Continuing in the vein, because I get a repeat performance of my presentation: more emotional issues.

In learning to manage our emotions we have to deal with anger.  Admit it, we all deal with it, we just handle it differently.  You’ll never get to the point of not feeling emotions, just learning to manage them and not let them manage you.  Having said that, anger is a very volatile emotion – no pun intended.

Ever notice, on many of those reality shows that people are just behaving badly?  I’m not sure if they think they are being “cool” by acting out or if they are blind, but I just see it as immature people being fools.  Some are just too blind to see their own foolishness.  I don’t watch those shows for just that reason!  Why would I waste my valuable time by watching plastic people who don’t have a clue, behave poorly on camera?  I wouldn’t!  I have better things to do with my time.  I have goals I want to achieve which aren’t going to get accomplished watching someone elses life on television. It doesn’t stop me however, from using them as examples to get my point across.

On the other hand, there are those people that take bad news and turn it around for good.  A friend mentioned over the weekend about contestants on American Idol that take their rejection and say; “Well,  I’ll be back. I”ll take what you said and work on it.  You wait and see, I’ll be back next year and I’ll be better.”

I like that!  My example would be Ali Vincent from Biggest Loser. Ali was sent home in a season where if she succeeded at home, she could win a spot back on the campus to still compete on the show.  I remember the  scene when she was voted off.  There was a determination in her face, one that was set in resolve.  ” I will be back.  I AM going to be the Biggest Loser.”  Guess what ? She did it, she came back to win.  Instead of blasting those people who voted her off, or getting angry because it wasn’t fair, or feeling like her opportunity had passed; she took the news and turned it around to her own victory.  It gave her a focused energy for her efforts.  Make no mistake she had to work for it.

Directed anger, with a focused energy can be a good thing.  It’s often one of the elements that gets us off our duff and  determined.   Take a look at MADD founder Candace Lightner.  After the tragedy of losing her daughter, she founded the organization – Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers.  She could have easily given up, and cried in her loss and stayed there.  Instead, she focused her efforts into lazer-beam intensity for a needed cause and has made a tremendous difference in our national community.

On the flip side, we all know that anger can be a very destructive force if not directed. I’ll admit I have anger issues.  Big surprise right?  If you’ve paid any attention to previous blogs, I’m sure you’ve already guessed that I have a tendency to be volatile.  I’m working through it and I”m much better tha I used to be.  Recently, my friend Tim Notz outlined four ways people express anger.  I think his analogy is interesting and surprisingly accurate.  Not surprised that Tim came up with it because he’s a very intelligent man.


snow storm:  the person gives a cold shoulder, says everything’s fine even though it obviously isn’t,  may shun the person they are angry at, and give icy dagger stares, but doesn’t really do much more about it.  They tend to internalize a lot of their anger, and may never  outwardly express their displeasure, but you know. They make certain you know.

thunderstorm: they moan, they whine, they may cry.  They make a lot of noise, sometimes slamming doors and drawers shut, stomping around with a scowl, but never really do any damage.  Can you say “bad attitude”?

tornado: they drop out of the sky unexpectedly, sometimes with pin-pointed accuracy.  they can be very explosive , destructive and leave a path of destruction behind.  There is nothing left to pretend it didn’t happen, so they are forced to rebuild from that point.

hurricane:  it builds for a long time out on the ocean.  It swirls and grows stronger, building, building before heading into land.  It may form for weeks growing the entire time.  Then when it hits land it causes complete devastation.  Again there’s no chance of brushing things under a rug here, but this can tear families apart forever.

So what!  Why go there?  I can hear those among you (like me) that know you have some issues here.  Everyone deals with anger at some point, it’s just a matter of how.  Be patient little grasshoppers; I’m getting there!

A big key to dealing with anger, especially if you tend to be prone to tornadoes and hurricanes is to understand why.  What is causing you to get angry?  Tim outlined 13 reasons, but I”m only going to give you some of those, my top five. Not  just the ones I deal with, but what I think is the root reasons why we get angry in the first place.

