Anger and Relationships – How Do You Handle It?

Nicki and Miley: Publicly Expressing Anger?
By Dr. Jane Greer

Singers Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus had a public spat at the 2015 VMAs, hosted by Miley. During the live broadcast on Sunday, Nicki called Miley a "bitch" for talking about her in the press. According to an insider, "Nicki was livid with Miley and decided to air her feelings onstage." In fact, it was reported that MTV staffers had to keep Nicki and Miley away from each other for the night to avoid a confrontation. It is hard to know if their fighting was staged or authentic. Either way, it raises the question of whether shouting about your feelings in public when you're upset is the best way to get your message across. In Nicki’s case there might have been a strong desire to reach her fan base and share her rage toward Miley. Maybe she thought it was the only way to save face. But it really isn’t that different from fighting with a partner in front of family and friends at a holiday meal. So when you're irked at someone, what's the best way to let them know - talk to them in private about it, or let the whole world know? 
Very often when we are mad at someone who has hurt our feelings our inclination is to get back at them by letting others know what they did to make us feel mistreated and wronged. In fact, that dynamic is the hook of reality television. Doing that, though, and being vocal about the bad energy between you may unwittingly put the people around you in an uncomfortable position by making them feel like they have to choose sides.
Sometimes people get so caught up in the anger of the moment that it can spillover beyond their private world, as we saw with Nicki and Miley. Before you let that happen, ask yourself if this is a relationship worth saving. If you decide it is, then the best thing to do is to go right to the source and address the cause of your distress directly with the person who upset you in the first place. Tell them what they said and did to set you off, and give them a chance to apologize and explain. It will also give the person the chance to clear up any miscommunication or misunderstanding that may have occurred between you. Fighting out in the open just serves to fan the flames of the fury, but a straight conversation might clear the air and even help to salvage your relationship.
This year’s VMAs were also witness to a number of bad feelings being soothed, such as between Kanye West and Taylor Swift. That is testimony to the fact that no matter how angry someone might be at one time, it is possible to get over it and move beyond it. The rage can diminish and you can let it go. Who knows? Maybe at next year’s awards show we will see a different exchange between Nicki and Miley.

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