I know what you are thinking when reading the title. How can a submissive get mad at their Dominant? Isn't a relationship built on trust and communication going to run smoother than one that isn't? That's not a very good submissive behavior!

No, probably not, but it is a human one and we are humans after all.

The may come a time that something your Dominant said has upset you, they challenged your opinion, asked you to do something that conflicts with something you had planned or a myriad of other things that have made you mad at them. Yelling at them may seem like the thing to do, but with the right tools and a dash of inner strength, you can learn how to express yourself without blowing your top.

Why you might want to do this instead of having a heated argument might be obvious, but let's pretend, shall we? If you are mad, and you yell at them, they will yell back. This leads to heated, irrational words and topics that may not even have anything related to why you are mad. You could say things you'll regret later. And most importantly, the reason you got mad will be forgotten and the topic won't be dealt with responsibly or maturely.

So now that you understand some of what is at stake, let's learn a few ideas on how to cool down and keep a level head so that while we may be angry we don't lose control.

Time Out

It's not always possible but if you can, take a few minutes away from the situation to calm down and reflect on your emotions. The very moment you feel that anger rise from something they have said or done is not always the best time to respond. Step away, cool off, get some perspective and then come back to talk about it.

I realize that isn't so easy when you are on the "s" side of the slash, but definitely try to cool off first, ask for time before answering or responding, and then take those steps away. I think most Dominants will appreciate if you step back before blowing your top at them. Just asking if you can "have a moment to think" could do you and your relationship good.

In your time away you can think about what has made you upset and work it out in your head or you can write it out. Everyone will have different preferences on this. I write. I've always written. Poetry, stories, rants, journal entries, pages of continuous streams of consciousness that mean nothing in the end. It's always worked for me. KnyghtMare has even noted that I come back to the situation more level-headed and relaxed if I'd had time to write in the "my eyes only" journal I have. If you haven't tried it, I suggest giving it a go, just once.

If you can't or shouldn't have time away then the next best thing is to take a deep breath and count to five slowly in your head. This simple trick slows your heart rate and breathing which has been proven to calm nerves. I think it's also an opportunity to reach for rational thought.

Communicate

Many D/s relationships are so entrenched in roles and requirements of those roles that talking freely with any hint of disrespect or immature behavior is unwelcome in a submissive. These relationships function better when you can call time out. It simply means that you have something you need to say without D/s running in the background. Many relationships have this method already in place, others find that they don't need them. Whatever the case, talk freely, openly and do not fear your own emotions. How you feel can not be controlled. How you react, CAN.

When you talk to your Dominant, remember good communication practices like using "I feel" statements. This approach brings the focus on how you feel when something happens, and not accusatory statements about how poorly the other person is. Take these two statements:

"I hate it when you leave dirty dishes on the counter. It makes me so mad!"

"When you leave dirty dishes on the counter I feel you don't respect my efforts to keep the counters clear."

Even if it's part of your duties to clean the dishes if you've asked them to be mindful of dishes left out and they agreed then phrasing it with an "I feel" statement may help them realize that they've been forgetful. Then again, they could just tell you to get over it. Either way, the second statement isn't attacking them and won't instigate more anger, yelling or confusion.

If you'd like to learn more about "I feel" statements, please read "How and When to use "I" Statements".

Other Things to Consider

We all have stress to deal with and this can feed a disagreement or misunderstanding - even if the stress is not related to the anger you feel. Learning to recognize that you are stressed and easier to anger is a good trait to have so that you can watch what you say and how you say it a bit better and hopefully keep a cool head when your temper flares.

I am a terribly emotional person and wear my emotions on my sleeve, no matter if I'm trying to keep my cool or not and KnyghtMare knows it. In these situations he'll likely ask me to take a step back, ask my about my stress or allow me to rant and rave, knowing that it's just venting and not meant to harm him or accuse him of anything. More often than that he'll dismiss me to go write in my private journal - since that works very well for me.

Take note if your Dominant is the one feeling stressed, they could not even know that what they are saying or doing is upsetting you. Learn to be aware of your partner's moods so that you can prevent unnecessary heated moments.

Bring up your discomfort or confusion before it becomes nuclear. If something is stewing inside you and you just don't understand a direction, something they said or anything else for that matter, bring it up respectfully before it pushes you into anger over confusion. It's okay to need clarification and asking for it is part of healthy communication.

One that I need to learn and understand forward, backward and sideways; don't shut down and ignore him or the problem! How many times have I stomped off into the bedroom to just shut down instead of learning the right way to talk about it so that anger isn't a part of the discussion but the topic is. I think this is a part of my emotions visible to everyone but using a childish escape to hide is not a good way to communicate. In order to have healthy communication you actually have to communicate. Novel idea, right!

 Uh-oh, Too Late!

If you've already snapped, apologize. As soon as you've realized you've gone too far you should come clean. Admit why you snapped (confusion, anger, stress) and then humbly apologize. Really mean it. We all make mistakes and an apology can put out fires especially if you really mean it. Use those "I" statements I talked about earlier and be honest.

If punishment is a part of your dynamic this is not the type to whine about being in trouble for your behavior. Just because you apologized does not make the mistake disappear. Accept your punishment with grace and use that as your atonement. Usually, the completion of punishment means the issue is over and you are absolved. Learn from your mistake and work on recognizing your anger before you blow your top next time.

We all get angry at one time or another. How we respond when someone else makes us angry is up to us. We can use it to open communication or we can shut it down. I hope you will take the former and develop healthy ways to dispel your anger and talk about your emotions and frustration with a cool head.