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Appropriate Verbal Expressions of Anger

It is often useful to let others know that you are angry.   In this way, you can express your feelings and help the other person understand the problem and how to avoid it.


  1.  Use "I" messages to state your feelings about a specific behavior or situation.  Avoid saying "you", which blames the other person and puts him/her on the defensive.

    Example: "I felt angry/upset when you wore my clothes without permission."
  2.  State specifically what you want different.  The more specific, the better.  Avoid bringing irrelevant or past events into the conversation.

    Example: "Next time, I would like for you to ask permission before borrowing my clothes."
  3. Avoid global and blaming statements.

    Example: "What is wrong with you?" or "You're an idiot!"
  4. Check with the other person to see if they understand what you are trying to communicate.

    Example: "Do you understand what I want?" or "Do you see what I am getting at?"
  5. Listen to others' thoughts and feelings without becoming defensive.  Check to see if you understand what they are telling you.
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