that appear as anger. This can be the need to control, impatience, being judgmental, demanding, possessiveness or being a perfectionist. Most important, most of us, “Manage anger through the way we think about ourselves, our mate and the world we live in.” According to this theory, only we can make ourselves angry by the way we react to others. It is often irrational thinking that we use to set ourselves up to over react. So, various exercises are presented as a way to become more aware of our anger history, how we think, and what triggers it now.

In terms of solutions, you will be requested to keep an anger log for a couple of weeks to identify any patterns. This really increases self-awareness and allows for more self-control. Once you understand the source of your anger, you can determine if it’s rational to feel that way and to find other outlets. The book offers anger management techniques like time outs, deep breathing, exercise, and meditation. But, it goes way beyond that into a deeper personal understanding. For example, we may need to understand our expectations to accept imperfect people rather get angry. Or we may need to reset our irrational thoughts of how we expect to be treated. This excellent self-help book presents a day-by-day intervention plan, homework exercises, and even suggestions on how to approach your partner.                       L.J.

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