Written by Drs. Evelyn and Paul Moschetta of Mid-town Manhattan
To keep the passion between you growing, you need to learn a new way to understand and handle anger. Letting your ego vent, nurse, or deny anger only causes more problems. These are solutions that have negative consequences. They hurt your relationship. There is another way to deal with negative emotions that will not leave either of you feeling unfairly attacked.
Soul mates carefront their anger. Carefronting means taking the hot emotion out of anger and seeing it as a natural part of a growing relationship, and not as a sign of rejection or failure.
Anger is a physical/emotional reaction. There is nothing about anger, in and of itself, that is bad, evil, or destructive. It's a feeling like any other-a particular response that moves through us at different times under different circumstances, much like hunger or fatigue. Unfortunately, because anger is so often mishandled, many people have been conditioned to think of it in negative ways.
If you look closely at how anger works, you will see that you typically don't separate the feeling part of anger from the issue that sparks it. The issue and the anger seem to happen together. But the two are really separate. One is an internal emotional reaction, and the other is some kind of external problem, disagreement, confusion, or clash of needs or opinions. The angry feeling comes up simultaneously with the situation, but the feeling is not actually a part of the situation.
The first step in carefronting is seeing this difference clearly. Usually, this difference, between the angry feelings and the issue generating them, goes un-noticed, because we're not paying attention to it. Our ego jumps in and mixes the two up. Once you see that the two are separate, you can begin to use your angry feelings as a warning signal that says, "Be careful; this is an issue that needs special attention."
Let's deal first with the feeling of anger. When you bring a "witnessing" attitude (being mindfully aware) to your feelings you notice right away when they start to move inside you. They don't catch you off guard and allow your ego to get involved before you have a chance to react. Witnessing gives you some time and some distance to adjust to the hot emotions that usually go along with anger. With this distance you will have more control, so you can see that angry feelings need not frighten or overwhelm you. Nor will you be ashamed or guilty for having those angry feelings. You never feel ashamed or guilty for feeling hungry or tired. It will be the same with anger.
When you stop labeling anger as bad in any of the above ways and begin to witness it without judgments, you will be on good terms with it. Witnessing enables you to keep your ego in check before it has a chance to make trouble. Now you can see angry feelings as soon as they begin to move inside you. Being friends with your angry feelings in this way helps you handle them comfortably and confidently, as they come up, sooner rather than later.
(to be continued)
Both Dr. Evelyn and Dr. Paul have many years of experience dealing with all the above issues. Contact us today to learn more!