How can you express negative emotions in a positive way? Is there a way to express anger without hurting others? This question is for all relationships, not just with boys.
Anger is something that everyone experiences periodically. Just like any other emotion, anger has its purpose and when utilized correctly, it helps us navigate through life. Anger is designed to tell us that something is wrong so we can correct the problem. There’s nothing wrong with experiencing anger from time to time; however, it’s how you deal with your anger that matters. Here are a few tips to help you express anger in an appropriate manner:
- Pray FIRST. Before approaching someone you’re angry with, it’s essential that you pray. The enemy is always looking for a way to create havoc in relationships, so don’t give him any leverage. If possible, pray with the other person, but if that isn’t an option, pray alone. Ask God to give you the words to say and ask The Holy Spirit to guide the conversation.
- Try waiting until you’re calm. Although immediate confrontation is sometimes necessary, it’s usually better to wait until you’ve blown off some steam before approaching a person who’s wronged you. When you’re calm, it’s easier to have an effective conversation because you’ll be more rational and you’ll also be more open to hearing the other person’s perspective. If you find that the conversation is turning into a shouting match, maybe it’s best to table the issue until a time when you’re both calmer.
- Always show love! God is very clear that He wants His children to always walk in a spirit of love. When approaching someone who has made you angry, make sure that your motives are pure. Our motives should NEVER be to hurt another person, no matter how much they have mistreated us in the past. If someone mistreats you a lot, then maybe that person shouldn’t be in your inner circle. Also, if a person still mistreats you even after you’ve had an honest conversation with him/her, then perhaps it’s time to get an adult involved. You should NEVER tolerate being mistreated; however, God also commands us to love other people, even our enemies. Your motive should always be to rectify the situation, even if that means reassessing your friend circle, but it should never be to hurt someone back.
- Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements. When we use “You” statements during a disagreement, the other person may feel attacked. As a result, the person could begin to feel defensive and even offended. Once that happens, it’s hard to resolve the conflict because “An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city” (Proverbs 18:19). So instead of saying: “You made me angry when you told Kari my secret,” you might want to say something like: “I felt hurt and betrayed when my secret was revealed to Kari.”
- Choose to forgive and move on. Forgiveness is a choice! It can be hard to forgive people who have wronged us in our own strength, so we need to ask God to help us do it! I often say a forgiveness prayer so I can get past the hurt and see that person the way that God sees him/her. When we forgive others, an amazing thing happens–the anger goes away too! CHOOSE to forgive!
- Get help for chronic anger. Anger is designed to be a TEMPORARY signal to let us know that something is wrong. If you find yourself angry often, especially if you experience severe outbursts or the anger is accompanied by depression, you should seek some counseling. There may be some other things going on with your mood and talking to someone who is qualified to help you is recommended. Remember, God uses mental health professionals to help us just like He uses doctors, lawyers, dentists, teachers, etc. There’s NO SHAME in getting help!
What do you girls think? How do you express your anger?