Today, W. Robert Nay, PhD wrote an “Awesome” post on his blog that I wanted to highlight. Dr. Nay is a clinical psychologist in private practice and Clinical Associate Professor at Georgetown University. He is the author of Taking Charge of Anger and Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship.
In his post titled, The ABCs of Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship he gives us 5 steps to a good relationship.
Here are Dr. W. Robert Nay’s five steps to overcoming anger in your relationship… accompanied with 5 of my cartoons:
1. Assess Your Relationship (A)
How do you currently respond when your partner expresses anger in an unwelcome way? Do you confront them or try to stay out of their way? Do you withhold things they want, or give in to keep the peace? Acknowledging your own patterns of behavior and thinking about what you could do differently is the first step toward change.
2. Set New Boundaries (B)
Remember that you are in control of what you do. Consider which actions are acceptable to you and which are not, then clearly define your personal boundaries.
3. Change Your Cognitions (C)
Pay close attention to your thoughts. How you think determines how you feel. If you replace
negative self-talk (“I’m powerless to change my situation,” “My partner’s anger is my fault”) with positive affirmations (“I am in control of my life,” “I deserve to be treated with dignity”) you will be taking a giant step toward achieving your relationship goals.
4. Deny Rewards for Anger (D)
Avoid caving in to your partner’s expressions of anger. Hold your ground, voice your opinion, and calmly and clearly express your emotions. By doing so, you’re communicating that your needs matter as much as your partner’s, and that you will not give in to any form of angry intimidation or coercion.
5. Express Yourself Effectively (E)
Rather than withholding your opinion or minimizing your feelings, learn to be more assertive in expressing your thoughts and needs. Good communication ends in mutual understanding. It requires that both partners be attentive and not only talk, but really listen.
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Last reviewed: 24 May 2010