Imagine this scenario. You and your partner have had a big fight. It’s been 3 days since you talked to each other. But then your partner had a really bad day at work. They come home, looking shattered, and are clearly in need of some support, or at the very least, some kindness from your end. What do you do?
It’s easy being kind when we’re feeling positive. But wouldn’t it solve a lot of problems, if we could be kind even when feeling angry, upset, sad, betrayed, or confused?
Why is it difficult to be kind when angry?
Kindness is an internal attribute with emotions of love, compassion, and empathy attached to it. It is hard to display these positive feelings when there are negative feelings clouding our mind.
It may sound ironic, but being kind to strangers can be easier than being kind to our loved ones. With strangers, kindness is simply an action. On the other hand, with people closer to us, we also experience anger, confusion, disgust, etc. These emotions can contaminate positive feelings like compassion and empathy. Thus, being kind to people we can get upset with is tough. But kindness is what bridges gaps between two close people, more so with partners. In fact, relationships require kindness the most during rough patches.
Here are six qualities that can help us remain kind to our partners even angry:
If we love ourselves, we tend to have faith in the inherent goodness of people, and thus more likely to experience situational anger. This means that we only get angry at the current behavior, words, or attitude of the other person. This anger is temporary and does not cloud our love, compassion or empathy. So, we can still function with kindness.
But if we mistrust people in general, have low self-esteem, or don’t feel good about life, then we can harbor deep-rooted anger. This anger can contaminate the positivity in us, and we can become rude, vengeful or aggressive.
2. Trust and respect
When a couple shares personal space, responsibilities and intense emotions, there is always room for tensions, anger, misunderstandings, etc. If we trust and respect our partner as an individual, then the presence of positivity, even when we’re upset is possible.
On the other hand, if we do not trust our partner or if there’re any underlying issues, then the baggage from the past tends to surface when we’re upset. This makes compassion difficult.
3. Good communication skills
Discussions, decision-making processes, sharing good moments, laughing together etc. in general circumstances extends to composure during angry times. If we can compose ourselves even when angry, kindness is possible. We need to learn how to communicate when we’re angry.
4. Sense of humor
One cannot laugh at perfections. Imperfections can become reasons for laughter and lightness. A good sense of humor can help us remain light-hearted and overcome anger faster. This can also help acting with kindness during angry times.
5. Ability to respond not react
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If our partner has acted in a manner that makes us upset, we can either react with aggression or, we can take up the responsibility of reversing the chain of action-reaction, by responding from a more mindful position.
Emotions have a way of confusing us. Some emotions can jumble up and confuse our rationale. Take a step back when you’re angry, assess the situation and your internal reaction. This will facilitate a reasonable response, with love and compassion, even if angry. In fact, rehearse your response to your partner before you aim to discuss a negative sentiment with them. This will help you both not only to arrive at solutions but will actually lead to a better and healthier relationship.
Kindness is not an action, it is a sentiment or a mental state. Valuing kindness can help us tide through difficult situations with relative ease.
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