Posts Tagged ‘healing’

ANGRY? GET OVER IT!

Today my husband and I had our fifth fight. Not bad for a twenty year marriage but regardless, for an anger management professional such as myself, I didn’t handle it very well. Actually, fight is not an accurate description as it was more like a huff, that is we got annoyed at each other. Let me explain: I asked Mac to show me how to use the power washer so that I could prep the tool shed to be painted. I had mentioned several times that this was a priority chore for me this year. The day prior, I told him that I wanted to get started this weekend. So this morning, I requested that he show me how to use the machine to which he become annoyed. “It hasn’t been used in three years,” he snapped. “I don’t even know if it works!” I made a critical mistake by taking personal offense to the way he spoke to me and responded with my own anger. “You and I are never on the same page! I try to do as much heavy work around here to make it easier on you. And you can’t even make sure the tools I need are working properly. I’m done!” I stated emphatically. “You can do it yourself!” With that, I turned and walked out of the room. He got in his car and drove off in a bad mood.

Mac in no way deserved to be on the receiving end of my ire. For certain, an apology was in order. I’ve never been one to hold a grudge so I can let go of my own anger quickly. But I also needed to do some immediate damage control as well. While he was gone, I reassessed the situation. What was really going on? Both of us are under constant pressure from our jobs, taking care of our home, dogs, and family. Stress lessens one’s ability to be patient and rational. Relatively insignificant issues can be blown out of proportion and simple requests can be seen as being demanding, threatening, offensive, or irrational. Under less stressful conditions, neither of us would have responded with such disrespect towards each other. Having said that, we both feel added pressure on the weekends to accomplish an abnormal number of chores, denying ourselves any respite from our demanding workday responsibilities.

Anger is the outward expression of either hurt, fear, or frustration (the three root causes). For certain, I was feeling frustrated. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on my “to do” list and I feel as though I (and my husband) keep falling further and further behind. Secondly, I allowed myself to be hurt by his (mildly) rude behavior which in truth had absolutely nothing at all to do with me. I fully understand that he was merely expressing his frustration as well. Upon closer examination, there were also elements of fear that surfaced. I’m concerned (a mild form of fear) that we will not have all of the larger tasks completed on our home once we are ready to sell it.

So how did I get over my anger? By considering the following 10 questions:

1. Did this situation warrant my anger or was I over reacting? In this case, I completely over reacted. This issue was relatively minor and I was reacting to my own frustration rather than my husband’s response.
2. Was I being fair and reasonable to my husband? Absolutely not! It was highly insensitive of me to think that he should immediately take action on my request. Initially I thought I had given him enough forewarning but in retrospect I realized that based on his personality, I had not.
3. Were my expectations of him, his needs, and his reaction realistic? Again, absolutely no. I know him well enough to know that he needs time to process and plan anything I request of him. He has his own day scheduled and when I interfere with that he feels pressured and minimized (that my needs take precedent over his).
4. Was the intensity and duration of my anger justified for this specific incident? Intensity? No. Duration? I’ll give myself a pass on that since it literally lasted less than five minutes. But again, the issue at hand was not a matter of great urgency as proven by the fact that I had plenty of other work to occupy my time. And I will eventually get the shed taken care of.
5. Did I fail to see his perspective and consider it equally as valid as my own? In the heat of the moment, yes, I failed to recognize where he was coming from and respect his position as much as my own.
6. What needs of mine were not being met? (Unmet needs will trigger anger.) I needed his help and reassurance that he would take care of his responsibility in a reasonable period of time (which at that moment, for me, was immediately).My fear was that I was being blown off and what I wanted to do was not important to him and would be put at the bottom of his “to do” list, thereby possibly never getting done.
7. What needs of his did I fail to provide? He definitely needs his space on the weekend to take care of his personal errands and chores without interference or pressure from me. He also needs to be asked questions (“Is there a chance we could get to this today?”) rather than demanded (“I need you to get the power washer working now.”), regardless of how polite I think I am being.
8. How can each of our needs be fulfilled? What is my role in doing so? I need to be more sensitive to what matters to him. By giving him enough notice and asking if he is able to assist me (I tend to take it for granted since he’s so talented), I can alleviate putting any unnecessary pressure on him. I can also reach out to others for assistance when necessary or for instructions so that I may rely more on my own abilities. If possible, there is always the option of hiring someone to do what we don’t have time to do on our own.
9. If changes are not immediately forthcoming, can I accept that the situation will remain status quo for now? Can I find some sort of internal resolution with my circumstances? Of course. I am actually quite good at doing so and have in many situations before. If the situation is temporary, I can call upon my patience to get me through while keeping myself occupied with other important projects.
10. If the situation is permanent, can I find internal resolution as well? Absolutely! Much in my life has not complied with my preferences and I have been perfectly fine. Understanding that life is not always meant to follow my dictates and that there are important lessons to be learned in such circumstances enables me to grow on many levels, put the event into its proper perspective, and ultimately be at peace with my current situation.

