If you wish to diffuse anger in relationships, straightforward non-hostile, calm and loving communication is vital if we are to be at peace with ourselves and spread happiness into the world. It is also vital to all important relationships, especially within the family.
It should be obvious that we will not know what the other person is thinking and feeling unless we communicate. Nor will the other person know what our views and feelings are. Lack of communication leads to misunderstandings and in chronic cases can lead to long-term grudges and resentment, which can be very difficult to deal with.
I speak from experience about this topic however not because I am a good communicator myself. Rather I have seen the damage lack of communication can do to a relationship and what pain and misery can result.
As a boy, I had very poor relationships both within and outside the family. Much of this as caused by the fact that my parents simply did not communicate with me. Communication requires a certain atmosphere. It requires you to be calm and centred before your children can be encouraged enough to come and talk to you.
It requires you to take the initiative yourself to ask what is the problem with your child. If you have issues within you that you have not dealt with and the atmosphere in the home is not good them you cannot reasonably expect to have a good communication within the family. Very little can harm your happiness and peace of mind as much as a bad family life.
Communication requires you to be calm, straight-forward, and non-hostile, even if you cannot be loving. You may need to learn the art of communicating. Be straight-forward and do not use hostile language or indirect put downs. The goal is to not only let the person know your needs and feelings and wants however to encourage him or her to open up to you as well.
If you cannot manage to talk things over with the person with whom you have a dispute then write him a letter. Do not write when you are feeling angry. Use mindfulness to calm yourself and be balanced and then sit down and write. Take your time with this letter. It may be vital to your happiness and your relationship.
You can also show the letter to a close friend or elder in the family whose judgment you trust and respect. And then send the letter email or fax, however remember, relax and be calm, straightforward and non-hostile.
It is important to communicate in this manner as early as possible when a dispute arises. This will prevent misunderstanding and resentments from growing or festering. Remember you have the right to be angry however only for 24 hours. After 24 hours sit down and communicate.
You may find this difficult to do if you have not learned communication from your parents in a healthy family atmosphere or when you have to reverse a life long habit of keeping things to yourself. However it is a simple choice. It you want to maintain the relationship you have to share and communicate your feelings and point of view to your loved one. Otherwise be prepared to have the relationship become poisonous.
It is a simple concept to understand that you can never know what another person is thinking or feeling unless you ask him or her. Nor can that other person know what you are thinking and feeling.
“Humanity and justice are the principles on which to govern a state.” – Sun Tzu The Art of War
Sun Tzu’s manual on The Art of War is a piece of inspired wisdom and there is no more important an insight that this, the above short sentence, when it comes to ways to diffuse anger in relationships. This book was meant for warriors and rulers of a state however we can also use his insights to guide our personal relationships.
To govern with humanity and justice demands that we should not be dominated by our passions like anger, hate or the like. It demands that we learn how to deal with these aspects of ourselves. We need to use skilfull means in tackling strong feelings both in ourselves and in others with whom we have close relationships.
But at the same time I would want to stress that we should not make a battlefield of ourselves. We should not look upon anger as something undesirable that we must fight or suppress or do away with. That is not using skilfull means.
I stress again – do not suppress, do not repress simply witness your anger mindfully. Be one with it – it is a part of you, just as your arm or your leg is a part of you. It is an energy that can be transformed and used for our benefit and the benefit of others.
We need to diffuse anger in relationships, and reclaim our anger if we had been in the habit of repressing. We would not try to chop off our heads if we had a headache. We try to cure it. Use mindfulness to transform your anger and watch your relationships blossom.