Have you ever wondered what makes some relationships stronger than others? In this article, we’re going to discuss a simple tool you can use to build a rock-solid, lifelong soul connection with your partner (and any other loved ones!)
Ever met those couples that seem able to ride any storm, go through thick and thin together, and come out of the other side even MORE in love, with MORE understanding and MORE appreciation for each other?
Well, once you learn the communication tool I’m about to share, you’ll be able create a relationship like that.
This tool will help you navigate any conflict, and transform both your romantic relationships — and any relationship you care about.
Let’s get into it…
Anger is… Good for you?
It’s normal to get angry in relationships or in life in general.
It might be something big like when someone breaks a core relationship agreement, or it might be something small like when someone cuts you off in traffic.
But while most of us have been taught that anger is a bad thing, it’s important to realize that it’s actually a very useful emotion!
Yes, anger can get out of control sometimes. But the feeling itself is not wrong — it’s a natural part of the human process and it’s there to help us survive! We get angry in response to a threat to our well-being. It’s hardwired into our fight or flight response.
Emotions like anger are manufactured in the part of our brains called the amygdala. The amygdala is responsible for identifying threats to our well-being, and for sending out an alarm when threats are identified. This results in us taking steps to protect ourselves, and so, anger is born!
When you look at it this way, you can see that anger is ultimately just a hardwired protection response. Our brain is simply looking for a way to protect our well-being!
The Tip Of The Iceberg
Most people don’t know this, but anger is often a secondary emotion. In other words, when we’re upset at a situation, there’s likely a primary emotion that is the driving force, and anger is just there for protection.
The Gottman Institute published a great article that described anger as an iceberg. What they meant by this was that you can only see what’s presented above the surface (the anger). But just like an iceberg, 90% of the substance is actually below the surface.
The emotion of anger is presented on the surface, but below the surface are other primary emotions which have caused the protection response. The most common of these primary emotions are: fear, sadness/grief, hurt and humiliation.
The Key To Good Communication
While anger is a natural response from the brain, the key to great relationships and communication is great understanding! And this is where our communication tool comes in. It’s going to allow you to identify the primary emotion behind your own anger, and the anger of others, so you can embrace and validate that emotion. And as soon as you do, the anger will often dissolve away.
So what is the tool I mentioned? Well it comes in the form of two easy steps. A simple question, followed by a validation. The first step is to ask, “What is the real driving force behind this anger?”
It sounds simple, but when you train yourself to ask this, you’ll begin to look deeper. Over time, you’ll think like this on autopilot. And you’ll be able to understand, empathize and truly ‘get’ people.
After you’ve asked the question and gotten to the root emotion, step two is to validate. Once you’ve found the cause of the anger, you can nurture and address the core emotion.
It can be that simple!
Don’t believe me? I encourage you to experiment with this two step tool next time you feel angry.
Ask yourself the key question, “What is the driving force behind this anger?”. Get to the root of the primary emotion. Why are you feeling sad, hurt, or scared? And then for the next step, honor that part of you, love that part of you, by sharing it with your partner.
When you do this, you’ll notice how quickly your anger dissolves. This is like bypassing the brain’s bodyguard. You acknowledge the part it’s trying to protect, you embrace it and love it, and then the protection is no longer needed!
The same can be said for when someone else is angry. Either ask them, or ask yourself “What’s the driving force behind their anger?”. Think about what they might be scared of, sad, or hurt about regarding the situation. When you can get to the root of their anger and help them understand and validate their primary emotion, you’ll be able to dispel most arguments with ease!
And as you keep practicing this simple tool whenever arguments arise, it will become your superpower. People will wonder how you’re so understanding, how you just ‘get’ people and how you can calm them down.
I hope that’s given you a new perspective on anger. Hopefully you’ll practice the tool regularly and find it becomes effortless to dispel arguments, navigate any conflict, and transform your relationships.
If you’re interested in learning about more tools to train your mind and to think positively, I encourage you to check out my 21 Day Affirmation Practice e-book. Inside, you’ll discover affirmations to help you remain calm, approach life with optimism and excitement, and open your heart to an incredible love life where you’re adored, appreciated and cared for.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What’s one thing that you’ve gotten angry about recently, and what might be the underlying emotion behind it?