Archive for the ‘anger management’ Category

What to Do When the World is Hurting

June 16, 2016

Earth-crying2

Sometimes it feels as if the world has gone mad! The tragedies of this past week have taken most of us to the brink of tears, if not pushed us over the edge! We are filled with confusion about how such things can happen, and grief for those directly affected by the horrific events. With the constant reminders of the evil that has caused these things, our anger grows and begins to manifest itself in physical and emotional exhaustion and even depression.

Tragic events create a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, even for those of us who watch and hear about it on our televisions and other news sources. When we witness others experiencing unspeakable horrors, we feel it as well because we are all connected as human beings. We find ourselves in a tsunami of emotions, and often fear and anger emerge as the prominent ones.

So how do we keep from being dragged into a negative whirlpool? How do we heal? How can we help to make things better? Here are some things I have found to be helpful:

Even if the tragedy hasn’t directly affected you or a loved one, you may need to go through the steps of dealing with loss. The key is to realize that you can certainly feel compassion for others without staying permanently in a state of mourning.

• If you are overwhelmed, limit your media exposure relating to the disastrous event. This is difficult, because we are exposed to constant replaying of tragedies. Some people feel empowered by continually watching the coverage of the aftermath and recovery, but if it upsets you, turn it off. Choosing not to relive it over and over doesn’t mean you don’t feel compassion for the victims.

• Channel your anger. Of course we should all feel offended by the hatred that causes such horrible events, but we need to use it as an impetus for doing something positive. Volunteer, donate, express support for victims, or participate in any positive activity that will keep you from feeling helpless and frightened.

• Don’t forget joy. It seems counterintuitive to feel a sense of joy when others are experiencing such pain. But joy doesn’t mean that you are skipping around and pretending nothing happened, nor is it always about being carefree. Joy is a part of who we are as human beings; it is a starting point for healing. To find joy is to find that place in your heart which defies hopelessness!

• Become proactive in spreading kindness. Although our first reaction is often to make our point with violence and rage; standing up for what we believe is sometimes more effectively communicated with an attitude of confident kindness. Perpetuating hatred does nothing but spawn more vitriolic talk and actions.

Linda Henley-Smith is a speaker and life mentor. www.lindahenley-smith.com 

 

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Does Being Kind Make You a Doormat?

March 16, 2016

Hi-Im-Mat

I recently was part of a conversation with a group of people and I left feeling bewildered and a little worried. After discussing a variety of topics, including the one about dealing with people who are snarky; one of the participants made a declarative statement with which most of the others agreed. Here it is: “I see no point in being kind anymore because nobody else is kind and I don’t want to be a doormat!”

Yikes! This is sad on so many levels! First of all, the words “being kind” and “doormat” should never be spoken in the same sentence! I wish I had been able to continue the conversation with the Doormat Lady, because I would have asked her to talk more about her definition of kindness and also about why she feels like something on which people wipe their feet. Here is what I think:

  • It could be that someone has taken advantage of her kindness in some way. We all know that happens, but really…nobody can make you feel like a doormat. If your kindness is not appreciated and someone is overstepping their boundaries, just move on. Someone else’s anger does not negate your kindness or make you less of a person, and it certainly does not make you a doormat!
  • Another possibility is that she has encountered a bully or two. There seems to be a lot of that going around! When someone is mean, even in the face of kindness, it helps to look past the snarling troll exterior of the person and see what is behind the mean spirit. Chances are you will find a tiny, shivering, insecure and frightened person who doesn’t want you to know who he or she really is all about! It’s like the little man hiding behind the curtain and pretending to be the Wizard of Oz!
  • What I wish I could share with Doormat Lady is this: the most constructive response to meanness is to think of the snarky person with compassion. It isn’t an easy thing to do, but there is no benefit to striking back or as she put it, becoming a doormat. You never need to apologize for being kind and respectful, but you also never need to accept abuse of any kind. It is sometimes difficult to muster up any positive thoughts about a troll, but the meaner they are, the more they need them!

Kindness isn’t about pleasing others or winning accolades. It should come from a genuine desire to help someone. When you are kind to another person, it is a gift that you are offering. It is up to the recipient of your gift to either accept it or remain snarky. Think of it this way; being kind to another person elevates you to a place where it is impossible to be anyone’s doormat!

Linda Henley-Smith is a speaker and life-mapping coach who helps people and organizations deal with trolls. www.lindahenley-smith.com

 

 

Angry People Throwing Cauliflower

February 9, 2016

I was just assaulted in the grocery store checkout lane. I am now a victim of an unprovoked vegetabling. I will set the scene: I was second in line to check out and could tell that the woman in front of me was already having a bad day at 8:30 in the morning. I had unloaded my shopping cart, and the cashier had turned on the conveyer belt which was carrying my items closer to those of the already unhappy shopper. As sometimes happens, when the belt stopped moving, some of the items got bunched together and my little head of cauliflower jumped over the divider and into Angry Woman’s area. She grabbed the offending vegetable and threw it at me. Really. She threw it. As she did so, she screamed, “Keep your “beep”ing cauliflower to yourself!”

Now, I thought that was a rather harsh reaction. I also thought that no cauliflower deserves to be called a vulgar name. It is not the most attractive food and some may not like it, but it really is just an innocuous, non-threatening cruciferous vegetable.

Obviously, I know that she wasn’t mad at my cauliflower. But this is a humorous example of what is going on in the world today. Many people seem to be extraordinarily angry and simple situations can heat up and escalate pretty quickly. There are many reasons for people’s anger but what are we to do when their rage is directed toward us?

  • Take responsibility for your reaction to other people’s anger. Realize that allowing someone else’s rage to affect you is handing over control of your own emotions.

 

  • Telling an angry person to calm down is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Their anger is based in insecurity or fear and suggesting that they relax and take a deep breath will probably cause them to think their feelings are being ignored or discounted.

 

  • Try to look at someone’s anger through the lens of compassion. I know it sounds strange to feel compassionate toward someone who has just exploded, said unkind things or thrown a cauliflower at you, but entertain the possibility that the angry person has just experienced some sort of incident, trauma or perhaps heard some news that has rocked their world. It is possible that they could just be a troll….but give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

  • Understand that acknowledging someone’s anger is not saying that they were justified in their bad behavior, but it is a kind thing to do and it elevates you above the fray.

 

  • Do not engage in the tantrum. Even though you may feel like slapping someone who is spewing venom or throwing vegetables at you, try to take the higher road and de-escalate the situation by refusing to participate in the drama.

 

So, who knew that a grocery store experience would prompt an article? But here it is and I leave you with this valuable tip: When you see a flying cauliflower coming your way…duck! And be grateful that it isn’t an airborne tuna fish can!

 

Linda Henley-Smith is a speaker and life-mapping coach who uses real life situations in her presentations. http://www.lindahenley-smith.com