Posts Tagged ‘radio’

EXPOSING COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT ANGER

I’ve been presenting seminars on understanding and healing anger for 25 years and it never ceases to amaze me how much misinformation is circulating about one of life’s most powerful emotions. Lack of accurate facts and techniques can have serious repercussions in every aspect of life from relationships to health to joy and happiness. Consider the following myths and truths:

Myth #1. It’s wrong to get angry. Anger is a bad emotion.

Truth: In truth, all emotions are neutral and only have the value we assign them. Each one serves a necessary purpose as they act as messengers that provide great insight into the self: what matters to us vs what’s unimportant; where our values lie and what things violate them; what our expectations and judgments are concerning others, ourselves, and the world in general; what our personal issues are (in need of healing) which are currently causing us distress and trigger anger, jealousy, fear, etc.

Humans are hardwired to feel a wide variety of emotions which is a valuable asset. Once we are able to decipher the message and purpose of the feeling, we can use it to better understand ourselves, work on our personal issues and find peace with them, motivate us to make positive changes within ourselves and in our relationships or our environment.

Anger itself is neither wrong nor bad. Again, it’s a powerful messenger that alerts us to the fact that something in our life needs our attention to correct. It is the way in which we process it, express it, and use it that determines if it’s going to be a positive or negative force in our lives and in the lives of those affected. Anger can cause serious damage or allow for personal growth.

Myth #2. When you feel angry, it’s best to let it out and get it off your chest.

Truth: This is a double-edged sword. While suppressing or denying anger can prove detrimental to the one experiencing it (and ultimately to the relationship since those involved are not being honest with one another), doing so at the height of the emotion can be extremely risky. First let me state that it is not always necessary to express how you feel in that precise moment. Many issues can be resolved internally without ever verbalizing one’s displeasure. When I am angry, I need to first ask myself “Why do I allow this to bother me?” Very often, once I am able to answer that question I realize that it is my own perception, judgment or personal issues that need to be addressed. In truth, there may be nothing wrong or offensive about the other person’s behavior at all.

Sometimes, expressing your displeasure can hurt the other person’s feelings, cause the situation to escalate, give the appearance that you are unreasonable or hostile (if your anger is out of control), lead to embarrassment or regret, damage relationships, and more. People respond to various situations in one of two ways: either from an intellectual perspective or an emotional one. When operating from an intellectual mind, one collects all relevant data, processes it, and comes to a rational conclusion. When expressing themselves they are typically more calm and focused, offering logical, well thought out comments. Conversely, when one is highly emotional, they rarely act or speak logically. Emotions are powerful tools that cloud rational judgment and offer irrational statements, assumption, conclusions, and demands. It is best to practice the SWaT Strategy (from The Secret Side of Anger) giving yourself the necessary time to calm down, rethink the issue, and respond intelligently and fairly.

So the answer is both yes and no. There are times when it is perfectly acceptable and advantageous to let the other party know that you are upset with them or with what has transpired. Sharing feelings invites open dialogue that can clear the air, gain deeper insights, and strengthen relationships. In other circumstances, it is best to remain silent, giving oneself adequate time to process the event, draw a reasonable conclusion, find peace with it and let it go without revealing one’s initial displeasure.

Myth #3. You can’t help the way you feel.

Truth: Believing that one has no control over how they feel is one of the most dangerous and self-destructive beliefs one can have. In essence, they relinquish their authentic power over to others; they are at the mercy of how others treat them and their reaction to such. “You make me mad. You hurt my feelings. You embarrassed me.” They believe themselves to be powerless (the very definition of anger) thus putting themselves in the role of being a victim: helpless and without power. That is a terrifying place to be as others now have control over your feelings and life.

Anger, as are all emotions, is a choice. All emotions originate in the mind with a thought. I choose my thoughts and therefore choose the corresponding emotion. Thoughts are the single most powerful tool we have. Every decision ever made began with a thought. No one and nothing can control one’s mind. Someone may suggest that I think a certain way, let’s say that I should dislike a family member whom they despise. They may offer all sorts of reasons as to why I should hate them but ultimately I chose what I believe or disbelieve about the individual and those thoughts will ultimately dictate how I feel about them.

