Importance of Feeling Feelings
the beginning intuitive & spiritual seeker, coming into relationship with the emotional body is essential for physical, emotional
& psychic health, for accuracy of our intuitive guidance & for improving our relationships.
So many of us have the belief that negative emotions serve no useful purpose, or are an indication that we're doing something wrong. We may end up frustrated with ourselves for our feelings of anger, grief, or hatred & we may try to cover up our discomfort with depression or unending activity.
When we know that emotions are information & energy, we can approach our emotional bodies with less fear & judgment. Then it becomes a task of exploration & self discovery to jump into our emotions, even the uncomfortable ones.
Our health, both physical & emotional, is dependent on free flowing feelings. Unresolved feelings don't disappear with time. Instead, they become blocked within our physical & emotional bodies, sometimes
even creating disease. So many people believe that time heals all wounds & so they let time pass in the hope that they (or their loved ones) will feel differently. I've found this not to be true.
Old hurts, angers & resentments don't fade without being dealt with directly or thru personal growth work. The surest way to move a feeling out of our bodies is to be willing to experience it in the moment. Because past unresolved hurts are still in the present, we can heal a past hurt by feeling it now. (Some emotional traumas need assistance from a healer or therapist to be moved out of the body effectively. See Illuminations for one method of moving trauma out of the energybody.)
For Intuitives, if our emotional bodies
are cluttered or hidden from us, our intuitive hits will end up distorted, or we'll confuse our own unresolved emotions for an intuitive hit.
Also, because we're empathic, we're very sensitive to emotional energy. Knowing our emotional bodies intimately prevents us from taking on & absorbing the emotional energy of those around us; we're able to claim what is ours & refuse what is someone else's.
clear about our emotional responses, our intuitive guidance is able to use those feelings as channels. Many times during my own readings, if I experience emotions that I know aren't mine, I can interpret them as clues to what my client needs to hear next.
energy, when understood, gives us information about how our innerselves are reacting to the outerworld. We need our emotional responses to live effective lives. People who don't pay attention to their emotions miss important cues to how their relationships are unfolding.
They may also find themselves projecting
their unwanted emotions on to others. The more out of touch we are from our feelings, the more our feelings & emotions run our lives unconsciously. When we're fully aware of our emotions, we're at choice whether to follow them or not.
The most emotionally dissociated people think they're run by logical thought process, but if observed for long enough, it's apparent that the fear of facing their emotional body is the main motivating factor in their lives. (For more explanation, see the essay, Emotional Dissociation .)
our best interest to explore underneath our emotional responses
because the more we try to hide any aspect of ourselves from ourselves, the more that aspect will push forward to be restored
to consciousness. The way the shadow side of ourselves pushes forward is usually very unpleasant & can create unsavory situations in our lives & in the lives of our loved ones.
everyone a favor when we become willing to dive into ourselves. This
takes tremendous courage & faith in ourselves & our basic goodness. When we uncover our shadow side we realize that we hold the whole
spectrum of emotions & that those emotions hold positive gifts for us.
Some examples are: anger can help us hold our boundaries & strengthen our personal power & sadness & grief can help us have compassion for others.
our emotional responses by being willing to feel all our
feelings & think all the thoughts generated by those feelings is the key to self awareness & emotional well being. As we do so we develop the experiential knowledge that our identity isn't
based on our feelings or on our thoughts; those feelings & thoughts are transitory.
Being willing to face our feelings enables us to face & understand
others' emotional needs as well. In fact, it's only to the extent that we know our emotional bodies that we can experience intimacy with others, or be a healing presence for others. We also discover that emotions are simply energy moving thru our body & we stop judging the feelings we have in the moment.
emotionally mature & competent means being willing to
experience our emotions & being willing to face another's emotions without a need to change or dismiss emotional signals for our own immediate comfort. When we're truly willing to do so, we open ourselves up to the deep richness of life that can't be experienced in any other way.
5 Ways Parents Can Handle Their Anger
1. Heal your angry past. Parenting can be therapeutic. It can show you where your problems are
& motivate you to fix them. If your past is loaded with unresolved anger, take steps to heal yourself before you wind up harming
Studies have shown that children whose mothers often
express anger are more likely to be difficult to discipline. Identify problems in your past that could contribute to present
Identify present situations that are making you angry, such as dissatisfaction with job, spouse, self, child. Remember, you mirror your emotions. If your child sees a chronically angry face & hears an angry voice, that's the person he is more likely to become.
