Posts Tagged ‘healing’

THE WHY’S WAY TO NEUTRALIZE ANGER

If I told you that there was one simple word that could prevent anger from arising would you be interested in discovering what that word is? Or in the event that anger showed up without warning, this same word could easily subdue it and restore your sense of calm? Would you utilize this information to create a happier life for yourself? Of course you would! Well, there is one simple magic word that can do just that, and the word is “WHY”.
People often get angry without a deep understanding of the cause. Some have short fuses and every small incident seems to irritate them. In areas where the average person might not give the event a second thought, others fly off the handle. When asked why they are angry, oftentimes they have no rational explanation. “I don’t know – some things just bother me a lot.” In the case of observing another person become upset over something we deem to be a non issue, we may make such statements as, “You’re acting like a fool!” or “You have no reason to be angry.”

Ours is an angry planet and sadly, not only do people refuse to take responsibility for their ire, but in many instances fail to have to clear understanding of why the anger emerged initially. Taking a moment to inquire “Why” from different perspectives can truly be enlightening by providing much insight into one’s feelings and underlying issues behind the rage. Consider the following scenarios where “why” can neutralize or prevent anger from manifesting.

Dealing with one’s own anger:
Imagine you’re in a situation that triggers your anger. You ordered a gift for your husband’s birthday making sure there was ample time for it to arrive by his special day. However, the package was a week late and when you opened it you realized they had send the wrong item. You are livid and immediately call customer service, proceeding to rant on the woman hired to assist you. Even one who’s trained and paid to deal with irate customers is not deserving of your wrath. She assures you that the correct item will be mailed promptly and offers to send you a return shipping label to make the return process easier for you. For your inconvenience, she is authorized to give you a 10% gift certificate off of your next purchase. Your anger begins to subside as you offer her an apology for your rudeness. Damage done and corrected. However, wouldn’t it have been wiser to not become so agitated from the get go?

By utilizing the “why” question, one can avoid an angry outburst such as described. Upon the first inkling of annoyance, stop and ask yourself, “Why am I so upset? Why am I allowing this relatively insignificant incident to cause me so much grief?” The answers might be something like, “This company/worker is inept. This is no way to run a business. I am frustrated and feel that as a paying customer they don’t value my business. That’s rude and disrespectful of me and that makes me mad!”

The why challenges me to look within myself for the answers rather than blame others and hold them accountable for how I feel. Are my feelings valid? Are my perceptions of the company/workers fair and reasonable? Are my expectations (of perfection on their part) unrealistic? Am I being too harsh and judgmental? What does my anger afford me? Do I think I need it in order to rectify the situation? Can I achieve the same results or better by taking a different approach, perhaps one of logic and reason?

Authentic power comes from one’s ability and willingness to look at themselves, to question their feelings, actions, motives, objectives, etc. The why begins the process of self-awareness and self-awareness is the beginning of personal growth. This process may reveal that I am being unfair in my expectations and assessments of those involved, that I am demanding too much. Or perhaps I’m too sensitive and take things personally when in reality I was not being targeted by anyone. My willingness to make the necessary adjustments will diffuse my current anger and prevent it from manifesting in similar future situations.

Dealing with an angry person (as an observer):
If you are dealing with someone who is outraged over an incident that does not involve you, asking the why question can help them come to a deeper understanding of precisely why they are reacting to said event with anger. Similar in nature to the questions one asks themselves, begin by asking why are they upset? Why do they allow this incident to become problematic for them? Does it change the situation? Will it make things better for them? What’s fascinating about questioning others rather than telling them what to do (“Don’t be angry!”) is that it challenges them to discover their truth on their own. Most people do not respond well to others who impose demands or suggestions on them. However, when one comes to this realization of their own volition, the impact is far greater and more meaningful. Again, challenging them to think about their feelings and the why behind them enables them to better understand themselves, examine if their response is warranted and advantageous for them and those around them, and to possibly make wiser choices in the moment or in the future.

Here’s an example: Recently my friend took her dog to the vet for an unusual skin infection. The vet diagnosed it and ordered a treatment plan. Since it was highly contagious, my friend needed treatment as well. Wanting to ensure that the procedure was meticulously carried out, she inquired as to how long the healing process would take, when she and her dog would no longer be contagious, and if there was a chance of a reoccurrence. The doctor was unable to give precise answers cue to the nature of the condition but did so in more generalized terms. She became furious and demanded more specifics which he could not supply. I inquired of her, “Why is this an issue for you? Why did you speak to him that? Why did you react that way? Why do you feel the way you do?”

She confided that she was scared that the condition would not be resolved within a reasonable period of time and that she or her pet could possible infect others if still contagious. She also worried that if the infection returned, it would cause more damage to their health and add to her already high expenses.

Having a deeper understanding of her why’s, her fears and sense of powerlessness, we were able to look more closely at them and find somewhat reasonable solutions for each. We contact another vet, did research online, and contacted the drug manufactures. In doing so, she felt more in control of her health and her pet’s and subsequently her anger subsided. She began to trust that as time progressed answers would become more apparent and that not everything could be revealed at the precise time she desired. She overcame her fear by building trust (in herself and her vet) and patience in the process. She’ll be able to reference this process in future circumstances.

Dealing with an angry person (if you are a target):
There are times when each of us has been the target of someone else’s anger. At times, we are aware that we may have said or done something inappropriate that preceded their reaction. I may have been late meeting my sister at the restaurant for dinner or perhaps I shared one of her secrets with a coworker when she had specifically instructed me to keep the information confidential. There are also incidences where we are clueless as to why their anger is being directed at us. In any event, the why question can bring greater clarity to the situation.

“Why are you angry with me? Is there something I said or did that offended you?” “Why did you react that way when I told you I couldn’t help you move on Saturday?” “Why is my attitude a problem for you?” “Why does the way I live my life bother you?” Be forewarned, that if you ask a question you must be willing to listen to the answer, even if you don’t understand or agree with it.

Without the why it is easy to become defensive when someone is angry with us or when we see them acting out in a hostile manner. Why provides an understanding of what caused the anger to surface and understanding opens the door to compassion. When I realize that the other party is worried about the safety of their child and are emotionally drained, then it comes as no surprise that they have little tolerance for any distractions. When one imposes their anger on me and through the why I come to realize that this is all they know from growing up in a home with parents who used yelling and threats as a means of communication and discipline, then I understand that they are only utilizing what they have learned. Practicing patience with them while they discover a more appropriate way of expressing themselves makes our relationship tolerable.

If you are a child being told by your parents that you cannot do something you’d like to do, asking why can better help you to understand the motives behind their response. Perhaps the situation is too dangerous or there isn’t enough time or money to do so. Disappointment may remain but anger will be less likely to surface. If your child behaves in a way that you find appalling, a simple, “Why did you do that?” rather than responding with an angry “You’re grounded!” can provide insights into your child’s thought process, helping to provide clarity behind their actions. This can be a catalyst for a meaningful discussion.

Likewise, when our political or church leaders make decisions that impact us that we are not in agreement with, oftentimes we react with outrage. However, inquiring why can better help us understand the reasoning behind their actions. We may still not agree with their decisions but may better understand their rationale for doing so. And in some cases, their response can provide an open debate to ultimately find better solutions.
In any event, why is a powerful and wise response to anger in general. As I previously stated, why provides understanding and understanding leads to compassion – a perfect means to neutralize anger.

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

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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

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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
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