While it may seem that this technique took a significant amount of time to process and resolve, in truth it took a matter of minutes for me to re examine what transpired and let go of being angry. I felt a sense of remorse for the way I treated my husband and immediately reached out to offer him the apology he rightfully deserved. For him, an expression of remorse enables him to more easily heal his own anger, forgive me, and allow us to move back into a place of being happy and loving towards one another. It was well worth the investment of a little time and effort.

Note: for those of you who are questioning, “What about his role in all of this?”, my response is this: it’s none of my business. I need only concern myself with my own issues and actions. That is where my personal power lies and where true change occurs. What he does is irrelevant. All that really matters is how I handle myself.

“Unresolved anger leads to bitterness, resentment, self-pity and misery. Letting it go invites joy and peace to enter your heart again.”

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WHEN TO FIGHT AND WHEN TO NOT

I’m not much of a fighter. When I was a child, my dad taught me that if someone hits you, hit them back but never be the one to throw the first punch. In essence, only fight back when you have to defend yourself. My mom’s message was taken from Luke 6:29 and contradicted Dad’s: “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” Her voice resonated the strongest with me and for the better part of my life I’d walk away from any confrontation whether physical or verbal. During my childhood, there was a girl who frequently bullied me. I continually walked away from her but she was relentless. One day, I told my older sister who took up my cause. She grabbed the girl by the hair and told her to leave me alone. She never bothered me again.

With the exception of protecting myself in a domestic violence relationship, I have never engaged in physical conflict in my life. And while my typical style of confrontation was one of silence, I have since become more comfortable with engaging in disputes of a verbal nature. While I refuse to participate in an ugly or hostile discussion, I can now more easily verbally defend what I believe in.

Mankind is often quick and eager to fight. A sense of arrogance and entitlement has lessened one’s ability to be patient, has classified some as unworthy of being treated with respect and dignity, and supports the belief that the self should have what they want even at the expense of others. People also have a lower tolerance level than ever before and in many instances seek every opportunity to incite an argument or fight in an attempt to assert power and dominance over others. None of these are a spiritually valid reason for fighting.

There is a time and place for everything and one needs to know when it is best to follow my Mom’s and Luke’s advice to simply walk away and when one needs to stand up for justice as recommended in Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Keep in mind, that when I speak of fighting, I am in no way referring to physical altercations, the destruction of property, or nasty, hateful verbal assaults or threats of any kind. The key to successfully defending one’s person or position and seeking righteous justice (that is, according to Divine Law) is knowing when it’s appropriate to stand tall and when it’s best to let things be as they are. Having a proper set of communication and negotiating skills is essential as well.

