By Dr. Jane Greer

Superstar Pink has revealed that Christina Aguilera tried to punch her in a club during their feud, rather than talking things out. Sometimes when people do not have the skills or the opportunity to deal with their anger directly, that hostility might build up and result in a situation like this, which isn’t healthy for anyone.

So, how can you avoid this a hostile incident, and, more important, how can you guard against feeling so mad that you find yourself wanting to hit someone? Here’s some relationship advice:

Very often when somebody does you wrong, you believe you have the right to feel outrage toward them. If you don’t get to talk through those feelings, they can build up into self-righteousness that you carry around with you like a landmine that might explode anytime it is triggered. Understanding this points to how important it is to speak up when you feel offended or hurt by someone’s behavior or actions toward you. Doing this is essential to your health and well-being.

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The best thing to do is to talk directly to the person you have the grievance against. Reach out through a letter, email, or a call, and ask if that person is willing to sit down with you or have a conversation over the phone. Explain that you are upset and would like to clear the air, and hopefully they will respond accordingly. If you can do this, it will not only help to dissipate the fury you feel, but might also lead you to a place of understanding as to why you had such a strong reaction about what happened in the first place. There is also the chance that the person in question did not even realize he or she did something to anger you, and this will give you the opportunity to gain some perspective as to what might have been going on for them. In this way, you can discover something that can help to shift things so that what they did doesn’t occur again.

Of course there are times it isn’t possible to speak directly to the person. If, for example, they refuse to talk to you, or if it is impossible to reach them, are you stuck with all this rage? You don’t have to be. If that happens, see if there is someone else you can talk the issue through with who might help you figure out why this pushed your buttons so much. Did you feel devalued? Lied to? Blamed? Were you treated unfairly? Were you made to feel vulnerable? Once you have a good handle on it, it will help you navigate so that you can prevent similar situations in the future. One of the goals is to learn how to stop taking things personally, because this can make you stronger and less sensitive to people’s offensive behavior.

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If there is nobody you are comfortable talking about this with, and the other person is uncooperative, then write it down for yourself. There is a reason we say the pen is mightier than the sword, and there is no better example of that than this scenario. When you are able to express yourself in words, either through talking or writing, it helps to release and decrease your anger, so instead of carrying around one hundred pounds of it, you can reduce that to a lighter load of twenty pounds or so. The sword, or in Pink and Christina’s case, a possible punch, does not address the problem or resolve the conflict. It will only lead to more of the same.

Nobody likes to be angry. But if you can use it in a positive way as a catalyst to change through conversation, it can give everyone a chance to move forward and feel better. Thankfully, Pink and Christina never came to blows. Perhaps in the future they will find the words to connect.

Please tune in to the Doctor on Call radio hour on HealthyLife.net every Tuesday at 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST. First and third Tuesdays are Shrink Wrap on Call, second Tuesdays are HuffPost on Call, and the last Tuesday of the month is Let’s Talk Sex! Email your questions dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships to Dr. Greer at askdrjane@drjanegreer.com. Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/DrJaneGreer, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy. For more on Dr. Greer, visit http://www.drjanegreer.com.