Anger Fever: How to Express Your Anger without Getting Arrested! – Part 4

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The sixth and best way to deal with anger is to SPEAK OUT. Previously I discussed S – Supervise yourself, P – Ponder appropriate responses. Now the E, A and K in the work SPEAK!

E – EXPLAIN. EXPLAIN HOW YOU FEEL.

Explaining how you feel is far different than screaming a stream of epithets, or insulting everyone within earshot, or brooding for three days, or getting revenge on someone who hurt you.

Explaining how you feel involves the use of the shortest word in the English language: I. What I’m talking about are “I” statements or “I” messages that clearly declare your heart-felt feelings or your real personal needs.

“I am angry” can be declared as quietly and forcefully as “I am tired.” “I feel slighted,” or “I feel hurt by your words,” or “I need some help.” When you use I messages, you are utilizing non-threatening language to explain how you feel.

By the way, you might want to expand your emotional vocabulary. What you may at first think is anger may really be loneliness, or disappointment, or shame, or exhaustion, or annoyance, or a hundred or so other feelings. Someone said there are over 3,000 words in the English language that could complete the sentence, “I feel…”

Next: A – APPLY. APPLY LISTENING SKILLS

Want to know how to find out why people make you angry? Stop lecturing them and start listening to them. When you APPLY LISTENING SKILLS you work to understand the other person’s point of view. You can only discover the other person’s point of view if you APPLY LISTENING SKILLS.

Some time in the future I intend to come out with an entire course on the power of listening. In the meantime, here are four quick tips on becoming a better listener so you can find out why people make you angry.

First of all, Concentrate. When someone else is talking concentrate on what they are saying. Look them in the eye and let them know you are full present in the moment.

Second, Empathize. Author Stephen Covey wrote, “When you show deep empathy towards others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

Third, Reflect. Mirror back what the other person is saying. Summarize the various points they have made. This demonstrates you are not only listening but that you are empathizing!

Fourth, Inquire. Ask questions. Find out the meaning behind the words and ideas by gentle, respectful inquiry. Why, when, where, how are all great words to have active in your listening vocabulary.

To conclude, here are the S-P-E-A of our S-P-E-A-K acrostic:

S – Supervise yourself first.

P – Ponder appropriate responses

E – Explain how you feel

A – Apply listening skills

Next is K – Know how far to go and when to stop.

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