Why is it so hard to say what we mean? We have emotions like anger to help us communicate, whether it’s direct or indirect, when we want to say something important —something we’ve been meaning to get off our chest. But, the effectiveness lies in the way conversations are executed. Aggression is one of the largest obstacles to emotionally intelligent communication.
This is why people often misuse passive aggressiveness as a way to smooth things out. They think that it’s “better” or “nicer” when in reality, it’s not honest communication. It’s not creating a genuine connection and the consequences of it are only detrimental in the long run. Whether we like it or not, learning how to confront issues effectively is a life skill that is essential if we ever want to be successful and happy. Psych2Go shares with you 7 ways to boost your emotional intelligence when dealing with anger:
1. Become self-aware.
When we’re angry, our minds fog up and logic is postponed. It’s hard to focus on anything but the frustration and disappointment we are experiencing. Allow yourself to feel angry, but then find a release to cope with it. Do what works for you, whether that means going for a walk, meditating, journaling, watching your favorite movie, or baking a cake. By cooling down, you’ll be able to regain composure and think clearly again.
2. Understand your emotions.
Figure out what you’re genuinely feeling. The spectrum of human emotions is infinite. Sometimes, we might think we’re angry when we’re actually sad. Or, perhaps we think we’re frustrated with a person or situation when in truth, we’re experiencing pain or sorrow. It’s important to tap into your emotions and understand the intricacies of each and every one of them.
3. Ask yourself if you’re misplacing the blame.
It’s so easy to blame someone else for all the problematic experiences you face. If you’re tired, stressed, or unhappy at home, work, or in your relationship, you might be quick to point fingers and think that your parents, boss, or romantic partner are responsible for all the misery you’re feeling, but be careful that you’re not misplacing the blame. If they come around and do all they can on their end, but you still find yourself upset, then chances are, they weren’t at fault to begin with. The problem lies deeper than that.
4. Consider everything a learning experience.
Stay curious. Research shows that negative emotions cause us to be more self-centered. When you allow anger to consume you, it’s hard for you to focus on anyone else’s perspective but your own. In order to let go and be more open-minded, a good place to start is ask yourself why the other person is acting the way that they are.
Anne Frank writes, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.” Frank showed a sure sign of emotional intelligence when she still had the will and courage to understand the true intentions of humans. Instead of confronting someone right away or their actions, show a genuine interest in them and ask them what’s going on.
5. Be compassionate.
Learn to be respectful and considerate of the other person. While that may be the very last priority on your list when you feel betrayed, hurt, or angry, you can still choose to be the bigger person and have compassion. If you approach them with aggression or hostility, they will only return the same attitude you’re exhibiting. By showing empathy and respect to the other person, you’re allowing for open communication to happen, which can help the both of you be honest and form a meaningful connection.
6. Communicate effectively.
Share your perspective by using “I,” but don’t let yourself steal the show and hog up all the attention. Be honest and allow yourself to be vulnerable. This will help the other person know that you’ve been deeply hurt and that you’re genuinely trying to make things right.
7. Ask the other person to share their thoughts and feelings.
Remember that communication is a two-way street. Let the other person feel heard, too. It’s only fair that you do your part of listening, too, after you got all that you meant to off your chest. By asking them for their perspective, you can learn to understand where they’re coming from that will help the two of you form a bridge you can cross together, rather than creating more problems and distance.
Do you find these tips helpful? How do you deal with anger? Leave a comment down below!
Frank, A. (1993). The Diary of a Young Girl. Bantam.
Seppala, E. (2017, September 28). 6 Ways Highly Emotionally Intelligent People Deal With Anger. Psychology Today. Retrieved October 5, 2017.