Here are some guidelines:

WHEN TO FIGHT:
You are defending those incapable of protecting themselves.
The issue is serious and will not resolve itself or will escalate if not addressed.
There is severe and real harm being perpetrated against yourself or another.
The offense is in violation of God’s law; it is a moral issue.
To remain silent allows evil to prosper.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Sir Edmund Burke

WHEN TO NOT:
No one is being harmed physically, emotionally, or psychologically.
The only thing bruised is your ego.
You have a personal vendetta against the other party.
You are seeking revenge. Romans 12:19 “beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of god, for it is written, “vengeance is mine, i will repay, says the lord.”
The issue will resolve itself.
There is a serious risk that getting involved will only escalate matters.
The issue will not matter in ten years.
It’s none of my business or the other party can handle it themselves.
There is only a perception of harm, not a real and valid threat.
The issue is not one of a moral nature.

Keep in mind, that humans are known for making mountains out of molehills; for making matters appear far more serious than they are; for seeking to exert dominance over others. If any of these are your motives for getting involved in an exchange of ideas (I hesitate to use the word fight for it’s generally accepted definition of a physical altercation or an extremely heated debate) I strongly advise reassessing the situation and finding an alternative course of action. However, if you reasons are to stand up for what you truly believe is morally right, then by all means pursue your decision to address the issue.

Let me reiterate: in the beginning I stated that “for the better part of my life I’d walk away from any confrontation”. My choice of words accurately reflects my beliefs: life is consistently better when one chooses to not fight. (Did you notice that I listed twice as many reasons to not fight?) Therefore, be discreet: carefully and righteously evaluate each situation before becoming involved. Know when it is in your best interest, as well as the other party’s, to simply let things be as they are. If intervention is essential, carefully choose your attitude and approach, motives and methods for they will certainly determine the outcome and lasting effects of your efforts.

Q: The goal of the righteous is to bring a peaceful and fair resolution to each situation for all those concerned.

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

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I DARE YOU TO ASK THIS

Relationships are critically important in our lives. On a professional level, being a good team player and getting along well with others enables us to maintain our jobs and receive such perks as bonuses or promotions. Also, connecting with the right people can advance our careers providing we have good interpersonal skills. How people feel about us on the job plays an important role in how successful we are professionally speaking.
In our social lives, relationships take on another vital role. Being able to form and sustain healthy bonds with others impacts the number and nature of our friendships, provides opportunities in social settings, allows for ease of living in our neighborhoods, improves our health, and contributes to our overall enjoyment of life.

On a personal level, strong intimate connections bond people together in marriage and secure the future of the human population. Intimacy of an emotional nature holds families together during life’s most challenging times. It also multiplies our happiness and sustains us through our darkest moments. It allows for a deeper understanding of all parties which foster personal awareness, compassion, and growth. We are challenged to become better people as a result of knowing others intimately.

Humans are social creatures by nature and therefore need a strong skill set in order to develop and maintain mutually satisfying and healthy, balanced, long term partnerships. Getting along well with others lessens the chance of damaging conflict from erupting, eases tensions between both parties, enables the individual to forgive the indiscretions of the other, extends support and compassion to each other, and genuinely enjoys the company of one another. Learning to work or cohabitate in close proximity with others is not an easy task but certainly one that is attainable and definitely rewarding.

In recent studies it has been shown that those in healthy relationships are not only the happiest but the healthiest as well. They also have a longer projected life expectancy than those who are loners or who have difficulty interacting successfully with others.

For the most part people put forth a sincere effort in trying to get along with others. After all, it’s just common sense that the more gratifying our interactions are with others the less stress between us. Healthy friendships are easier on every level and people seek to avoid drama as much as possible. When we truly care about others and the nature of our interactions with them, we treat them in a manner that benefits all parties. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This philosophy has served mankind well for centuries.

Yet even with our best efforts we still find ourselves arguing, fighting, hurting one another, and becoming frustrated, disappointed, and disillusioned to the point where relationships suffer or fail. Many people are clueless as to what went wrong. Instead, of taking ownership for their role, they find fault with the other person: “You’re never satisfied with anything I do for you! I was a good husband/wife – there was no reason to leave me.” “I put my heart and soul into my job. How could they possibly fire me? This is so wrong!”

