The Way To Make Sure He Hears You When You’re Angry

Sometimes our emotions are so powerful, and they come up so quickly – I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m overwhelmed! 

by Jeffrey Levine

Here’s an example – You’re all having dinner with his family, and you say something to his mother that doesn’t come out just right, or doesn’t land right. Later in the evening he pulls you aside and angrily asks: “Why did you say that to my mom?”

You get defensive, and angry and try to explain yourself, and feel flustered. You’re angry and you don’t know how to deal with it. 

Maybe you want to apologize but really you don’t want to apologize.

While the details might be different, this kind of situation is common.

The truth is, it’s complicated. 

You’re both triggered. And it feels overwhelming.

In an ideal world, after you cool down, you might be willing to look in the mirror and ask “Why do I get so angry when he does that?” 

And in that same ideal world, he’s willing to look in the mirror and be honest with himself about what triggered him.

But for now, you want to focus on you.

I think about my own history – I grew up in a home where my parents argued a lot – and for whatever reason, that kind of arguing triggers some powerful emotions in me – so I would avoid those kinds of arguments with my partners.. and I would shut down if they got super angry with me…and it took me a while to understand that about myself.

In other words, I’m not suggesting that once you understand the reasons behind your emotions that they magically go away.

Your triggers will mostly likely still be there, though it’s possible they may have less power. 

The way through this is actually a four-step process.

And it’s about improving your own Emotional Intelligence. It goes something like this:

  1. Perspective: You begin to get some perspective on the situation. You take a step back and can see it more clearly
  2. Ownership: You begin to take ownership of what is your own stuff. Yes, he has stuff as well – but you get clear on what is yours.
  3. Forgiveness: You begin to move to a place of forgiveness – for both of you. Whoever you think is to blame, you move past that into compassion and grace.
  4. Open The Door: You open the door to having a connecting conversation about what happened. 

This four-step process is what replaces the anger and resentment, the name calling and the blaming, the accusations and defending, and the stuffing down of feelings and needs.

And it moves you both closer to resolving the issue more quickly, in a way that makes a loving connection possible. 

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.”

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