One of the most pronounced characteristics of emotional abuse is the abundant use of anger to hurt, shame, frighten, bully, and humiliate.
Typically, anger is the weapon of choice for most abusers. As murderers have guns that shoot bullets, emotional abusers have a mouth that shoots angry critical words.
Standing-up to a bully is easier said than done! Your abuser knows all of this and uses it to her advantage.
As humans, we have a visceral reaction to anger. We are naturally inclined to seek ways to make it stop. In the moment, complying with what the angry person wants seems to be the easy way out. However, in most cases it is not.
When you give in to an angry person, that emboldens him or her to continue to use anger in the future to control you. Compliance with what the angry person wants unintentionally rewards anger and increases the likelihood it will then be used in the future. Surrendering to anger is not a reasonable plan for stopping abuse.
There are many additional ways an abuser imposes his or her control. Passive-aggressive behavior, rejection, threats of catastrophic punishments, name-calling, and shaming are just a few. However, anger tops the list as the most used instrument of abuse.
If you are to solve your emotional abuse problems in your relationship, then the abusive person needs to learn how to control his or her anger and stay calm and respectful.
Here are 5 anger management tips to help you and your partner stay calm and abuse free:
1. Resist negatively judging your partner. Seek positive ways to interpret your partner's behavior, so you will be less upset or not upset at all with what he or she has done.
2. Don't keep a score. When you are upset with something your partner has done, "forgive and forget." Don't hold on to your negative judgment about your partner and angry feelings and use them as fuel to feed additional negative thoughts. This will only lead to additional anger and escalated conflict — you and your entire family will then suffer the consequences.
3. Be humble. Don't react in an angry way when things don't go your way. In essence, anger is trying to force things to be different than they are. Anger is an aggressive emotion to try and "force" things to be the way you want them to be. Whatever the situation is, try to accept as much as you can. "Acceptance" will eliminate anger and this will lead to peace and harmony with your partner.
4. Share and Negotiate. If there is something your partner does that you cannot "accept" as recommended above — and perhaps for a good reason — calmly and respectfully share your thoughts and when appropriate, negotiate a solution agreeable to both of you.
5. Stay calm. If you become angry, stop talking. Do something else until you calm down. When you are angry everyone around you is hurt including you, and the point you are trying to make is lost in the flood of negative emotions. Only try to explain yourself or get what you want when you are calm!
When you follow these anger prevention guidelines, this will be a miraculous tonic to improve the peace and harmony in every relationship and avoid the accusation that your are an abuser!
-A TIME TO THINK-
Take a few moments to answers to the following questions based on the reading material above. You can add personal notes at the end.
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1. Value. From the lesson you have just learned, what three bits of information are important to you in a very personal and useful way?
2. Goal. When you apply this information to your daily life, precisely what do you want to achieve? This is your goal.
3. Motivation. As you strive to achieve your goal, what three things will you do to keep your motivation high?
4. Power-image. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you have already successfully achieved your goal. What does it look, sound, and feel like? Describe in detail what you noticed when your eyes were closed. "
5. Confirmation. When applying this lesson, what will other people notice is different about you? When others notice your positive improvements, this is proof you are on target for success.