Not just from the point of view of the pun, but because those who have anger issues don’t want to talk about them–too hot to touch–and those who keep their anger to themselves don’t want to talk about it–too hot to handle.
What do you do with yours?
In a recent anger management class for relationship help, I asked the students how anger was managed in their homes when they were growing up. I pointed to one wall and said,
“Stand there if your family yelled, screamed, vented and let it all out.” I pointed to the other wall and said,
“Stand over there if everyone stuffed their anger in their bodies or pretended everything was all right. And, if you were somewhere in the middle, stand there.”
Of course, there were people all along that imaginary line.
“Look around the room now. What if you marry or work with someone from the opposite side of this room to where you are standing? How will you manage your differences?”
It’s a big question. Maybe you’ve experienced it. Were there any surprises for you in your relationship over anger issues? Have you been able to work it out successfully?
We come from different backgrounds and, therefore, we expect different things. If you had a father who yelled, threatened and fumed, you might have cowered in the face of his anger. Or, it might have made you angry, frustrated, yet unable to fight back. Now, you’re the adult and you’ll likely have a tendency to do one of three things: continue to cower, fight back, or serve it up just like he did, especially in your worst moments!
Then, you get into a long-term relationship. You may have never examined these patterns in your life before, and now you find that you need relationship help because your partner cannot or will not accept your anger being expressed in forceful ways. It’s threatening your relationship. (That’s when wise folks get the help they need and join my anger management classes in person or online. )
It’s common to think that your anger is simply about what is going on in the moment in your relationship. Occasionally, it is. Usually, it is far more deeply-rooted than that. There are four values that every relationship is best based on, especially the relationship you have with yourself: honesty, safety, trust and respect. The expression of anger affects all four!
Anger is healthy. It lets you know when a boundary has been crossed, or an expectation or need is unmet. It’s what you do with that anger that affects your self-esteem and your relationships. All too often anger is used as a synonym for aggression. It is not. Anger is an arousal in the body that lets you know something is amiss. Your breathing gets shallow. Your hands or feet get cold. Your face flushes. You feel a sense of unrest or anxiety in the pit of your stomach. These signal anger. What you do with that anger makes or breaks relationships.
If unleashed anger is problematic–either coming from you, or coming at you–in your primary relationship, get relationship help quickly. Unleashed anger wreaks havoc and really precious things get destroyed in its wake. Things like love, trust, safety, respect, companionship, friendship, jobs, families. That price is a way too high to pay for something that can be tamed, understood and managed!
If you need relationship help, anger management or parenting skills, let’s talk soon. Look here to see the classes available or to make an appointment with me. You’ll be grateful to yourself for doing that! ~ Dr. Shaler