In the article called, The first part in becoming friendly with anger begins with understanding its function, we left off with the question of, “How do we begin to recognize that when we feel anger in our daily relationships it is that our danger signals are simply telling us we are not getting our needs met?” The first three steps to understanding more about this could be:
- Commitment – make a personal choice to begin resolving your difference and choose to connect in your relationships
- Develop Understanding – become curious about how to be objective about what is happening that is causing your anger. A good rule of thumb is to view a situation as though seeing it through a video camera and describing this without blame and shame. For example, “the room was dark and the table was at an angle that I did not see,” versus, “you left the table in walkway and you turned the lights off, what did you think was going to happen!”
- Be Willing to Take Personal Responsibility – take time to explore what your feelings are and know that these feelings are created by an unmet need you have. What could needs be? In the above example you may be feeling annoyed, hurt, and frustrated because you have a need for safety, trust and reassurance that if you walk through your family room in the dark you’re not going to walk into a table.
Having personal agreement to these first three points will give you incentive to create opportunities for going beyond your differences in situations that typically create anger. The next four steps are inner based self inquiry and actions steps to begin to practice the next time you notice your feelings of anger rising.
- Notice what you are telling yourself without judging yourself. What stories are you putting to the situation. In the above example it might be, “he/she always moves the table and never puts it back. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself!” Or perhaps you are not comfortable with the idea of having needs and expressing them. You may have been brought up to not have needs or may have them confused with ego thinking. Simply notice and commit to moving forward with;
- Identify the emotions or feelings that are coming up. Some of us will have a vocabulary of feelings and others will sense in terms of experiencing. After choosing a few that are most alive move on to;
- Identifying what needs of yours that may not be getting met. This step will begin to decrease the level of heat you are feeling and begin to let you connect to what’s underneath the surface of your reaction.
- Decide what you want. Make this a clear and positive action request which will be easier to find agreement with. You cannot come to agreements with statements of what you do not want.
Once you have stopped to check in and separate the enemy images to understand more objectively what has stimulated you, identified your feelings and needs that stimulated your feeling and come up with a clear positive request of what you do want, the next stage is to deliver the message. For on go to link: