When someone is upset at you, the most important thing you can do is to get their upset communicated. Get it said. Get it out in the open.
As long as an upset is kept inside, it does damage. The person creates distance and destroys love. The moment an upset is communicated, the upset loses power. The distance disappears and the experience of love returns.
To see this in your life, find a time when you were upset and you communicated what you were upset about. You got it off your chest. Now notice what happened to your upset. It lost power and went away.
Being able to communicate and release upsets is one of the keys to having a relationship work. Unfortunately, we interact in a way that makes this almost impossible. Instead of encouraging communication, we discourage it.
We don’t want to hear that people are upset at us. We don’t like people pointing at our responsibility. We don’t like looking at certain aspects of ourselves. We don’t want to hear what people have to say. So we resist their communication.
We argue with people and tell them that what they say is not true. We tell them that they’re wrong and that they shouldn’t feel the way they do. Sometimes we even attack. we’ll do anything rather than hear a communication that we don’t like.
We act as though the person’s upset will somehow disappear if we don’t listen to it. Obviously, this doesn’t happen.
If someone is upset at you, keeping the upset from being communicated certainly won’t make it go away. Suppressing an upset only makes it worse. The upset gets stronger and now the person has a new upset for having been suppressed.
When someone can’t communicate an upset directly, the upset will be communicated indirectly. The person may have an affair or just be resentful. One way or another, the upset will always be communicated.
It’s much better to get an upset communicated directly than indirectly.
To the extent that you are able to understand and appreciate someone’s upset, the upset loses power and no longer needs to be expressed.
Resisting a communication also produces more conflict. When you resist what someone says, that person must then either suppress the communication or communicate the upset more forcefully.
When the upset is said more forcefully, you feel threatened and resist even more. Then both of you become more frustrated and more upset.
This is what happens in any argument. Both of you are resisting what the other is saying. If either one of you would stop resisting and hear the other person’s communication, the argument would end.
The key to releasing someone’s upset is to have the other person say whatever he or she is upset about. Let the person get the upset off his or her chest.
Ask what the person is upset about. Have the person tell you how he or she feels. Pull the upset out. Get it said.
If the person is ranting and raving, that’s fine. it’s much better to have the upset expressed than to have it kept inside. Keep pulling the upset out.
Listen to what the person has to say and listen to the communication from his or her point of view. You don’t have to like what’s being said or even agree. You don’t have to do anything. Just listen.
"Yes, you are angry. You feel I let you down. You hate me. Yes, I understand. I don’t blame you. Is there anything else?
The communication may not be true, but it’s true to the other person, and that’s what counts.
The more you can appreciate and understand what someone is upset about, the more the upset disappears. it’s just like taking the wind out of a sail.
By having the other person release his or her upsets, you can remove the distance and restore the love in your relationship.
This article was taken from the book, How To Heal A Painful Relationship.
Bill Ferguson has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and on hundreds of radio and television talk shows across the country. He has led over 2,500 workshops and has worked with thousands of people. His books, How To Heal A Painful Relationship, Heal The Hurt That Runs Your Life and Miracles are Guaranteed, have become best-sellers. He presently leads workshops in the Houston area and does individual consulting by telephone. He can be reached at (713) 520-5370 or on the internet at http://www.effectiveliving.com.