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Communication

Anger Expression

Rules for Direct Verbal Expression of Anger


1. Say what happened.


Do:
  • Be very specific.
  • Say exactly what happened, when, where and how often.
Don't:
  • Describe your emotional reaction to it yet.
  • Use abstract or vague terms.
  • Generalize.
  • Guess about the other person's intentions or motives.

2. Say how you feel about it.


Do:
  • Speak calmly.
  • State feelings in a positive way.
  • Say how you feel about the situation, not about the person.
Don't:
  • Deny your feelings.
  • Unleash emotional outbursts.
  • Put the other person down.
  • Attack the entire character of the person.

3. Say exactly what you want the other person to do.


Do:
  • Request a small change.
  • Request only one or two changes at one time.
  • Say exactly what behaviors you want to see stopped and those you want to see continued.
  • Ask for something the person can actually do.
Don't:
  • Merely imply that you'd like a change.
  • Ask for too big a change.
  • Ask for too many changes.
  • Ignore the other person's needs.
  • Assume that only the other person has to change.

4. Say why.


Do:
  • Say exactly how their change in behavior will help you.
  • Say exactly how their change in behavior will be good for them.
  • Say how bad things will be if their behavior doesn't change
Don't:
  • Be ashamed to say why you want the change.
  • Threaten.
  • Bully.
  • Be ashamed to say how important their behavior is to you.