2. Keep your perspective. Every person has
an anger button. Some parents are so anger prone that when they explode the family dog hides. Try this exercise.
First, divide your children's "misbehaviors" into smallies (nuisances & annoyances) which aren't worth the wear
& tear of getting angry about & biggies (hurting
self, others & property) which demand
a response, for your own sake & your child's.
Next, condition yourself so that you don't let the smallies bother you. Here are some "tapes" to play in your mind the next
time you or your child spills something:
- "I'm angry, but I can control myself."
- "I'm the
- "I'm mad at the mess, not the child."
- "I'll keep
calm & we'll all learn something."
Rehearse this exercise over & over by play acting. Add in some lines for you to deliver:
I made a mess."
- "I'll grab
- "It's ok!
I'll help you clean it up."
You may notice a big contrast between this & what you heard as a child. You may also notice it won't be as easy
as it sounds.
When a real-life smallie occurs, you're more conditioned to control yourself. You can take a deep breath, walk away, keep cool, plan your strategy & return to the scene.
i.e., a child smears paint on the wall. You've conditioned yourself not to explode You're naturally angry & it's helpful for your child to see your displeasure. You go thru your brief "no" lecture
firmly, but without yelling. Then you call for a time-out.
Once you have calmed down, insist the child (if
old enough) help you clean up the mess. Being in control of your anger gives your child the message, "Mommy's angry & she has a right to be this way. She doesn't like what I did, but she still likes me &
thinks I'm capable enough to help clean up after myself."
We find going into a rage is often harder on us than the child. It leaves us feeling drained. Oftentimes, it's our after-anger feeling that bothers us more than the shoe thrown into the toilet. Once we realized that we could control our feelings more easily than our children can control their behavior, we were able to endure these annoying stages of childhood & life w/our kids became much easier. And when we do get mad at a child, we don't let the anger escalate until we become furious at ourselves for losing control.
The Circle of Anger
- Mad at child
- Mad at self
- More mad at child for causing you to get mad at yourself
- Mad at being mad
You can break this cycle at any point to protect yourself & your child.
3. Make anger your ally. Emotions serve a purpose. Healthy anger compels you to fix the problem, first because you're not going to let your child's behavior go uncorrected &
second because you don't like how the child's misbehavior bothers you.
This is helpful anger. I've always had a low tolerance for babies' screams. At around age 15 months our 8th child, Lauren, developed an
ear-piercing shriek that sent my blood pressure skyrocketing.
Either my tolerance was decreasing or my ears were getting more tender with age, but Lauren's cry pushed my anger button. I didn't like her for it. I didn't like myself for not liking her. It might have been
easier to deal with the problem if I hadn't been feeling angry.
But because I was angry & realized it affected my attitude toward Lauren, I was impelled to do something about her cry, which I believed was an unbecoming behavior that didn't fit into this otherwise delightful little person.
So instead of focusing on how much I hated those sounds, I focused on what situations triggered the shrieks. I tried to anticipate those triggers. I discovered that when Lauren was bored, tired, hungry or ignored, she shrieked. She's a little person who needs a quick response & the shriek got it for her.
My anger motivated me to learn creative shriek-stoppers. I've become a wiser parent. Lauren has become nicer to be around. That's helpful anger.
Anger becomes harmful when you don't regard it as a signal to fix the cause. You let it fester until you dislike your feelings, yourself & the person who caused you to feel this way. You spend your life in a tiff over smallies that
you could have ignored or biggies that you could have fixed. That's harmful anger.
4. Quit beating yourself up. Often anger flares inwardly, as well as outwardly, over something that you don't like; but upon reflection, after a lot of
energy is spent emoting, you actually realize that the situation as it stands now is actually better for everyone concerned.
This "hindsight" keeps us humble & helps us diffuse future flare-ups. Our motto concerning irritating mistakes has become: "Nobody's perfect. Human nature strikes again."
5. Beware of high-risk
situations that trigger anger. Are you in a life situation that makes you angry? If so, you're at risk for venting your anger on your child.
Losing a job or experiencing a similar self-esteem-breaking event can make you justifiably angry. But realize that this makes it easier for otherwise tolerable childish behaviors (smallies) to push you over the edge.
