I’ve been teaching people about anger for nearly twenty five years. What I do is commonly referred to as anger management training. However, this implies that people must first become irate and then seek methods of how to manage it effectively, express it appropriately, and ultimately put it to rest so it does not cause further distress or damage. This makes about as much sense as allowing your house to catch on fire and then taking the necessary steps to extinguish the flames. Firefighters emphasize the importance of fire prevention as a more intelligent approach to fire safety. And while anger is not necessarily a destructive emotion, it can be quite troublesome and on occasion deadly if one does not understand its purpose as well as how to effectively utilize it for constructive purposes. However, the entire process of becoming angry, putting forth a concerted effort to handle it responsibly, and ultimately relinquishing any residual feelings can be a risky, time-consuming, and mentally exhausting process.

Today, more and more people are opting to practice preventative medicine, i.e. incorporating healthy lifestyle strategies that reduce the risk of or prevent medical maladies from occurring rather than treating them after-the-fact. In this same regard, taking a proactive approach with anger through the use of prevention strategies is simply a smarter and safer way of living. Here is the F~B~I way to ward off ire and live free of strife, giving us the opportunity to experience consistent joy and peace instead.

F: Faith in God. Those who have a strong connection to their higher power have been shown to have lower levels of stress and anger. They are less judgmental of others, forgive easier, worry less, and have higher levels of inner peace. They tend to be more optimistic and positive in life, always seeking reasons to give thanks and be joyful. Those with deeply rooted beliefs in God understand that everything that enters our lives has a higher purpose. Life is never about the incident we are experiencing. Perhaps we are to learn an important lesson or the occurrence is meant to redirect the course of our lives or protect us from harm. Maybe God has a specific purpose that we are intended to fulfill and this is part of His Divine Plan. Therefore, those who live in faith aren’t bitter or resentful of that which does not follow their own plans. Nor do we sweat the small stuff for we understand that in reality it’s all small, certainly in relation to God’s power and grace.
Fear, the antithesis of faith, is one of the root causes of anger. Therefore, those who worry about actual incidences, or those they are projecting may occur, increase their levels of being annoyed, upset, or downright irate. By substituting trust in our Lord for worry, one alleviates any chances of anger arising.

B: Believe in the goodness of others. Much of our anger arises from the judgments and labels we put on one another. We observe someone engaging in an act that we find reproachable and we label them as immoral, selfish, idiots, haters, perverts, and so on. The moment we place a label on someone we have formed a powerful thought about them which determines how we feel. (See TECO Magic in The Secret Side of Anger) A derogatory thought will produce intense feelings of disdain, anger, bitterness, distrust, superiority, etc. However, we can ward off these types of feelings simply by believing in the goodness of humanity; by giving the other person the benefit of the doubt before forming an opinion of them. Perhaps they were unaware of what they had done or the serious nature of their offense. We can choose compassion over judgment understanding that no one is here to live up to the expectations of another; that every choice an individual makes is a necessary part of their life’s journey; and that every one of us makes poor decisions from time to time. Each of us are dealing with a host of personal issues that impact our behaviors and choices. Life is difficult and the journey long. Be patient with one another and forgiving at all times and this shift in attitude will prevent anger from manifesting.

I: Inspire. Live an inspired life. The word itself is self-explanatory. Inspired means to reside in spirit; to live as our authentic selves, spirit – beings of light and love. People mistakenly believe that we are physical/human beings with souls. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The reverse is true: we are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience. When we acknowledge our authentic selves we live as expressions of love. We embrace the divinity within each of our brothers and sisters recognizing our oneness with the Divine Source of all that is good. Love never condemns or criticizes. Love supports and encourages; love is patient and understanding; love is kind and forgiving; love is gentle and humble; love is sacrificial and generous; love is all-inclusive.

When one chooses to live in love there is no room for anger for the two cannot exist simultaneously. One would have to make a conscious decision to relinquish their very nature and live in contradiction of who they are. That action alone leads to indescribable hardship, internal conflict, and despair. All suffering is the direct result of our choice to live deceptive lives. Therefore, the more you live in spirit, inspired lives, the more joy and contentment you will experience.

The F~B~I way to ward off anger is one few will abide by claiming it to be too simplistic or unrealistic. But I can assure you, based on personal experience, that when I follow my own suggestions such as these I find them to be completely attainable and valid. It is only when I relinquish authority to my ego do I cause my own anger and ultimate suffering.

I am passionate about my physical health and proactive in making certain I remain healthy and safe for the duration of my life. Yet my body is only temporary. My soul is eternal. Isn’t it more important that I apply that same passion to my emotional and spiritual well-being? You bet it is! I much prefer to live a life of peace, joy, and contentment. Therefore if I follow these three suggestions – have faith in God, believe in the goodness of humanity, and live an inspired life – then I can live free of anger and all its perils. I invite you to join me for this profound transformation.

“Peace isn’t the absence of fighting; peace is the presence of kindness.” The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer

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Forgiveness..The Ultimate Freedom

Sometimes in life someone does something that we may feel is unforgivable. We get hurt, angry, resentful, and at times it can be all consuming. More and more though it is being found that these feelings negatively impact our health:
“There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”

Forgiving can be a real challenge and it is important to remember that when we forgive someone we are not excusing the act but instead are releasing ourselves from it. In other words, we do this for us not for the other person.  One thing I want to mention is that time is a healer. It may be too much to attempt forgiveness until some time has passed. Allow yourself to feel all your feelings related to the incident and act accordingly. If you are angry express it, if you are upset shed your tears, give yourself permission to go through it all.

