Archive for the ‘Emotion’ Category

Sarah it’s not for me or anyone to judge the feelings you have about an issue.  In fact, I don’t want you to let anyone talk you out of your feelings.   If you feel emotion (including anger) because someone has done something or said something that is bothersome to you, then that is not something to ignore or dismiss. 

Anger is a healthy, human emotion.  Unfortunately too many of us received negative messages about anger growing up.  Things like:  “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”  or “Wipe that angry (grumpy, irritable…) look off your face.”  Many of us were raised with the idea that anger is bad, and even looking angry was unacceptable.  What an unhealthy message to send children!  Wouldn’t it be better for educators and parents to teach that anger is natural.  That we will feel angry at times.  And when you do, here are some appropriate ways to express it.

Whatever emotion you feel Sarah is an alert.  It is a warning signal telling you that somebody is stamping on your rights, or your self esteem, or you have a need that is not being met.   And it doesn’t matter what end of the spectrum your emotion falls (ie passive personalities tend to cry when upset, and aggressive personalities tend to yell).  Regardless of how it is expressed, the source is the same. 

Now, it is your responsibility to be conscious of your patterns of emotion so that you can assess the effects in your life.  What I mean is if many people from a variety of different sources are telling you that your emotion surfaces too often and too frequently, then you have a responsibility to examine that further.    Examine the triggers, the frequency, the sources.  Get intimately familiar with your “buttons”.  In fact, I recommend that you list them.   When you know your triggers, you put yourself in a position of control, versus simply “reacting” every time someone unwittingly pushes your “hot button”. 

For example:  If one of your hot buttons is being called a certain name, and you are prepared for that trigger, the next time someone calls you that name, you can instantly activate an interior monologue that tells you to stay composed.   Your heart will still race and you will still get an adrenaline surge, but you will be able to manage yourself through it. 

And the bonus is, that controlled anger energy you feel is going to give you the courage to assert yourself in the moment.  It might sound like: “When you call me that name, I feel angry, because to me that name is offensive and derogatory.  Do not refer to me by that name again.”  ( Use a calm assertive voice, then stop talking). 

If they respond with a “you are too sensitive” comment.  Look them directly in the eye and calmly state:  “I don’t see this as an issue of sensitivity, I see this as an issue of respect.” 

I hope that helps you Sarah.  I’m sending you all good wishes…Deb


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