When you're already angry, smallies easily become biggies. If you're suddenly the victim of an anger-producing situation, it helps to prepare your family:
"I want you all to understand that daddy may be upset from to time during the next couple
of months. I've just lost my job & I feel very anxious about it. I'll find another job & we'll all be okay, but if I have a short fuse & get angry at you sometimes, it's not because I don't love you, it's because I'm having trouble liking myself..."
If you do blow your top, it's wise to apologize to your children (& expect similar apologies from them when they lose their tempers): "Pardon me, but
I'm angry & if I don't appear rational or appreciative, it's because I'm struggling, it's not your fault. I'm not mad at you."
It also helps to be honest with yourself, recognize your vulnerability & keep your
guard up until the anger-causing problem is resolved. There will always be problems in your life that you can't control. As you become a more experienced parent & person, you'll come to realize that
the only thing in your life that you can control are your own actions. How you handle anger can work for you or against you & your child.
What are some steps to work out unresolved anger?
a "current" anger situation you
may have come upon a "trigger" event that brings up past feelings of hurt, pain, resentment, hostility or anger. The trigger event isn't what you're actually reacting to, but rather it's the past situation, (one that
went unresolved) to which you're reacting.
The following steps will assist you in working out this unresolved
1. Take a pillow or cushion & go alone to your bedroom or to a quiet location.
2. Position yourself so that you're kneeling in front of the pillow or cushion, which is either on a bed,
a chair or the floor.
3. Begin to visualize a scene or series of scenes surrounding the situation, event or person with which
you have unresolved anger.
4. As you're visualizing the scene, begin to pound your pillow & yell out how you "feel" about the situation,
event or person. Yell your guts out!
5. Continue pounding the pillow & letting out your feelings until you feel satiated.
6. At this point begin to use your reason & rationality
to reframe or restate the situation. Begin to allow yourself to forgive those situations, events or persons for what happened to you. Don't proceed to the next step until you can come
to a "healing" of your spirit at this point. If you're stuck, repeat Steps 3 & 4.
7. Once you feel as if you have been able to forgive & you feel healing beginning, write down what it was that made the reframed or restated situation have less blame & thus be able to be forgiven.
8. If person(s) involved in the unresolved anger
situation are still available (alive) & capable of communicating on a healing, nonblaming, feeling level, share your resolution with them & let the forgiveness & healing become alive.
If the person(s) involved are unavailable, let the forgiveness & healing take hold in your heart. 9. If a future trigger event brings up this same unresolved anger, repeat Steps 1 thru 8. For
anger situations, you may need to repeat these steps many,
Anger Under New Management
by Joe Kort, MSW copyright, 2004
Originally published in Between the Lines Michigan
Gay and Lesbian Newspaper, July
Download in PDF format
angry. Every time I open the paper or watch the news & the subject of marriage for gays &
lesbians is raised, or when I read or hear some homophobe’s position on it, I get angry. (I
refuse to say gay marriage because we're talking about the same marriage as heterosexuals; gay marriage sounds like we're
talking about something different). They use misguided facts or veiled hate & prejudice in their words. I close the television or the paper & am enraged.
I know about unresolved anger & resentment. As Debbie Ford, a nationally known coach, puts it, “it is like swallowing poison & hoping the other guy dies!” Yikes!
It's not healthy to hold all of this anger & do nothing with it. I look to my books on anger management, none of which help me or seem effective. So while at a psychotherapy conference last month, I went to an anger management presentation.
To my surprise, it was different from
any other that I had attended & for the first time, useful in dealing with anger & resentment.
presenters name was Steven Stosny (www.compassionpower.com). He caught my attention in the first 5 minutes with these words, “I
don’t believe in anger management.
Studies show that after 1 year of anger management classes & therapy, people relapse back to their old patterns with anger. You must find core value in yourself.
If you don't value yourself enough, you will carry
unresolved anger & resentment”. In hearing this I was intrigued: it made sense to me.
I began thinking about how from birth we are devalued as gays & lesbians. From the beginning as we're cradled in our parent’s
arms, we're neglected in terms of the expectation that we're heterosexual.