It’s difficult for individuals to fully comprehend their role in why a relationships didn’t work. We praise ourselves for everything we do right, for all of the effort we put forth, and for everything we overlooked in the other person. We’re also quick to criticize the other person for their imperfections and the mistakes they made. And in doing so, we remain oblivious.

Relationships are like mirrors: they reflect back to us aspects of who we are that we may not be aware of. If I want to look my best, I cannot see precisely what I look like without the assistance of a full length mirror to reflect back to me my own image. If I want to be the absolute best person I can be, I need others to point out to me what they see that I may be blind to. Yet when others comment on what they view as an imperfection, we fail to listen objectively to their comments. I do not deny the physical image the mirror reflects back to me. On the contrary: I am grateful that if I see something I do not like, I have the opportunity to correct it. Yet if someone points out a perceived flaw or defect, rather than appreciate their input, I become defensive and lash out at them. In essence, I deny myself the opportunity to learn something that may enable me to become a better person.

If you want to have strong, healthy, loving, joyful, respectful relationships you must be courageous enough to ask the following question. (And no, it’s not “What don’t you like about me?”) The question is: “Tell me what it’s like being with me?” This question is not for the faint-of-heart and if you are not fully prepared to consider the response, do not venture down this road.

The difference between the two questions I posed is that question number (“What don’t you like about me?”) opens one up to criticism, a perceived attack from the commentator on what they believe to be the shortcomings and liabilities of the listener. Few people are willing to hear such comments and may respond by attacking the integrity of the other party stating that they should be looking at their own faults rather than commenting on someone else’s. The second question, (“Tell me what it’s like being with me?” ), focuses on the individual’s personal experience of being in your presence.
Think of it from this perspective: imagine they are relaying their experience of being in the rain. They are not criticizing the precipitation itself but instead are speaking objectively about their first hand encounter of getting wet. Likewise with communicating their feelings about being with you, the inquiring party: since the focus is not on you, there is no need to become defensive and retaliate. You can simply listen to a recount of that person’s feelings about their encounter with you. Though not necessarily easy to listen to, it can be one of the most insightful opportunities of your life. “When we’re together, I feel uncomfortable, as though I need to monitor everything I say.” Or it can be positive: “When I’m with you, it’s like being with an old friend – very easy.”

Keep in mind: this is not a question for the fearful or insecure. One must be willing to listen quietly, open-mindedly, and without interruption to a complete recount of what the other person encounters when in your company. In doing so, you are able to see yourself through their eyes and gain some deep personal insights into the manner in which you portray yourself. The way we perceive ourselves is rarely the same as others do. Most of us live in denial about the way we behave or are eager to make lame excuses for our actions that we would not afford others.
This exercise is critical in determining whether or not we fully know ourselves and are portraying ourselves accurately (i.e. we are living authentically, do our actions perfectly reflect our intrinsic nature?). Additionally, we will discover what works well and what doesn’t with the other person. I may have a very strong energy that for the majority of people does not present a problem. But for my best friend I may project myself as aggressive or angry. Knowing this allows me to adjust the way I interact with her in a way that she can better relate to and feels more comfortable with. Doing so naturally improves the quality of the relationship.

If I want to look my best then I need a full length mirror to reflect back to me what I cannot see on my own. If I want to be my best, then I need the assistance of others who also mirror back to me what they see that is troublesome so that I may remove it from my persona or improve upon it. Only in doing so can I become the best version of myself possible. I owe that to myself, to others, and to the One who created me. So take the plunge: inquire of others “Tell me what it’s like being with me?” Then sit back, close your mouth, open your ears, and listen with the intend to understand and evolve. What others think of you really does matter.

In each of our relationships, let the well-being of the other person be our primary concern. Always be certain that their lives have been enriched for having spent time in our presence.

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
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