1.  Learned Behaviour   If you grew up in a house where there was yelling, and loud displays of anger you may have learned it from your folks!  Learned behaviours are hard to break, but not impossible.  Dysfunction has become the norm in American households, not sure if this is true abroad or not.  The stable household with two loving parents is a very small percentage of the population.  My own upbringing was in a dysfunctional home.  My parents were married 54 years and ended only because of death.  Trust me when I say it was less than an ideal relationship.

2. Abuse, neglect, or mistreatment   Whether the abuse is physical, mental, verbal, emotional, or sexual this will cause a deep-seated root of anger and resentment, and a general mistrust of authority. It may foster a victim mentality or a strong sense of independence.  My suggestion is to get counseling if you’ve experienced this category. This is the hardest to overcome and often cannot be accomplished without seeking some sort of counseling.  I could write volumes on abuse, perhaps one day I will.  It’s one of the main things that got me in the public speaking forum in the first place.  I don’t have all the answers, I’m learning along the way.  What I do offer is a voice of hope to the victims of abuse.

3. Low self-esteem:  If you are not happy with yourself, it’s easy to fault find with others.  Check out my previous post of Happiness Is Just a Teardrop Away  that deals with unhappy people.  This addresses the naval gazers who tend to fault find within themselves. Their root of unhappiness is dissatisfaction with themselves that is often expressed in lashing out at the world around them.

4.  False Expectations  Many of us had the Fairy tale version of marriage in our minds when we said ” I DO”.  It was a short lesson of reality that happily ever after wasn’t exactly so.  Ladies have a vision of her inner Prince charming, and guys have a mental image of their personal Cinderella.  We soon discover that we actually married a real person with faults (GASP).  Yep, my husband scratched his butt and did the same disgusting things that my brothers did, like fart and leave the room laughing.  Nothing in the fairy tales mentioned the morning dragon breath, or the leaving clothes where they lay.  This isn’t golf guys – put it in the hamper!  He envisioned that I would clean house with the same energy that Cinderella did even though she was essentially a slave to her step sisters.  Reality fell far short of that, because I’m still praying hard to afford a housekeeper.  Don’t come to my house for a dust inspection. Trust me, I have three kinds – old dust, recent dust and Endust.  The Endust doesn’t get out much.

5.  We’re Tired and Stressed  OK, I combined two of Tim’s points here but they go together.  Aren’t you the most volatile and prone to anger when you’re tired?  Think about it: you come home from work, it’s been a long hard day, and you just want to relax.  You come in the door and water is spewing forth from the fountain that was formerly the kitchen sink, and the kids have made yet another mess in the living room.  Chaos has just dropped in to pay you a visit when all you want to do is just unwind.  Or how about the PMS ladies??  How many times are the hormonal swings causing you to be a Pretty Mean Sister?  (LOL – had to put that one in Tim, good one)  We ache, it’s unpleasant and then someone – usually the spouse is demanding your attention and wanting something from you.

In that state of tiredness we complicate our lives further by adding additional stress.  Deadlines at work, being overworked, having too many irons in the fire (hello? anyone else do this?) . We have to know our own limits and when to take a time out so we don’t lash out at others, and we have to learn a simple word: NO.  This one thing here has been a Godsend for me.  Learning to say NO.  It’s difficult especially if you’re a people pleaser to take on someone elses burdens.  After all we just want to help, right?  But what happens? We stretch ourselves too thin, and then we don’t get our own things accomplished, further adding to our already stressed lives. Then the explosions start  going off leaving your house looking like a mine field.

Great!  A lot of info there but what am I suppose to do with that?  Examine where you are in these examples and figure out how to manage your life better. If you’re perfectly happy with how you deal with anger, come look me up so you can teach me.  If you want to improve, decide what you need to do and apply it.  It’s the Doers who are blessed, not the ” yeah I got that” people who never actually do apply what they know.

If nothing else, you can say ” Well at least I”m not as messed up as her!”  Thanks for listening, even if it’s just to make yourself feel better.

Leave me a comment! I’m always interested to know how others deal with life issues.