BALANCE & CHANGE: Three Communication Skills to Get What You Need

Michelle gottliebSome people feel that when they are angry that the best way to deal with it is to express it, often loudly. What may be surprising to many is that it is not the most effective way to communicate with others; it is also not the most effective way to deal with anger.

So, what is effective?

First, it is okay to be angry. There are no bad emotions. Some are less comfortable than others, but none are bad. Be aware of your anger. Be conscious of what triggered it. Be mindful of what you need to communicate or ask for.

Second, calm yourself. Take a few deep breaths. Separate yourself from what is triggering you. (Timeouts are not just for children!) Once you have done so, you can better answer why you are angry and what you need.

Third, approach the person that you need to communicate with. Ask if they are ready to have a conversation. Gently, slowly, and carefully state what is upsetting you and what you need. Be prepared to hear what they need as well. Be ready to listen to things that you may not be comfortable hearing. Be open. If you need to calm yourself again or separate, please do so. Be willing to compromise. By doing this, you may be surprised that you feel calmer and are getting your needs met, which will also make you much happier!