When my best friend fails to return my call after a week’s time, I can tell myself she’s being rude or consider that she might have simply forgotten. I decide if I want to be upset about a situation or just let it be. One evokes anger, the other compassion. Either way – my choice.

Myth #4. Other people/things make you angry.

Truth: People or events (outside stimuli) are triggers, not causes. Whenever we experience an event (something occurs, someone says/does something that does not meet our criteria for what we believe should happen) we become agitated. Pay careful attention to the expectations and demands you place on yourself and those around you. Unrealistic or unfair expectations are a leading cause of anger. We demand far too much from ourselves, (“I should be doing more/should be able to handle this”), from others (“He’s an adult. He needs to be more responsible.”), or from the world “(“If I work hard, I’ll be successful.”) Life and others will not always conform to our demands. When we experience disappointment, disillusionment, become frustrated or hurt we will create feelings of anger as we feel let down by others or the world.

Keep in mind that people are under no obligation to conform to our demands nor am we here to conform to theirs. Each of us has a God-given right to live life as best we can, keeping in mind that no one has a right to cause harm to another in any way. Remember too that life owes us nothing, therefore we have no right to expect anything other than what we create on our own.

Therefore it is imperative the consider that a simple readjustment of one’s expectations to something more reasonable and realistic for the situation alleviates any potential anger from manifesting. Pay careful attention to the thoughts you entertain concerning the event or individual you are engaging with. Those outside stimuli are only triggers; your anger arises from your thought process.

Myth #5. Anger is hereditary. If you have a bad temper you can’t help it – it’s in your genes.

Truth: Anger is a learned behavior. Claiming that it is inherited is an avoidance tactic – a way to circumvent taking responsibility for one’s attitude and subsequent behaviors and consequences. Children may grow up in a toxic and violent family and see anger as a normal way of life. But what is learned can be unlearned as well.

Under the right conditions, anyone can control their anger if necessary. If the consequences are potentially high enough (perhaps one risks getting fired for an explosive outburst at work) that person could contain their feelings until they were in a safer environment where the dangers of expressing it are far less. A bad temper is typically the result of one being overly sensitive and taking personal offense to minor infractions. Or it can arise from feelings of fear: the need to control in order to keep oneself safe and happy. All anger can be healed with the proper knowledge, tools, and commitment.

Myth #6. People with anger issues yell, scream, throw things, hit, punch, etc. Those who don’t react with aggression don’t have a problem with anger.
Truth: Not so. One is simply more apparent than the other. Many people are afraid to openly express how they feel and will keep their anger bottled up inside. This can lead to depression, health issues, relationship problems, addictions, somatizing (inflicting harm upon oneself such as self-mutilation or self-sabotage), self-loathing, and more. Others resort to sarcasm, the silent treatment or other covert behaviors. And still others are in denial of their anger believing that it is wrong and/or that they will be judged because of it. Either way, suppressing anger can have potentially deadly consequences.

It is critical to identify suppressed or denied anger within oneself. Those who are fearful of speaking up put themselves at risk for being used, abused, overlooked, taken advantage of and more. Their relationships lack truth and candor and will undoubtedly suffer the consequences. Sadly, undefined anger interferes with one’s ability to experience authentic happiness and joy in life. On every level, it can have devastating consequences.
Anger is a normal, healthy, useful, and necessary emotion. Acknowledge it when it arises, get to the root* of what is bothering you, heal those issues, and let the anger go. Anger appropriately utilized can yield positive benefits for you and those around you. Choose your emotions wisely for they direct the entire course of your life.

Q: Proverbs 15: “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.”

*Learn more about the 3 root causes in The Secret Side of Anger
To order a copy of The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth visit http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
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4 SIMPLE RULES FOR A HAPPY LIFE

Most people I know want to be happy. I say most because there some who are really miserable and seem content remaining that way. They resist every opportunity for joy and find excuses to stay stuck in their gloom. Although I believe that deep down inside every human being desires happiness, I also believe that some feel they are either undeserving or that it is unattainable for them. Some wallow in self-pity keeping them trapped in their own unhappiness. They become so comfortable in their ways of thinking and living that although it may be painful for them it is all they know. It’s like poverty: some accept that there is no way out and resign themselves to their dismal fate.

