Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Expressing Your Anger Appropriately

Can you comfortably express your anger verbally without losing your cool? Do you think you are sufficiently skilled at doing this?

Learning to express your anger in an appropriate manner will make your life easier and less stressful, both inside and outside the workplace. By following some rules for expressing your feelings of anger, you can communicate constructively with others, even when you're upset. Four rules you should follow when expressing your anger are listed below.

1. Say What Happened
The first rule for expressing your anger appropriately is to say what happened. When you do this, be as objective and nonjudgmental as possible. For instance, don't say the other person made a "stupid mistake," or that the person is "annoying." Just clearly explain what the person did or said. In addition, keep the following points in mind.

* Be Specific Tell the other person exactly when, what, where, and how the problem occurred. Say things that are relevant for making the person understand the problem.
* Don't Guess Don't try to guess what the person's feelings or intentions toward you were. Just stick to what you know for certain.

2. Say How You Feel About It
The second rule for expressing your anger appropriately is to say how you feel about it. This identifies the link between the person's behaviour and your feelings about the situation. Explain why the person's comment, behaviour, or action is a problem for you. Talk honestly about your feelings. Speak calmly and respectfully, and try to be as positive as possible.

Be sure to focus on the situation, not on the person's personality. This means you shouldn't criticize or attack anyone in a personal manner. Just talk about the behaviour or action that made you feel angry.

3. Say Exactly What You Want the Person To Do.
The third rule for expressing your anger appropriately is to say exactly what you want the person to do. If you think ahead about what you are going to say, you will be able to express yourself appropriately and effectively.

Request small, specific changes, one or two at a time at the most. Make sure that you've clearly communicated the behaviours you find a problem and those you don't.

Again, be polite and respectful. Be sure that your requests are reasonable, necessary, and realistic, and don't make generalized demands. For instance, if a person is late for work, instead of saying, "Get your act together!" you can say, "Please try to call the office if you're going to be late."

4. Tell the Person Why
The fourth rule for expressing your anger appropriately is explain why you want the other person to modify the behaviour in the way you've described. Diplomacy as well as directness are assets when following this rule. When telling the person why, keep the following points in mind.

* Focus on Improvement Tell the person how a change in behaviour will help improve the situation. Explain to the person how a small change will produce a positive effect.
* Be Convincing and Logical Make it easy for the person by explaining the modification in a convincing and logical manner. Describe what can happen if the person's behaviour doesn't change.

Anger, when expressed appropriately, will reinforce your positive outlook. Proper expression is crucial in maintaining strong relationships and good communications with your co-workers. By keeping in mind the four rules described above, you can ensure that you express your anger appropriately.

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