One of the cruelest forms of punishment
is to ignore someone. We're ignored from the very beginning. We all know the rest of the story about how we bury our core selves & go into hiding for being ashamed of who we are.
reminded by the media daily about how little value we hold in discussions about marriage for gays. “Don’t say ‘I do’ to gay marriage” the
headlines read. The military says we're of no value
to them so “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. So it makes perfect sense that as a culture of gays & lesbians,
we might not value ourselves & therefore carry
unresolved anger & resentment.
He talked about how
anger can shorten a person’s life span if not resolved. It can also lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension,
depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug-addiction & other compulsive behavior.
The antidote, Stosny says, is to learn to value one’s self more thru self-compassion. He says, “Self-compassion & compassion for others makes us virtually immune to the ill-effects of anger.”
He goes on to say that unresolved anger is from feeling unimportant, disregarded, accused, devalued, rejected, powerless & unlovable. So the more you value yourself, the less unresolved anger you'll have. He says that one can't have compassion for one’s self & others & carry unresolved anger at the same time.
During this time of the legalizing of marriage for gays & lesbians, we must take
time to value ourselves more & not wait for
others to validate us. While
anger can be productive, it must come from a place of valuing ourselves & each other.
If we are devaluing ourselves & each other as
gays & lesbians, then they win; they'll have the upper hand. The “they” are those individuals who trying to
pass laws against us.
Stosny asks you to do a very difficult
thing in order to subside the unresolved anger & resentment is compassion for those who are the object of your anger. He believes that the more compassion & value you have for yourself & those you're angry toward, the more resolution you'll have & the more productive you'll be.
In his words, “You have to regulate your own emotions, not the environment. Anger isn't for solving problems”. I understand what he means. When you're angry, all others see & hear is your anger & not your message; you're not able to be productive & do the work that needs to be done for yourself if you are stuck in anger!
Let’s not get “stuck” in anger & resentment. Let’s value ourselves &
know that in our valued state we can lead our
way thru this negativity we face. Let’s not make ourselves negative, or devalued or bad, let’s work on correcting the situation by regulating our feelings & taking care of ourselves & our own.
Smart Ways to value yourself are:
1. Come out to one person per week.
2. Talk to your family about marriage for gays & what's happening
3. Stay updated & know the facts on marriage for gays to be able to answer
questions from family & friends.
4. Register to vote & make sure you vote this November.
5. Join the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
6. Read books on marriage for gays. Two recommended books are “Why You Should Give a Damn About Gay Marriage”, by Davina
Kotulski, Ph.D. & “Gay Marriage” by Jonathon
7. If you're a gay or lesbian couple, consider going to Massachusetts & get legally married.
8. Call or email your local newspapers, anonymously if you're more comfortable & ask them if the print marriage announcements for gay & lesbian couples.
Situational Aspects of Unresolved Emotions
Divorce & Step Families
Anger & Unresolved Emotions
"My ex-wife is bad-mouthing my new wife & me. How can we get her to see this is making life for the kids more difficult?"
Anger & unresolved emotions from the previous marital break-up often lead ex-spouses to criticize each other in an effort to gain loyalty from
their children or seek revenge for perceived inequalities during the marriage.
In addition, the biological mother in question is probably feeling threatened by the stepmother's presence.
Biological parents need reminding that children will always be loyal to them (unless they cut off contact).
Bad-mouthing a stepmother is unnecessary. Children can respect & obey a stepmother - even care for her deeply - & it won't ever change the strong bond they have with a biological parent.
To help alleviate this mother's misguided fear, the stepmother & husband should each communicate to his ex-wife their desire to cooperate & not hinder the children's relationship with their mother.
The stepmother, in particular, should say in a phone call or email, "I want you to know that your relationship with
Beth & Amy is critical to them. Please understand
that I'll never try to replace you or hinder your relationship with them.
In fact, I'm wondering what you'd like me to do to help them feel more in touch with you. Do you have any
ideas? From this day forward, my commitment to you & the children is to encourage their love & respect.
If there's anything I can do differently please let me know." This may or may not impact the mother's criticism. But
the hope is that this message will help her to feel less threatened & therefore, has less need to be negative about the stepmother.
Do what you can to be Christ-like to anyone in the other home - even if he or she is extremely negative. You may not be able to effect any practical change in an ex-spouse, but don't be guilty of not trying.
