Posts Tagged ‘#angermanagement’

IT’S NOT FAIR!

At one time or another, we’ve all complained that life isn’t fair. Children do it all the time: Karen, who is older by two years, is allowed to stay up later than her younger siblings. They complain to dad that they’re being treated unjustly, not realizing that at the same age her bedtime was thirty minutes earlier. As adults, we attribute this behavior to immaturity and expect that as children grow and develop this rationale will make way for a more judicious way of thinking . Sadly, many people carry this mind-set with them well into adulthood. Two of my favorite comedians from years back, Tom and Dick Smothers, had a standing skit where one grumbled that “Mom always liked you best!”, indicating a biased favoritism. On stage, this is entertaining. In real life, it’s unflattering and harmful.

Gary Zukov, NY Times bestselling author of The Seat of the Soul, says that the most important thing we have are our belief systems. Our entire lives are built upon them and if inaccurate we struggle and suffer. Believing that life was designed to be fair and balanced is a faulty tenet. When we see an perceived injustice we seek to recreate rightfulness. When it is not forthcoming, we feel frustrated and discriminated against. “I should have gotten that promotion, not the boss’s son. I’ve been here longer. That’s not fair!”

In our relationships, especially the close, personal or intimate ones, this kind of mindset can prove devastating. There are those who actually keep score: “I helped you when you needed it. Now you should give me a hand as well. That’s only right.” “I paid for our last evening out. Now it’s your turn.” In an attempt to keep things equitable, we manipulate the other party into feeling guilty should they decline our request. Seeking equality is a futile endeavor – it simply does not exist in an imperfect world inhabited by imperfect human beings. Attempting to do so is one of the quickest ways to build anger and resentment – toxic ingredients capable of destroying lives.

Life isn’t fair yet it is perfectly just. The lyrics to a Colin Raye song state that “You don’t always get what you want, you get what you need.” If we subscribe to this premise, which I do, then life is exactly what we need it to be. Each experience, each individual, each loss, each success is exactly what is necessary for us to fulfill our Divine Destiny, our Dharma (as Wayne Dyer calls it). If my child wants to be a great artist, I provide them with the proper canvases, brushes, and paints. If my son has a sprained ankle, I get him crutches. Identical? No. Fair? Yes. Each is receiving exactly what they need in that moment for their own good. Fair does not mean the same – it means having equal value. We become angry in part because we mistakenly assign random values to events and then compare what each of us has.

One of our greatest challenges lies in realizing that we are not meant to be treated alike but that the Universe, in all of its infinite wisdom, always provides exactly what we are meant to have for our higher good and that each experience has equal value.

What then is the solution to avoiding the bitterness and resentment assigned to the belief that life should be fair?

1. Remember that if life were perfectly balanced we would learn nothing: patience, appreciation, determination, forgiveness, and much more.

2. Celebrate the successes of others, extend compassion for their losses regardless of where you are in life, knowing that at the precise moment it is needed each will receive what they are intended to have.

3. Keep in mind that every single experience, no matter how insignificant, no matter how painful or frightening plays a unique role in fulfilling our Divine Destiny – which is always to bring us closer to God.

4. Don’t compare or keep score. One never fully realizes the challenges others are struggling with. Focus only on addressing and learning from your own. Failure to do so leads to self-pity, victimization, misery, and suffering.

5. Trust that God’s love for you always directs you to your highest good. Be at peace with your life. You are in good hands, the best hands, with God.

Life may not appear to be fair but it is always unbiased. Each of us is given exactly what we need to assist us in our spiritual growth and to bring us into a more intimate relationship with our Lord. Sounds pretty just to me.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf

Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

HOW TO EFFORTLESSLY WIN WHEN ARGUING

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time we disagreed with someone we could actually win when arguing? For many, disagreements are viewed as a battle of intelligence between two opposing forces. Each having what they believe to be a strong and valid position on a topic, they engage in verbal and intellectual warfare determined to prove themselves right and their opponent wrong. Whether through the use of reliable facts, the support and validation of others, or a comparison of educational or intellectual levels, some people are willing to use whatever means necessary to prove their superiority over the other. A battle of egos can prove destructive yet short of conceding in defeat or threatening the other party to get them back down, is there any way a person can win when arguing? Actually, there are several options.

In any discussion each party begins by presenting their unique position on a topic. Both are passionate about the validity of their argument and after some time it becomes evident that neither is willing to budge. In order to win, you can choose one of the following options:

#1. Neutralize: The popular cliché, “Agree to disagree” is actually a valid approach to take. By realizing that continually debating what appears to be a no-win situation, you can chose to simply let the disagreement exist. Graciously allowing the other person the right to their own beliefs can stop any damage from occurring as a result of two highly charged egos continuing in a heated debate. Simply recognize that each party has the same rights as the other in terms of what they believe to be valid. Respect that and neutralize the tension by graciously stating that you’re intention is not to convince the other person that their perspective is wrong (even if you believe it is) and that you are fine with those who do not share your point of view. Express your sentiments in a non-condescending manner and state that it might be best to put this issue to rest. Choose a less divisive subject to talk about or move on to another activity. Being respectful is always a win.

