Anger and Conflict Management - Paul Ruffer

Anger and Conflict Management

Anger and conflict often affect our relationships with others. I teach that anger is a secondary emotion, triggered by conflict that overshadows more primary emotions, such as hurt, insecurity, and feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

When this distinction between secondary and primary emotions is understood, we are more willing to acknowledge our vulnerabilities. This willingness to be vulnerable engenders compassion, which is an antidote to anger and helps us hold our hurt and insecurity with kindness and love.

It is compassion that allows us to hear what others are saying, so that we can find ways to reduce judgement and blame and manage the tensions within our relationships.  Through this work we discover compassion as a verb, an active process of turning toward our struggles and suffering to reduce and gradually relieve both. We learn that self-compassion is not about improving ourselves, rather its about embracing ourselves and our imperfections, distinguishing between feeling bad and being bad.