Your Emotions For Better Health
by: Greenberg, Jon, M.D.
Dr. Greenberg holds a B.A. from Boston University & M.A. &
M.D. degrees from the Univ, of Heidelberg School of Medicine. He's been on the research & teaching faculty of Heidelberg Medical School & has been practicing alternative & holistic medicine for 8 years.
Dr. Greenberg has published numerous works on gastroenterology, dermatology,
immunology, neurology, alternative healing methods & holistic medicine. Dr.
Greenberg is currently chief of the Hamburg branch
of the TELOS Group of Clinics for Natural & Environmental Medicine in Germany.
The origin of many diseases is the psychological or emotional system. An individual receives a particular signal thru
the senses & that signal is transmitted to the central nervous system where it's stored.
These experiences are conceptualized as likes or dislikes & cause an emotional
response which is then integrated into the psyche. If you're clinging to a certain concept elicited thru your senses, if you're
under stress, fear, anxiety, or shock, these emotions can have a negative effect on your immune system.
We neglect our emotions in everyday life because we're so bombarded with our personal relationships, job responsibilities, the media & sensory input coming from all over the place. We really do neglect looking deeply within ourselves to see our behavior & what we're trying to cover up. We distract ourselves & this could have a profound impact on our health.
Dr. Steven Greer from London found a significant
connection between emotional conditions & an increased incidence of cancer. He found that individuals who have a painful
loss of a loved one & who don't go thru the deep grieving process & face their own deep remorse have an increased chance of getting sick.
Frustration based on unsatisfactory living situations or unachieved goals can also lead to sickness & disease. Stress, fear, desperation & hopelessness can increase depression which can lead to illness.
He found that patients with severe depression had increased amounts of antibodies which are present with acute infections - antibodies against viruses, herpes,
Epstein Barr & cancer.
Constant anger or fear were found to have negative effects on the immune system. Defensiveness also increased cells which suppress the immune system. If you're defensive, what are you doing?
Most likely you're hiding something that's very deeply ingrained in your psyche that you really don't want to look
at because of all the reactions that could take place - fear, grieving & sadness - it may be better to
be defensive about all that & compromise your health by being defensive.
When you suppress emotional reactions, compromise deep unresolved emotion thru overactivity or filling yourself with constant stimuli, this can lead to a negative immune system. People under stress & people with nicotine & alcohol abuse were found to be vulnerable to illness
& disease significantly above & beyond the average.
Conversely, people who are open & curious, who've lost their inhibitions, people with dignity & self-esteem, were found to have a significantly stronger immune system. It was found that deep relaxation resulted in greater effectiveness of the white blood cells in fighting infection.
Confronting Your Emotions
The mind, the psyche & the emotions are extremely important for your total well being. I have a few helpful hints which you can use on a long term basis to deal with emotions which may arise when you're upset & will help you learn how to nurture the emotions & needs behind all those compensating reactions that you may have.
Non-attachment to emotions: Where do the emotions come from? They're old & new, unresolved, conscious & mostly unconscious problems. Emotions are integral parts of your personality, but they're elicited from all those things on the outside:
- your partner
- your job
- a situation
So don't project (defense mechanism?) your emotions onto your external world. Let your emotions come up. Don't suppress (defense mechanism?) them, but remember not to say or do anything that will harm those around you or the environment.
Just let your emotions be there. Don't grasp onto their importance or cling to them too tightly. If you attach to their importance too much, you'll get into difficult situations. If you practice the thought of their non-importance or non-attachment, in time, that'll be a very excellent way to cope with those emotions.
Be in tune with those emotions & feelings:
- How do they affect or stimulate your body
when they come up?
- Do they elicit cold hands or feet, heart
palpitations, stomach indigestion & so on?
Just be aware of what's going on in your body. With time this is all
part of the process & slowly but surely you'll allow these deep unresolved situations to dissipate,
to resolve & with time, you'll definitely feel better.
Whether they be jealousy, hate, aggression, fear, remorse, feelings of loss or grief, stay mindful with those emotions. How do you feel in response to these emotions? Do you want to hit somebody, go into the forest & scream, or are you sad, do you want
Let them stay there. Don't try to shove them away & cover them up. The more room
you give the emotions, even though they are terribly difficult to cope with, to allow to be present in you, you can give them a little more room, a little more patience & you'll definitely with time be able to resolve them & you'll feel better.
