‘Let it all hang out’ was the treatment choice for angry feelings in the olden days; and it seems like we’re still stuck there. The biggest challenge of living with a resentful or angry person is to keep from becoming one yourself! And if you somehow manage to overcome that one, the second challenge is to get your angry partner to change. And if you want to be successful in doing that too, here are some tips to get you on the right track…
- The first thing that you need to keep in mind, if you live with a person who has anger management issues, is that resentful and angry people see themselves as simply reacting to an unfair world. As a result, they are likely to feel attacked by any attempt to point out the ways in which they are unfair.
- People who are angry and resentful usually have high standards of what they should get and what other people should do for them; and this is why the angry and resentful frequently feel disappointed and offended. So do whatever is in your capacity to avoid any such situation.
- Also, people who are forever angry are conditioned to blame. These people have conditioned themselves to pin the cause of their distress on someone else. The law of blame is that it eventually goes to the closest person; in this case it’s bound to be you. So be prepared to be blamed.
- Realize that it’s not them who talks when angry. Narrow and rigid thinking can amplify and magnify the negative aspects of a person’s behavior or a situation. This does not mean that they are not good at heart.
- You can easily get stuck in a “pendulum of pain” when living with a resentful or angry person. Do not let that happen. Your compassion will heal you (and make you go back and accept their anger) but it will not heal them.
- Try to subtly tell them that they need to understand why they are angry.
- If you have children, chances are that walking out of the door will seem like a bad idea. In this case, you must be convinced that you and your family deserve a better life and be determined to achieve it.
- Don’t see your partner as an enemy or opponent, but someone who is betraying his or her deepest values by mistreating you in their rage.
- Compassion is good, but don’t let it show too obviously. Be careful with your words – don’t put the blame on them. Try saying something like, “I know that I am not being the perfect partner either, and I’m pretty sure that in your heart you don’t like the way we react to each other too. It hurts our kids too. We should make this better for us, for our kids.” Their love for their kids may help them understand that you mean well.
- It also helps sometimes to just listen. Listen, and not feel like you have to fix it.
- When you partner is angry, they are affected by something that was not supposed to happen. This means, they did not mean to make it happen (but it did, and it hurt them) and hence the anger.
- Do not ever try to calm them down or cheer them up. Fits of rage usually last only a few minutes. But if the ranting goes longer (15 minutes or more) then suggest changing the topic or taking a walk.
Remember that your spouse or partner, however temperamental they are, loves you deep down. So don’t give up on them and help them get out of the mess they may be in.