Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rethinking Anger

I do not react well to outbursts of anger.  My heart starts beating fast, I tense up, I am afraid.  So rather than deal with issues, I often try to avoid the angry outburst that I might cause my partner to have.  But as I read ´The Highly Sensitive Person in Love´, it talks about ´moral anger´ which is reflective anger that is expressed when your partner has crossed the line.  For example, if you have a clear boundary (e.g. he must call when he expects to be late and he doesn't call) the anger is justified to underscore the importance of the boundary.  Otherwise you will get walked over.  I find that perspective interesting.  This is different from anger that is meant to hurt (attack, obtain victory, annihilate).
For me, I have to learn that I will give and receive anger at higher levels then I would like.  But that is okay.  I should ask my partner to express his needs and complaints without anger -- or to at least take a time out so that we can calm down.  Another tip is to try and see what´s behind the anger.  Have I crossed a boundary that I shouldn´t have?  Have I stirred a sense of shame somehow?  What does he fear right now?  Why does he need to be angry? None of this is my forte.  Good to know though.

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