Acceptance: Calm yourself on a long term basis & recognize & accept the fact that specific emotions & patterns are part of you. It's sometimes very difficult to really accept the fact that we have problems that are really an integral part of our personalities.
The problem doesn't have to be interpreted as negative, but it may get in the way of your happiness & your well-being & that may get in the way of your immune system.
Recognize the fact that in particular circumstances, these emotions will probably arise again; i.e., when you have a red light you'll feel a little impatient. It's good to know in what particular situations your emotions will arise. Get familiar with
Suppression & avoidance isn't helpful: Know that you might be going thru deep psychological changes & shouldn't rush this internal process. With time it'll resolve itself, it'll dissipate. To cover it up,
hide it, suppress it or avoid it isn't exactly the most optimal thing.
We may undertake certain distracting measures & activities when we don't want to confront our problems or conditions because it's too painful
to really look at what's beyond that particular emotion within ourselves. We could have a lot of fear & we sometimes need to cover that up.
Learn how to say no: It's so difficult for us sometimes to say: "No, I don't want that."
That's a very important part of knowing how to calm yourself down on a long term basis, because learning how to say no, even if it means hurting somebody or leaving them, or deeply disappointing them, may be what you really need in order to grow & expand.
Live up to the internal dignity & personal honor within yourself: Perhaps some of us have been doing everything for everybody else & expending our energy
for them & other situations. Within ourselves perhaps we say that's not what we really want or what we need. That's your dignity, your honor.
Changes: Don't be afraid of the changes that you'll go thru,
of the fear of what's deeply within. It's very difficult to confront certain situations because when we confront ourselves,
there's a possibility that we'll be empty & we aren't used to that empty state.
We have all the patterns we've had for so many years & now we're confronted with
the possibility of changing that. Unconsciously, or perhaps consciously, we think the next phase of it's emptiness. We don't know what to do or how to feel or how to think. It's a whole rearranging process. Don't be afraid of the changes because in the future it'll all work out. Just go thru it & hang on. Sometimes we fall back in the old ways.
Be mindful of the possibility of being
consistent in the future, of going thru the changes & sticking with those changes & if possible, not going back to the old ways. Slowly
we'll get used to the newly formed psychological & possibly physical situations that the next step brings.
Nurture the weaker part of yourself: Accept the fact that this weak side of yourself is at least for now an integral part of your internal workings, that
there's a reason why you've been putting up these walls & that's something that you want to hide & this is our weaker
If we can just accept that we really have weakness within ourselves this will help the process along the path. The weaker part of
you doesn't have to last forever. The more we get in tune with it by decreasing distracting activities on the outside & become more mindful & get in touch with this weaker part of ourselves,
then the process will really move along.
It'll take some time, maybe weeks, months, even years, but if you really work on
it, it'll go away.
Try to trust people: Trust is difficult for some individuals, to allow ourselves to open up just a little bit more, to be more vulnerable, more trusting. That's a really good way
to start opening up ourselves.
It's o.k. to request what you physically, mentally, or emotionally need. That deals with trust, trusting yourself, trusting another individual, your therapist, relative, or spiritual leader or whatever. You get in touch with certain emotions & have the trust & confidence to open up & say to someone that you're very sad, or you need something. It's sometimes very difficult, but very helpful.
Allow yourself to be mentally or physically
touched: You can't just turn on a button & allow
yourself to be touched, but be open & vulnerable & sensitive in that particular situation & this can release
a tremendous amount of unconscious, unresolved problems.
Know that it's
really o.k. to show any or all of your emotions & that we all have emotions - sadness, grief, anger, fear, desires, wishes, or the sense of being betrayed, lost, empty, or hopeless. The more one gets in touch with those emotions & is able to express them, the more the process will move along. Lastly, accept the weaker parts of yourself with a lot of love & compassion as you would your partner, your child or very best friend.
Workplace Wrath: Using
Anger to Build - by David W. Earle, LPC
When anger is used correctly it almost always has positive results! This statement is very shocking, for it's in direct contradiction with most past experiences. We've all witnessed
the sharp & cutting blade of anger as it slashes & cuts red its victim. We've all felt unresolved anger create emotional distance between ourselves & our loved ones or co-workers.
