When’s the last time you got angry with your guy?
How did it go?
If you’re like many of us, expressing your anger doesn’t always lead to more closeness and loving feelings.
Why is that?
It’s because we don’t realize what our anger is telling us or how to express it in a way that our partners can hear.
Here are the ways that we often use to express our anger. Do any of them sound familiar?
Yelling at him.
Giving him the silent treatment
Do you have your own favorite that I haven’t listed here?
So can your anger actually be the key to bringing him closer?
The important thing to realize is, your anger is actually a clue to YOU.
It’s the way that you know that some specific need didn’t get met.
Maybe it was a need for understanding. Or a need for connection. Or a need for care.
You see, when we don’t get our needs met, we often have very strong feelings.
Here’s an example of something you might yell at your guy:
“Why didn’t you text me back when I texted you how upset I was about what my friend, Kim, said to me?”
And what’s his likely reaction? Probably something to defend himself. And he’s also confused about what he can say that won’t make the situation worse.
You’re obviously angry… and are having some very strong feelings.
But let’s look closer.
Because underneath the anger, there is always another feeling.
For sure, anger is a strong emotion, and often justified.
But what’s important to recognize is that most of the time, your expression of anger is scary and won’t get you what you want.
When you pause to discover what the feeling under the anger is, you’re in a position to communicate that to your guy… in a way he can hear.
In this particular example, when he didn’t respond to your text, you might have been feeling:
Alone/lonely (I need someone to hear how upset I am)
Disappointed (I wanted to get his feedback on the situation)
Scared/worried (this isn’t like him to not text me back right away – I hope he’s alright),
The need for connection with someone close (Kim just let me down, I want to know I have other close friends).
Any of these (and others) are possibilities.
What you want to do is communicate THESE feelings, instead of the anger.
“Kevin, when you didn’t text me back, I started to feel scared because you usually get back to me right away.”
“I was really disappointed when you didn’t get back to me because I was so hurt by what Kim said, and connecting with you always makes me feel good.”
If he hears that kind of statement from you, he is all of a sudden open to showing up for you.
You were honest and vulnerable with your feelings – and if he’s a good guy, he will step into caring, and away from defending himself.
Use your anger as a clue that there is some other feeling, some deep need that isn’t being met.
Then speak about THAT.
In my ebook, “How To Talk To A Man” I explain why your guy can’t hear you (when you need him to), and how to completely turn that around, almost instantly.
Allow yourself to be honest, open and vulnerable about what is really going on with you.
This will make it easier to avoid the yelling, accusations and blame that keep you from connecting with him in a loving way.
And will help you create the loving connection you’re wanting in that moment.
Jeffrey Levine is a corporate coach and trained mediator (and Rori Raye’s husband) who works with both men and women to improve their communication, deepen their connection and remove the blocks that keep them from feeling and expressing love. He is the author of “How To Talk To A Man”, which contains invaluable advice, tools and solutions to help you avoid common relationship pitfalls, and clean things up when they go south. “Every moment presents a new choice for you: a decision about what you want – and what you believe you deserve.”