One thing I have suggested to my clients is to write the person who wronged them a letter. Put everything in that letter that they are feeling and use whatever language makes the most sense to them. Once it’s done set it aside. After a length of time that is appropriate for them I tell them to read it. Should you send it? Should the language be toned down? How do you feel now? Based on the answers to those questions they determine if it should be sent. Sometimes if it is too strong I suggest creating a ceremony where the letter is burned allowing all their anger literally go up in smoke.

Here are a few suggestions that may assist in forgiveness:

  • Decide that you want to forgive. A positive first step.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Is there anything that you can think of that may have contributed to the way this person acted? Not justifying it but understanding it
  • Speak your truth about the situation. Talk to someone you can trust and who’s advice you respect. Get another viewpoint.

As you forgive take a look at the relationship. It may be that you can forgive and not have this person in your life any more. If that is not possible or practical being honest with yourself is key. Are you expecting an apology? If you don’t see one coming than accept that and realize this has more to do with them than you. Freedom is key here and to get your wings, forgive and fly!

On Tuesday, March 14th, 7:00 PM Forgiveness will be the topic on The Night Shift.  I invite you to join me.


In college, one of my philosophy professors would frequently have the class debate a hot topic. He’d randomly divide the class in half and have each side present their best argument in support of their assigned position. Regardless of how you felt personally, you were expected to gather as many facts as possible to present the strongest argument. It was actually quite stimulating as it challenged us to be willing to see the issue from every possible perspective. This lesson has served me well in life as I have always tried to view a subject matter from all sides.
In relationships, disagreement are normal and healthy. They allow us to open our minds to new ways of thinking. In business, brainstorming is a common practice whereby team members contribute every possible idea relating to the project they are collaborating on. Even those suggestions that are deemed unworkable still have value as they oftentimes spark a fresh idea that actually proves to be helpful. In politics, when applied correctly, the opposing sides can actually use their differences to find common ground that will serve the good of the entire country. It’s only when egos get in the way causing people to become fearful, selfish, and closed minded do disagreements cause tempers to flare and a breakdown in the negotiating process to occur.

However, there is a very W~I~S~E approach to resolving conflicts and disagreements with a high degree of success and minimal disappointment to all parties:

W – Wait: wait before you respond. A moment of pause can prevent a lifetime of regret. When the other party presents their position, if it differs from ours or what we were expecting, we can easily become upset or angry. An immediate response can cause an innocent situation to rapidly escalate into an argument.

In my book, The Secret Side of Anger, I teach people to practice the SWaT Strategy: Stop, Walk, Talk. When you find yourself become upset, Stop what you are doing/saying. In that way you can prevent yourself from saying/doing something regrettable. Secondly, Walk away. Out of sight, out of mind. Give yourself some space between you and the other party. Thirdly, Talk yourself calm. What you say to yourself will either cause your emotions to intensify or to subside. Once calm, return to the conversation ready to listen and respond rationally and fairly.

I – Intellect: use your rational brain to think about what is transpiring: the importance of the issue, what each party wants, how each person feels, and what it is that you each want to accomplish with the discussion. Oftentimes, we allow our irrational emotions to control our actions and comments. But emotions cloud rational judgment. It is critical that we remain calm so that our intellectual brain can gather all relevant data, process it, and determine the best possible course of action. Just as emergency responders need to put their feelings on hold in order to deal effectively with the crisis at hand, so must we be willing to do the same. And in doing so, we will make smarter more solution-oriented and all-inclusive choices that benefit all parties.

S – See and Smile: Always try to see things from the perspective of the other party. In this way, you are better able to understand their position and proceed in a more compassionate manner. It is imperative that we truly try to understand where the other person is coming from even if we don’t agree with their way of thinking. All people need and want to be understood and validated. This simple gesture begins laying a foundation of trust that enables both parties to move forward in a fair and timely manner towards a mutually agreed upon solution.

Smile: Did you know that the simple act of smiling releases endorphins in the brain, those feel-good chemicals that enable us to keep a positive attitude? A smile keeps your face friendly and your voice cheerful as well. While this may not sound like a significant gesture, it is in fact a powerful one. Would you not prefer to converse with someone who had a friendly face as opposed to one sporting a scowl?
Smiles are contagious and make us appear more attractive to others. They can lift our mood as well as the moods of those around us and have been shown to lengthen our lives as well. A smile wards off stress which in turn enables us to remain calm and focused. Our bodies relax making us less threatening and more welcoming from a physical perspective. All things considered, a smile is one of the most powerful tools we have in maintaining healthy inviting relationships and getting those differences resolved peacefully.

E – Express: Throughout the entire process, be certain to always express with respect – speak to one another with dignity and reverence at all times. Even those we don’t care for, who can be obstinate or rude, deserve respect. Ironically, many believe that respect must be earned or given to us before we are willing to reciprocate. However, Divine Law dictates otherwise. “Let all that you do be done in love.” “Love one another.” By our very nature, we are perfect beings deserving of respect. The very word respect means “to value”. Our Creator imparted equal worth to each of His sacred children.
One can be passionate, upset, angry, disappointed, or disagree with the other person while still expressing themselves in a respectful manner. I cannot expect others to treat me with regard if I am not first willing to do so for them. Ghandi’s inspiring words remind us to first be the change we want to see in the world. I must be the example of reverence that others may aspire to emulate.

I’ve always admired those who possess the gift of wisdom. Now each of us can be W~I~S~E in how we resolve our differences. If each of us followed these four simple steps, by example we could have a dramatic impact on reducing the amount of anger, fighting, and negativity that occurs in our immediate circles. Gradually, this would impact us on global level as well. Put some good vibrations into the universe by keeping conflict resolution peaceful and productive. Be W~I~S~E and be triumphant.

Q “Speak from the heart. Let all your words be tempered with kindness and in doing so you will garner respect and cooperation from all.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

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