Is there a place for anger in the workplace? Destructive anger no, but anger that can build is definitely needed. When anger is incorrectly used it will destroy sensitive relationships with a co-worker, boss, vendor, or worse still a customer.
In these cases anger wasn't used correctly. Most people have experienced working in a work environment that is full of conflict & unresolved anger. When the work environment tension is thick enough to
be felt; bottom line implications are experienced: lost of productivity, increased turnover & decreased communication.
When anger is allowed to work toward personal or business goals, it can effectively clarify to others where they stop & we begin. The nature of anger is a healthy establishment of personal boundaries by communicating emotional needs, warnings when threatening & the
necessary demarcation of interpersonal boundaries.
The water held behind
dam walls represents considerable energy & the dam must be of an equal force to keep the water in place. If more water
is behind available than the dam can hold: overflowing or a bursting dam will happen both resulting in flooding the valley
Anger is energy & obeys the same physical laws as other forms of energy. Anger stored requires considerable energy to hold it in, the more anger the more effort is required to store it. When the amount of anger exceeds the capacity to store it the kinetic energy forces released can create considerable destruction.
Not storing anger is the best & least expensive method of dealing with this energy & this is handled by dealing with the
problem instead of storing the resentment.
Anger can be divided into 2 groups:
Old anger is the resentments, unmet expectations & scarlet emotional wounds from the past.
Each unresolved anger event that's kept locked inside of us adds to the energy
that we must store. Then when new anger is added to this lake of anger the dam walls are exceeded & flooding occurs.
It's often the broken shoelace that adds the last bit of energy which results in the inevitable dam bursting! Unfortunately the target of this anger explosion are people who are closest to us; trusted co-workers or family
Anger which is verbally expressed when it occurs somehow doesn't add to the old anger & therefore loses it's potential for bursting the dam. This is a simple rule for successful living; verbally expressing the anger when it's perceived & as soon after the event as possible.
If the person who occasioned the anger is a significant person then confronting them becomes necessary for maintaining a healthy relationship.
They need to know exactly what our anger is about; for not many of people are mind readers!
When anger is used for building a relationship each person has a clear understanding of the other's needs & boundaries. The expression of anger can be in a normal conversational & even in a polite tone of voice; shouting or the silent treatment isn't necessary; attack the problem not the person!
A simple but effective method
for confronting others in a non-threatening manner
is the See-Feel-need method. "I see what happened …." (describing the event), "This makes me feel …
" ( using actual feeling words such as disappointed, angry, irritated, confused, etc.) & "I need from you…" (how this situation
can be resolved).
method is proceeded by the taking of personal responsibility for the anger with a clear "I" statement. Attacking the person with a "you" statement, such as "you did' or "you didn't" is
the verbal equivalent of a bayonet attack. Using "I have a problem" attributes responsibility for the anger where it belongs & allows for confrontation without attacking the other person.
The last part of this equation is an attitude. Asking for what you want or need, being thankful for what you get & then in a nondestructive manner negotiate on the difference. By trying
to allow others to achieve their needs as well as your needs, creates what's commonly called a "win-win" situation.
Then the old anger which has been stored behind large dam walls in yesterday's anger lake, can be best dealt with by the willingness to deal directly with it.
To explore the hurts, the wounds from the past & deal
with them in present time. Writing about these events is a good method of understanding & identifying the feelings associated with the unresolved
In addition to writing,
there are numerous self-help groups which are safe places to verbally
express your anger & pain. If anger is overwhelming & /or depression has occurred, a professional counselor is recommended. A trained therapist can assist in slowly & safely unlocking the old anger, thus obtaining the freedom to live today with the burden of yesterday's resentments.
These few simple but very difficult steps will allow anger to work as nature designed; building, not destroying relationships. They'll increase communication & increase
the effectiveness of feedback.
families with Unresolved Anger
this forum off
I just thought I would start this forum off, as anger in the birth family is something I am all too well acquainted with...
When I found
myself pregnant, i was totally honest with everybody. However, my family (for some reason) thought they knew my mind better than i did & so expected me to turn into a model mother as soon as the babski was born. When i continued my plan to have him adopted, it caused a lot of pain, anger & denial.
most of the anger is due to a lack of information, but unfortunately those who are angriest are the ones who won't ask me my reasons, what i went thru, the care i took finding my child’s parents or anything else. I don't want to bring the subject up until they're
ready, but it's **** hard not to kick & scream sometimes, when you hear the same excuse for them not coming to the phone
for what seems like the hundredth time.
