Repressing your anger can raise your blood pressure and pulse, increase stress and anxiety, and increase your risk for cancer, heart attack and kidney damage, according to a 2012 study published in the “Health Psychology” journal. Letting your anger out can increase your lifespan by up to two years. If you are angry with your best friend, it’s best to let it out and resolve the issue or your friendship could also be damaged.
1. Create Space
Just like giving your child a time-out, a time-out can help you gain some perspective and control on your anger before you approach her and try to resolve the issue, according to MayoClinic.com. Once you have calmed down, you can determine exactly what set you off and determine what you need or want to make things right. If deep breathing and a time-out don’t defuse your temper, try a physical activity such as exercise, cleaning a closet or having a wild romp in the park with your kids.
2. Own Your Feelings
Many people don’t like to admit when they are angry. If this is you, take an objective look at your feelings and analyze what you feel. Own your feelings, suggests Dr. Norman Rosenthal, M.D., a psychiatrist quoted in PsychCentral’s article, “7 Mistaken Assumptions Angry People Make.” If you tend to fly off the handle, sit in stony silence or repress your anger, understand that these responses are negative ways to deal with your anger, according to a “Prevention Magazine” article, “How Do You Express Your Anger?” Before confronting your friend, take time to create a positive response to your anger.
3. Clean Communication
Ask your friend to meet you to talk out the situation that made you angry. Prepare before you go by knowing how to state your anger with an “I” statement, such as, “I’m really angry right now.” State your concerns and your needs in a manner that presents a solution to the problem. Allow your friend to respond as you listen. Think before you respond, so you don’t make the problem worse.
4. Finding a Solution
Your friend probably didn’t intend to make you angry, but even if she did, you can work together to resolve the issue. Brainstorm ways to settle the issue that allow both of you to win. Start by determining what each of you needs to feel better and go from there. Try a dose of gentle humor where you can, encouraging laughter and a lighter spirit. When you find a solution, follow it. Offer your friend an apology for anything you did that upset her and extend forgiveness for whatever hard feelings you held.
- Health Psychology: The Costs of Repression: A Meta-Analysis on the Relation Between Repressive Coping and Somatic Diseases.
- Medical Daily: Expressing Anger Can Add Two Years to Person's Lifespan
- MayoClinic.com: Anger Management: 10 Tips to Tame Your Temper
- PsychCentral: 7 Mistaken Assumptions Angry People Make
- Prevention: How Do You Express Anger?
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images