#2. Walk Away: People can become very irate when others don’t share their beliefs concerning subjects they are passionate about. After making a sincere effort to have a rational discussion with them, it become apparent that they are becoming even more hostile and defensive. Recognizing when one is in an unhealthy, stressful or even potentially dangerous situation, removing yourself is a wise choice. The preservation of one’s emotional and physical safety must always be a priority. Walking away prevents either side from a possible meltdown or saying or doing something regrettable. Sometimes, in the heat of an argument, one can make false accusations or assumptions, only fueling the fire and possibly causing harm. Disengaging is a win.
Keep in mind, too, that once an individual closes their mind, any further discussion is futile and any possible progress is squelched. A mind is like a parachute: both only work when open. Walking away is not a sign of defeat but rather one of self-preservation and intelligence.

#3. Concede: Giving in in no way implies that you are agreeing with the other party if in fact you still hold fast to your own beliefs. By conceding I mean to simply acknowledge their position as equally as valid to them as yours is to you. With true respect and sincerity, express that you respect their point of view. Period. Avoid needing to point out that you still disagree with them. Conclude with a statement such as, “Yes, I understand where you are coming from.” Then move on to another activity. Integrity is a win.

#4. Reverse: Occasionally in an oppositional debate, one party has a change of heart. They realize that perhaps their way of thinking was somewhat skewed; that perhaps the other person has made some valid points. There is no shame or weakness in reversing one’s position whether entirely or partially. If this is the case and you have come to that realization, openly acknowledge the validity of what the other has shared. Let them know that as a result of this exchange, you have a new, better, or deeper understanding of the topic. Admit that you have found clarity in their position and are grateful for them sharing their knowledge with you. Courage is a win.

#5. Reversal #2: On occasion, the other party may have an ah-ha moment where they realize that what you have been saying suddenly makes more sense to them. They may now realize that their perspective was somewhat inaccurate or that there can be more than one valid argument for the same topic. However, it is difficult for many to openly admit this as there is typically concern of being embarrassed, ridiculed, scolded, make fun of, and so on. In this instance, how you handle yourself is critical. Always be gracious. Show your appreciation for their willingness to listen to your thoughts. Compliment them on their willingness to see things from a new perspective. Keep it light: make reference to a time when you were insistent on an issue only to realize you had made a serious error in judgment or came to realize that the opposing position was actually more sensible. Never embarrass, humiliate, degrade, criticize or make fun of the other person. Refrain from making such comments as “See, I told you so!” or “I told you I was right!” Always treat them with respect and allow them to leave with their dignity intact. Compassion and sensitivity are wins.

Disagreements can open doors to immense personal growth when both sides remain open minded and fair, eager to learn from the opposing side. But they can also become volatile and dangerous when egos control our decisions. One of mankind’s greatest needs is to be heard and acknowledged, not necessarily to have others agree with them. Something as simple as a acknowledgment can be enough to reassure the other party that you are not the enemy but rather an ally supporting their individuality. This enables them to remain calm and relaxed as they trust that you will be fair and respectful of them at all times.

People want to be their own person and some clearly march to the beat of a different drummer. It is an admirable quality that one is confident enough not to be threatened by those who oppose their views. So when discord arises, Disagree with Dignity; Attack the Issues not the Individual.
Remember, I stated that you would win when arguing, not win the argument. There is a critical distinction between the two and when understood you will ultimately emerge victorious, a winner, in the sense that you have maintained your integrity, preserved the dignity of the other person, prohibited stress from manifesting, and safeguarded the integrity of the relationship.

Q: “Disagree with Dignity; Attack the Issues not the Individual.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

PUSHED TOO FAR: WHEN PEOPLE SNAP

We are all too familiar with headline stories about people who are pushed to their limits and snap. Whether on the job, within their own families, or even children in school – everyone has their breaking point. In 2010, Omar Thorton, a 34-year old employee at the Hartford Beer Distributors in Manchester, CT, reportedly stole a truck. He was given the option of either being fired or resigning. He chose the latter. However, before being escorted out of the building, he pulled out a handgun and began firing. Two people were wounded, eight were dead including himself. Later on, his girlfriend revealed that he felt he had been a victim of racial harassment.

And none of us will ever forget the massacre at Columbine H.S. on April 20, 1999 executed by two students, Dylan Kliebold and Eric Harris. Well thought out, these boys claimed to have been victims of prolonged bullying. Their anger and rage manifest in a violent rampage that claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher and injured 21 more.

Who’s to blame?

In each of these cases, the individuals blamed others for how they felt and subsequently their course of action. None took responsibility for their own feelings and behaviors. Blame renders one powerless and gives others the ability to control us. Feeling powerless in a situation we’re uncomfortable or unhappy with is the very definition of anger. We seek to regain control and an angry outburst will surely get the ball rolling. People pay attention. They will often concede in an effort to to calm us down, making us feel powerful in the moment. However, the consequences of our actions can prove devastating in the long run. Individuals fail to seek more appropriate means of correcting an unsatisfactory situation.