So the whole thing is starting to make me angry too - it's turning into a catch 22 situation.
I just want them all to know that
me decision was because of love, but it's driving me mad waiting.
anyway, lets get this forum working...
My Mother recently passed away, but I'll never forget what she said to me several
years after my son was placed for adoption, "How could you give my Grandson away", it wasn't a question, but a statement.
Since reuniting with my birthson I've had to deal with many issues, but recently
it occured to me that I never got angry at my Mother for that statement, nor did I get angry at her for her lack of support during
my pregnancy or after my son's birth, but now that my Mother is gone, I realize it's too late to tell her how I feel, because
I now know that I'm angry at her.
My mother told me awhile ago about one day; one week after I lost my son...she told me that I was hysterical & she couldn't calm me down, so she smacked me & yelled at me saying that my son wasn't a cabbage patch doll & that he was
better off were he was, I guess I went even more stir crazy & went running down the road, my intent was the hospital. I don't remember that even to this day.
I'm terrified that one day I'll be angry at my mom, who was the adult in my life at the time I lost my son. I'm scared to be angry at her because she's my best friend.
what if deep down I hate her? It would be like hating myself. How do you deal w/that? I dont think I blame her for what happened to me, I feel that she had no choice in our situation either & then I think wow this must really affect her too, I mean this is her first born grandson.
She must feel allot of pain & remorse too. I am thankful everyday that I have such a wonderful mother, one who understands & is open to talk to on any level.
I dont ever want to lose that. She always says its okay to be angry at her, but no I don't think it's okay, it would hurt me to much to know I was angry at her.
I can't get passed this
I gave my daughter up thru an open adoption 6 years ago. I was still in high school.
I was told that a baby wasn't welcome in my family's home, therefore I was homeless & the baby's father wanted very little
part in his daughter's life.
I felt like adoption was the only chance my daughter had for a happy, stable life. Well, two years after the adoption, I was finally getting my life together & feeling better about my desicion. Then I got news that my daughter's mother had passed away.
I know that I made the right desicion, I did all I could have done for my daughter
but the sadness isn't going away. And Lately,
for the past few months or so, I've been feeling SO ANGRY!
I'm angry at every one that had anything to do w/taking away my options. For not caring enough about me, their daughter or grandaughter to provide a home for me or a familly for my daughter. I was only 17, I was
still in high school......for goodness sake.....what was I supposed to do?? How do I get past all of this anger?
I'm so sorry, Nancy!
We all know the pain & anger you're feeling. Most birthmothers have experienced similar anger.There is so much more I could have done w/my life if I could have discarded my baggage earlier in my life!
My separation from my daughter spanned 32 years before we finally reunited. Even
upon reunion, the anger fired up again ... & again. I finally went into therapy AND
started a Forum for Closed Adoptions & a Birthmom Chat on the adopting.org website.
therapy & the contact w/other birthmothers on the Forum & Chat, I finally managed to put the anger behind me.
AFTER ALL ... the anger did nothing to change anything. It was time wasted & it did me more harm than those at which it was directed. The adoption was
done - she had a good family for 32 years before she brought me back into her life.
Dumping anger isn't easy for anybody. We have to really work at it. When our mind is clear & we begin to understand that all that baggage we lug thru the years of separation
has done NOTHING but hold us back.
Yes, they were cruel & unthinking when they forced or persuaded us to relinquish our baby. My mother never really
understood how much damage that experience did to me - NO ONE,
except those who have been THERE, know about that damage. They simply thought they were doing "what was best" for us.
By allowing anger to build inside of ourselves, we are contnually beating ourselves up; we damage our own psyche; we remain static instead
of going forward to make something of ourselves that will make our relinquished son or daughter proud to claim us as birthparent.
Anger is a poison to the spirit. It only hurts our selves.
You will see your child when s/he is an adult; we can do little else, unless it's an Open
Adoption. We can't break in on our child's life (if
it is a healthy life), so we MUST go on.
One day you'll know one another, Nancy. Pray for your
child's continued safety & happiness until that wonderful day arrives.
God bless you.....
Hugs, Carol Bird