Holiday stress can ruin the holidays when anger raises it's ugly head. Here's a deadly formula; add together holiday stress, poor communication, poor anger control skills and alcohol. Stir together and you get a deadly anti-love potion that is sure to increase verbal and physical conflict among couples. However, ther is hope for keeping anger from your door. Couples experts in 23 nations recently completed a study of dating violence and conflict between partners in dating relationships. The International Dating Violence Research Consortium rated over 17, 000 dating students on individual and relationship characteristics to determine what factors contributed most to violence, and which factors protected the relationship from violence.

Three core Anger Management skills emerged as essential in preventing conflict:

The ability to soothe yourself when upset
The ability to recognize signs of anger in yourself
The ability use self-talk to calm yourself down

Participants in the study were asked to respond to these 3 questions and a battery of questions about 24 characteristics associated with dating violence. How would you respond to the following three statements? Your choices are True, False, or Sometimes True and Sometimes False.

Factor One: Self-Calming

Statement: There is nothing I can do to control my feelings when my partner hassles me.

If you answered True, you scored low on self calming. If you answered False, you scored high on self calming. If you answered Sometimes True and Sometimes False, you scored in the medium range.

Factor Two:Recognizing Signs of Anger

Statement: I can usually tell when I am about to lose my temper at my partner.

If you answered True you scored high on recognizing signs of anger. If you answered False, you scored low on recognizing signs of anger. If you answered sometimes True and sometimes False, you fell in the medium skill range.

Factor Three: Self-Talk

Statement: When I feel myself getting angry at my partner, I try to tell myself to calm down.

If you answered true, you scored high on self-talk. If you answered False, you scored low on self talk. If you answered sometimes true and sometimes false, you scored in the medium range for calming self talk.

Tom Wilson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who teaches anger management online.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Wilson is the founder of Tom Wilson Counseling Center, a state approved domestic violence treatment program. He has a Master's Degree in Psychology with over 25 years of experience in counseling, training and consulting. He is a State Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Domestic Battery Evaluator. He is the author of "Taming and Aggression", an anger management program which has been taught to hundreds of people at the counseling center over the last twenty years. He has served as an expert witness in the areas of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and conducts training for other professionals.