Why do people snap?

Everyone gets angry but not everyone allows their anger to turn into rage or go on a rampage. Most people can, in time, let go of what’s bothering them. Even for those who don’t, there is an unspoken rule that raging on others is simply not permissible either from a religious or cultural perspective. They may keep their anger bottled up inside them causing a host of other problems.
Anger is often the result of a person’s perception of an event regardless of the actual truth. If one believes they are the target of discrimination, they will subconsciously seek every incident which can be interpreted as such. Couple that with their inability or unwillingness to process their hurt or anger in a healthy way and the feelings are sure to escalate. Obsessing over the incident, holding on to negative feelings, and replaying it over and over again in one’s mind causes it to grow in intensity. Feelings of victimization, i.e. helplessness, powerlessness, and hopelessness that circumstances are never going to improve, feed the need for revenge in order to establish equity between the parties and to stop others from causing you pain. The image of victory over one’s circumstances becomes the driving force behind the violence.

For those who seek to better understand the purpose of the experience, rather than label themselves victims of injustice, they choose to view themselves as students of the experience, here to learn one of life’s valuable lessons. Every situation has the potential to teach an important lesson that will enrich one’s life. They are then able to replace anger with understanding and acceptance. (Let me state here that this in no way implies that one must allow others to continue to mistreat them. Setting and enforcing fair and reasonable boundaries in relationships are crucial to establishing healthy interactions and are most effective if established from the get go.)

In my book, The Secret Side of Anger, I clearly illustrate how anger is the direct result of unmet needs and expectations. We all have specific needs and expect things to be a certain way: to be heard, understood or treated fairly. We all need sleep, food, opportunity, companionship, love. We expect to be treated with respect, to be appreciated for our efforts, and rewarded for our accomplishments. When we believe, whether factual or imagined, that our expectations are not being met, we become agitated, irate, hurt, frustrated, or angry. Each of these, if left unaddressed, can escalate and eventually manifest in the form of destructive behaviors.

Thorton reportedly told his supervisors about the harassment and claimed nothing was done to stop it. Was he, in fact, harassed? Did the authorities legitimately fail to protect him, or was it a matter of his own perception rather than fact? Others reported that he had been accused of stealing items off of the trucks along with other performance issues. Thorton’s uncle reported to CNN that he had been pushed to the limit stating that he killed “the five racists that were bothering me”. Fact or perception? Either way, he reached his breaking point.

Prevention:

If you’re being pushed:
It’s imperative that you don’t take personal offense to what others are doing/saying. Their behavior reflects who they are; it is never about you.
Work on building your self esteem. Those who truly admire themselves are less impacted by what others think of them.
Build your self-confidence as well. Know that you are capable of handling and surviving every experience that enters your life.
Learn to identify hurtful or disrespectful behaviors in others, stand up and speak up for yourself. Set strong and reasonable boundaries if necessary.
Remove yourself from those who are causing you harm, emotionally or otherwise. Reach out to others for their support and help if necessary.
Develop positive people skills: learn to interact with others, to be sociable, and develop a strong network of friends and/or a support system.
When anger arises, don’t become stuck on what’s bothering you. Identify the issue then seek all possible solutions to your situation.
Be proactive. Understanding that unfairness, such as prejudice, exists allows one to decide how they will handle themselves when confronted with it. (Similar to inclement weather, the better prepared one is the less likely they will be adversely effected when the situation presents itself.) Either take action to correct it, allow it to roll of your back when it does occur, or remove yourself from it. Each option allows you to make the decision that is in your best interest. It restores your personal power and alleviates feelings of victimization.

If you’re the pusher:
Be more compassionate; treat others with kindness, dignity and respect, even those you don’t care for.
Be inclusive – invite others to be a part of your life on some level; show concern for who they are, what matters to them, how they feel.
Always find something positive to say to the other party – be complimentary and appreciative of who they are.

Intervention:

If you’re the observer:
Reach out to offer assistance and/or resources to those you are concerned about. Intervene as long as there is no risk to you and you are qualified to do so. Ask questions to determine if there is a potential risk. Inquire if you can be of any assistance. Seek professional help if warranted. Alert the family, close friends, coworkers, supervisors if appropriate. This is not about becoming hysterical or spreading damaging rumors or for the purpose of getting someone in trouble. It is solely for the purpose of preventing a possible tragedy from occurring and getting necessary help for one in need. This must be carried out in a respectful manner as an act of concern for the well-being and safety of all parties.
Summary:

The way we treat one another in today’s world can be described as nothing short of inhumane. Remember that we are all struggling with personal issues and behavior is a reflection of what those issues are. Never define a person by how they act. Intrinsically we are all perfect creations of God; our very nature is love but the hurt, loneliness, frustration, etc that we wrestle with masks our authentic nature. Be aware; be helpful; be kind – always. That’s how we prevent unnecessary tragedies from occurring and how we begin to heal our world.

Q: “Every action is either an expression of love or a cry for love. Recognize the cries of others and offer them the cure.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+