Happiness is our Divine right; it is our natural state of being. We were not created nor intended to suffer. While brief moments of sadness enter everyone’s lives, misery is self imposed. It is the direct result of a prolonged obsession with what is not right in our lives or not working according to our beliefs and desires. We focus on what is lacking rather than what we have, what we can be grateful for, and what is going smoothly and according to our plans.

Being happy is not complicated nor difficult. Follow these four simple guidelines and watch your happiness index soar!

1. Remove all expectations. In doing so, you will avoid disappointment and anger.

We all have certain expectations in life. We presume that people will behave appropriately according to our standards; that life should be fair; that if one works hard they will achieve their goals; if you treat others with respect it will be reciprocated and so on. While expectations are normal, the more we impose them on others, ourselves and the world, the more we set ourselves up to be disappointed. And disappointment easily converts to hurt, frustration, and/or anger. Very often what we are seeking from others is unrealistic or unfair. We trust that as our children mature they will hold on to the beliefs we instilled in them when they were younger. Those who rebel against them let us down and we become fearful that their lives will be substandard, as the foundation we laid for them appears to have been weakened. We may also experience pain that their rejection of our parenting and values is a poor reflection on us. Many families have experienced tension based on a child’s perceived disloyal choices.

We also believe that the adult population should be reliable and when they fall short, we are hurt and disillusioned. A person’s trustworthiness is dependent upon many factors: their level of maturity, the nature of their relationship with you, the nature of the issue at hand, changing circumstances beyond their control, and other factors. Not interested in their excuses or valid reasons, we judge them as deceitful and become angry with them.

However, much of what we are seeking is simply out of alignment with reality. We ask far too much of ourselves, others and even of the world in general. Re examining our expectations, removing those that are unfair, lessening others to a more realistic level or eliminating them altogether will greatly decrease the stress in our lives and allow for happiness to evolve.

2. Accept life and others as is.

We all know that we are not intended to change anyone, nor is it actually possible as we all have free will to make our own decisions in life. However, even those with good intentions subconsciously attempt to manipulate others into being something or someone other than who they are or to convince them to change their ways and behave in a manner more acceptable to us. Those who are confident with themselves or who may be just plain stubborn will not comply, leaving one feeling helpless and disheartened. Reminding oneself that it is not our responsibility to change anyone but to simply accept them as they are, we can experience greater peace and happiness. This acceptance, however, does not imply that we must maintain a relationship with those whose lifestyles pose harm to us in some way.

It’s also crucial to allow life to unfold naturally. Humans, generally speaking, want to control their lives, what happens and when, and the course it takes. However, control is an illusion (with the exception of controlling that which is internal: our thoughts, feelings, and ultimately our [external] choices). There are an infinite number of factors that influence the direction our lives will take and what does and doesn’t occur. Rather than try to force life to conform to our dictates, allow it to be what it is. Go with the flow. Make your decisions but be more willing to accept what occurs, embrace that which works and release that which doesn’t. You will have far less angst in your life if you can do this.
3. Release what doesn’t work for you and move on.

Life doesn’t always comply with our demands. We don’t always realize the precise outcome we were hoping for. Some of what occurs in life does not appear to be beneficial for us as well. If we are unable to make the necessary changes we are seeking, simply release the situation or event without anger or judgment and move on. Putting forth effort to force into existence that which may not be meant to be is both exhausting and oftentimes futile. Letting go of a car which has proven to be a lemon is easier than continually investing time, effort, and money into repairing something that has limited value.

This applies to people as well. Sometimes we hold on to relationships long after their usefulness has expired. I’m certainly not suggesting that we use people for our own benefit, then discard them when they no longer serve a purpose. What I am recommending is that some relationships are toxic, others are not meant to last a lifetime, others only enter our lives only for a specific purpose and must then leave. I value people and my relationships with them above most everything else in life. However, it is imperative that we graciously release back to God those which are negative, draining, dangerous, or currently hopeless. It’s like cleaning out our closets: when we let go of what no longer fits, we are free to invite healthier, more suitable people into our circle of acquaintances.

