To be successful and fulfilled you need to embrace not only your nicer and more cheerful emotions, they insist, but also accept and learn to work constructively with your darker ones. Constructive anger is anger that can help with healing, forward movement, and recovery.
As in any situation where you want to prevent something bad from happening and hopefully turn the situation around, the key to making constructive anger work is having the tools you need when you need them.
1. Try not to avoid confrontation: Many people, particularly women, aren’t comfortable feeling anger or experiencing it in others. But it’s a legitimate emotion that can highlight important issues. Burying your feelings of anger, or shying away from it in others, will either cause bigger explosions of internalized anger in the future, or may lead to depression. Perspective is necessary in order to settle a dispute in a way that’ll make you content. Believe in the validity of your feelings, especially when you’re certain the other person is taking things too far. If you can, talk over the situation with a trusted friend who will offer their viewpoint. Having someone else on your side emotionally can diffuse your frustration, at least temporarily.
2. Focus your anger on the issue, not the person: Focus on the issue that triggered your anger, not the person on the other side of that issue. When you begin to personalize anger, your anger will invariably turn vengeful.
3. Identify the source of the anger: This step is an easy one. Why? Because the source of all your anger is you! All your emotions are a reflection of yourself. Right away, as you internalize the source of your anger, you begin to feel more in control of your anger. Now, the question is: Do you alter your expectations of that other person or do you clarify for them what those expectations are and what will happen if your expectations aren’t met?
4. Try to see things from other person’s perspective: Anger is so subjective that it’s hard to see past it, to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. But seeing the situation from the other person’s perspective is one of the most essential steps in using anger constructively. The easiest way to understand why the other person thinks, feels, or acts the way she does is to invite their input. If you don’t give the other person an opportunity to tell you where she’s coming from, you’re left to speculate — and odds are, you’ll guess incorrectly.
5. Be ready to make a compromise. Aim to think flexibly during confrontations. Have a resolution in mind, but stay open to compromises based on the other person’s opinions. Neither side is likely to get what they want 100 percent. Try to keep listening even if they appear to be completely unreasonable. They may not be skilled in confrontation themselves.Anger and hurt feelings can skew our interpretation of events and conversations–it may be far less personal than you first imagine. Stay open to the potential solutions. But don’t agree to binding conditions or rules when you know you’re not thinking straight. You can usually reassess any heat of the moment agreements afterward and decide if you’re truly prepared to stick to them.
Remember, we’re all human and sometimes we let anger get the better of us. But just because you allow yourself to be angry doesn’t mean you also have to let anger rule your interactions with others, or spiral out of control. Try these techniques and practice them in your own life to deal with anger more constructively and put yourself in control of your anger.