Should I Talk to My Boyfriend About My Anger Toward Him?
Anger is an emotion that often leads to distress, but it is still advantageous to talk to your boyfriend about your anger toward him. Holding onto anger can lead to negative physical and emotional effects for you. On the other hand, communicating your frustration promotes an environment of openness and honesty in your relationship. Working through your anger will help you and your relationship.
1 Effects of Withholding Anger
As compared to talking it out with your boyfriend, bottling your anger toward him has a high chance of leading to negative consequences. According to WebMD, holding onto your anger leads to prolonged physiological stress and more negative emotions. Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure is higher and you stay agitated longer. The longer you suppress your anger rather than communicate it, the longer and more intense these symptoms become. This emotional and physical state can lead to repercussions in your relationship. When you are under more stress, you cannot think as clearly and may lash out.
2 Benefits of Expressing Anger
Expressing your anger reduces stress on your relationship. Talking about your emotions with your boyfriend has the capacity to strengthen your bond and recruit his assistance. Research in the March 2008 issue of "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin" indicates that expressing negative emotion likely increases the chances of others helping you, enhances social bonds and does not affect how much people like you. By expressing your anger, you do not threaten your relationship. When done right, such as through civil and honest communication, expressing anger leads to positive outcomes for you and your boyfriend.
3 Meet Him Where He Is
When talking about feelings, adopt a style of communication similar to your boyfriend's. Men and and women process emotions and view communication differently, making a modified strategy useful for you. De-stress before you talk to your boyfriend to limit the influence of anger in your language. You will be able to think better and communicate more clearly. Let him know you need to talk about an issue. Then use assertive and straightforward language, characteristics of male communication, instead of asking questions or telling a long story. Men are more likely to listen when communication is distinct and clear.
4 "I" Statements
"I" statements are a form of direct communication, leaving little room for misunderstanding. These phrases help you take responsibility for your feelings while describing where they came from. For instance, you can tell your boyfriend "I feel angry when you take my car without asking because it becomes harder for me to take care of my responsibilities." This statement lets him know that you feel angry, what prompted the feeling and why you feel that way. By speaking about your feelings directly and without a blaming tone, you can begin a conversation to solve the problem.
- 1 WebMD: Holding a Grudge Can be Bad for Your Health
- 2 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin; The Positives of Negative Emotions: Willingness to Express Negative Emotions Promotes Relationships; Steven M. Graham et al.
- 3 Towson University: Gender Differences in Communication
- 4 Austin Community College: I Statements