Up next in Be Your Own Marriage Counselor (14 videos)
Improve your relationship by learning how to be your own marital therapist; it's all in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Listening skills
- A change in response
- Rules of engagement
- Relaxation techniques
- Advice from a friend or professional (optional)
Pay attention and listen
Pay attention, listen, and try to understand – but not to excuse – your partner's problem. Learn what you can about the source of the anger. This will also help to defuse an escalation.
Change how you respond
Ask yourself how you've handled your partner's anger in the past. Did you hide, become combative, habitually deny, or fearfully run? Change your response to interrupt your partner's patterns.
Protect your self-esteem in all matters, without indulging the urge to be defensive or retaliatory.
Define rules of engagement
Define rules of engagement: no harsh or insulting statements, no blaming, and no discussion until the partner can be calm.
Breathe without speaking
Breathe slowly without saying anything. Make eye contact but relax, and remind yourself that this is not about you.
Acknowledge their anger
Acknowledge verbally that you see they are angry, without necessarily needing to understand or agree. They have a right to their feelings, as long as they are not threatening you.