Using empathy to help with feelings of anger

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To get beyond our feelings of anger towards another person one simple thinking technique is to use the virtue of empathy and understanding. Empathy and understanding do not require that we agree with the other person. However it does mean that you are listening to them, acknowledging them, and are willing to discuss the two points of view.

Just asking yourself what the other person is feeling right now is a good first step. They may be afraid of losing something that is important to them or they physically be tired, sick or anxious about another event. All of these could create a response that does not fit into what we would like or expect.

You could also then ask, What is really important to them now. It is possible that some world affair is on their mind and they may have very strong view that do not fit the way you are thinking. But if it is important to them they may express themselves strongly wanting to be heard and understood.

Finally ask, How they are viewing this situation. They may see or hear this situation as a confrontation and it may not be so in your mind. Keeping in mind how they see or feel the subject at hand gives us insight into where the person’s point of view is coming from.
Using our empathy skills is a fundamental way of helping us be less angry.

Calming ourselves when feeling angry – Part 1

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When it comes to anger, there are ways of calming ourselves and managing anger safely and appropriately. There are many things that we can do, and each of us needs to find what works for us. You will hear some say “Take three deep breaths.” or “Count to ten backward.” or take a break and excuse yourself from the situation for a few minutes while you regain control.  All of these are really about pausing and thinking about what your goal is in this relationship you are engaging.

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What makes us angry and where do you feel it?

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Anger is a feeling we get when things are not going the way we wished or wanted it to go. It happens to everyone, both young and old. It may have been a goal that we had, or there may be a frustration about not getting a need met. As a parent, we have a goal that our children behave in a particular way. When that goal is not complied with by the child, we may get angry. If we are in a relationship and the other person does not meet our expectations in the way they respond to us we may feel anger welling up inside of us.

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