Take your time to fully process and express your anger in a non-judgmental way
- Stop and breathe
Let’s say you’re at the office and you hear someone say something racist against you. When you feel the anger rise up inside you, stop and take a few seconds to breathe. Stay quiet, take deep breaths and avoid blaming the person. Refrain from making any attempts to punish or retaliate against them.
- Identify the judgmental thoughts that are making you angry
Your first thought could be, “He’s being racist by acting that way.” Take your time to identify any judgmental thoughts in your head before responding.
- Connect to your unmet needs
Think about the unmet need that underlies your judgmental thoughts. Ask yourself, “What unmet need do I have that’s making me judge that person to be racist?” It could be a need for respect, equality, or inclusion. Recognize and connect to that need before confronting the person.
- Express your feelings and unmet needs to the other person
Speak up and express your anger by telling the person about your needs rather than calling them names or yelling at them. You can say, “When you made those racist comments about me, I felt sick to my stomach. I got very scared and felt a need to be treated equally. Can you tell me how you feel when I tell you this?” Expressing yourself this way requires a lot of courage but it’s a better way to generate empathy than yelling, “That was a racist thing you said!”
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