4. Refrain from trying to change anything or anyone other than yourself.

People expend enormous amounts of time, energy, and resources trying to fix, save, improve or completely overhaul others. To believe we have the right or the responsibility to change anyone is arrogant and self-righteous. Every human being has a God-given right to be who they are and to live life to the best of their abilities; to learn what they need to learn in their own time frame and way; to make their own mistakes without fear of ridicule or condemnation; to be accepted, valued, and loved exactly as they are.

Generally speaking, people try to change others from a place of concern for the other’s well-being. We see someone making foolish or dangerous mistakes and we want to protect them, to spare them any unnecessary harm or suffering. We try to impose our methods or beliefs on them. However, one size does not fit all. What works for one may not be suitable for the other. And by interfering, we may rob that person of exactly what they need to experience for the fulfillment of their Divine Purpose.

The message we send others when trying to change them is that they are not ok nor good enough the way they are. However, in our greatness we will fix that, correct any flaws and make dramatic improvements to who they are and the quality of their lives. And of course, once the transformation has been completed, the renovated one will forever sing our praises for our selfless actions, she said facetiously.

Still, there are some who try to change others purely for selfish reasons. It might make life easier or more enjoyable for the one imposing the change if the other were improved upon, i.e. made different. Or perhaps it is to gain a sense of power and dominance over the other. It may also be to try and make oneself appear to be a caring and intelligent person, raising their status above the other, making themselves appear superior to the one who is flawed.

However, each one of us is born with intellect (the ability to think and rationalize) and free will (the ability to make our own decisions). Therefore, while it may appear that we have caused a change in the other party, in truth it is a personal choice made of their own volition. We had no power over them at all. Time spent trying to improve others would best be served working on improving oneself. We have more than enough imperfections in need of correcting and we are the only ones responsible for doing so. Therefore, work exclusively on the self and offer your own transformation as inspiration to others to follow that will ultimately suit their own agenda.

One of my favorite quotes is from the Dalai Lama: “Every single being, even those who are hostile to us, is just as afraid of suffering as we are and seeks happiness in the same way we do. Every person has the same right as we do to be happy and not to suffer. So let us take care of others wholeheartedly of both our friends and our enemies. This is the basis for true compassion.”

To recap: Four Simple Rules For A Happy Life:
1. Remove all expectations.
2. Accept life and others as is.
3. Release what doesn’t work for you and move on.
4. Refrain from trying to change anything or anyone other than yourself.

When you have accomplished this you will find lasting happiness and inner peace.

Q: Acceptance of those things which we cannot or should not change allow us to live in peace and harmony.

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

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5 QUALITIES OF NON VIOLENT FIGHTING

When individuals disagree on a subject matter, whether it’s politics, religion, home projects, budgeting issues or such, very often the discussion escalates into a full-blown fight. Tensions rise as each side tries to convince the other that their beliefs or ways of doing something are more valid that the others, that they are right on their position. In my conflict resolution training program, I stress the importance of refraining from using the terms right or wrong. To do so indicates an insecurity that needs strengthening by proving oneself superior over another. The vast majority of issues we disagree on are not matters of right or wrong: they are simply issues of perception, preference, or opinion. Only issues of morality or fact can be deemed accurate or false. To recommend that people refrain from debating certain topics that they disagree on is unnecessary. Debates can be beneficial on so many levels such as enabling both sides to learn something new, to entertain the possibility that there is some validity to what the other is saying, to hone their communication and listening strategies, as well as learning tolerance and acceptance.

So how can two people strongly disagree on a topic and discuss it without having it escalate into verbal violence or aggression? There are five key strategies one must employ.

Confidence: When an individual feels strongly that their beliefs, ideas, feelings or ways of living life are valid, they are able to submit compelling facts to support their side. They are strong and secure in their position and comfortable with what they are presenting to support their side. Confidence does not feel threatened by those who disagree as they feel that no matter how strongly the other party feels about their position, a poised person can hold their ground and not acquiesce to their ways. Confidence, a belief in one’s abilities, enables the person to listen open-mindedly without fear of how the other might react or respond to them, nor what opinion the other person may form about them. Good, bad, or indifferent, confidence says, “I’m fine with whatever the outcome of our conversation is.”

