The nonsense about going to bed angry

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anger-i-still-careI’ve always heard the advice given to new married couples:  Don’t go to bed angry.

Is this sound advice or just a cliche?

I read this statement from a blog by Gretchen Rubin (10 ways to be happier) the other day…  Do let the sun go down on anger. I had always scrupulously aired every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.

It reminded me of something I heard a few months ago by Rabbi Doniel Katz which was one of those “aha” moments:  He said something like this:  People say don’t go to bed angry but that is the worst advice ever given.  Who wants to start discussing heavy issues when you are exhausted just before falling asleep?  It can actually make matters worse!

I had to laugh because I used to do just that and my poor husband had to force his eyes angeropen and look mildly interested in what I had to say just before midnight when I suddenly wanted to talk.

Something that works for me is to forgive people (in my mind) before I go to sleep.  If you want to know how I do this, please email me.

If still upset then choose the “right time” to speak to the person when you are not angry or hurt but just want to find a solution and move forward.  “Sleeping on it” sometimes gives new perspective in the morning.

There’s most likely a reason why the other person is acting a certain way so some introspection wouldn’t hurt either.

May you have growth and laughter in your relationships and don’t forget to laugh at yourself too.

Eve