They are also interested in sharing their thoughts without the need to convert the other party to their ways nor show them the error of theirs. There is no competition; only shared dialogue.

Those who are insecure or uncertain present a weak perspective easily crushed by the other side. In this instance, they feel at a disadvantage and may easily resort to yelling, raging, insults, criticisms, threats, demeaning comments and so on in order to intimidate the other party to back off, thus giving the illusion that they won. However, one who is secure in their beliefs creates a win-win situation for all, allowing the other side to maintain their dignity and beliefs as well.

Assertive: One who is assertive is gifted with a strong sense of self, a belief that they are capable of handling themselves well in any given situation. Regardless of the nature of the disagreement, an assertive person cares deeply about the well-being of their opponent with no interest in degrading them by proving them to be error. Differences are viewed as assets rather than obstacles and a lively debate is welcomed. Comfortable with taking the initiative, they are highly focused on finding common ground with the other party and are adept at directing the conversation on a positive course. If one party veers off on a tangent, they can readily bring them back into focus. If the other party becomes irate or hostile, they are well-equipped to set some boundaries and diffuse the incident. Assertives have a quiet air of inner strength and confidence about them; they neither rant nor yell nor threaten nor belittle. Their tone of voice is steady, strong and clear. They are leaders with viable skills and concern that keep a potentially volatile situation calm and productive.

Respectful: Respect is a treatment that we all seek yet few actually know the meaning of the word. To respect means to value. All human beings want to be treated with dignity and respect, as though they matter. Reverence does not have to be earned – it is a God-given right of every person ever born into this world. Yet some seem to believe that they have the authority to designate who has greater worth than another. If this is the mindset of one who engages in an oppositional discussion then there is sure to be frustration, anger, and hostility from the other side. It is critical to view the other person as worthy as yourself, to begin the discussion on an equal playing field so that no one feels greater or less than the other. This simple message, that you matter as much as I do, enables the other party to lower their defenses and trust you in the sense that you have their best interest at heart as you do your own. Even though I may vehemently disagree with your position, even though I may not understand it, a respectful individual recognizes that their beliefs are equally as valid to them as mine are to me. Being polite in that one simple regard dictates the nature and course of the conversation and keeps it on a positive and constructive note.

Fair-minded: One of humanities basic needs is to be treated fairly. This involves providing sufficient time for the other person to present their side; to listen without criticizing or interrupting; to refrain from making fun of or trying to disprove their points. Finding some valid points sends the message that you recognize the legitimacy of what they are saying even if you do not agree with it. Being fair means commenting on the issues, not criticizing the person (attack the issues not the individual).

If the discussion is one what needs a resolution, a fair-minded person will seek some sort of compromise. Their desire to make certain the other party is satisfied with the outcome is critically important to them. They will typically reassure them by making certain their needs are being met first and/or giving them more than they are expecting or entitled to. They fully embrace the belief that it is better to give than to receive and that it is in giving that we receive the most.

Solution-oriented: Not every disagreement will be resolved nor are they meant to be. Sometimes a debate is simply a sharing of ideas, beliefs, feelings or position. You will never convince a Republican to join the Democratic party or vice versa. Nor should we. It is in our differences that we find growth and expansion.

However, in those situations where an agreement is imperative, it is key to begin the conversation with the end goal in mind. What are we seeking to accomplish? What absolutely needs to take place in order for this issue to be put to rest at the satisfaction of both parties? Having a clear goal enables one to lay out a straightforward plan of action to achieve those goals. They are not sidetracked by superfluous facts or opinions, they avoid blame and finger-pointed, and they stay focused on finding a solution. They listen to all sides and take into consideration all perspectives and suggestions in addition to keeping the process short and sweet.

It’s critically important to enter into any discussion with a positive and open mind. Seek to listen, to learn, to understand, and to care about. If you find yourself becoming frustrated, take a moment and practice the SWaT Strategy: STOP the conversation, WALK away to emotionally disconnect, and TALK yourself calm. When you have regained your composure, return with the intent to have a successful and productive conversation. Utilize the 5 Qualities – confidence, assertive, respectful, fair-minded, and solution-oriented – and you fill discover a simple path to having a non-violent fight.

Ephesians 4:2 “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”

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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