In The Space of Anger, Remember You Are a Friend to Yourself.

The Rage of Achilles (1757)

Image via Wikipedia

Bullying:  Series Continued.

  • #144 Leave Space In Your Beliefs To Grow
  • #163 ”He’s Never Hit Me.” Abuse.
  • #251 Just Ordinary Bullying – The Bully and The Bullied
  • #253 How to Be A Friend To Yourself When Thinking About Your Bully
  • #254 Free To Do Self-Care, Despite Our Bully
  • #255 Bullying That Includes Life-Threatening Behavior.

You are saying this to provoke me!

Paula was angry.  Her hold on her composure was tenuous.  I backed off before she lost her cool.  No one feels good when they do that.  If she felt this way around this mostly unthreatening environment, she must be suffering its effect on her relationships or lack thereof in her other life environments.  No one feels good when they can’t trust themselves.

I am not going to sit here and take this from you!  You are doing this on purpose!

And Paula walked out.  That was it.  That was all I got.  For now, my opportunity to help was over and I was left to wonder after her.

1.  In taking care of ourselves around anger, the first step is to ensure our personal safety.  Deescalate if possible the tension.  But most importantly, do what we must to be safe.  If we have to leave to do that, than we leave and it is over.  I commend Paula for leaving before she acted out on her anger.  That is good coping going on.

For myself, if she had continued to escalate, I could call for help or leave.

2.  The next step, (exclusively per Dr. Q), for those experiencing the anger…  Well there are many, and if it is happening often, should probably include medical interventions along with other considerations of her biopsychosocial self.

For those subjected to the anger, it will be most friendly to themselves to process their own emotional response to the anger-trigger.  “Do I feel angry too?  Do I think I am responsible for her emotions? Do I think what went down here is about me?”  Get our personal out of the stuff that isn’t.  Why make it about us if that isn’t true?  It is another thing if we were poking her with a skewer or had initiated our own emotional diarrhea before she did.  But that just takes us back to step #1.

3.  Finally, for the “victim,” take some time to tease out if we are putting ourselves in a position that isn’t safe repetitively.  “Is there a pattern?  Do we find ourselves in the space of anger or other negative emotions often?  How often?  Do we allow this person to treat us in a negative way that we would never allow anyone else to treat us?”  The answer to that will be telling about our self-friendliness.

Self-Care Tip #259 – In the space of anger, remember you are a friend to yourself.

Questions:  What patterns, if any, do you see in your life, or someone you love re: anger?  What empowers you towards self-care in the space of anger?

8 thoughts on “In The Space of Anger, Remember You Are a Friend to Yourself.

  1. I was sentenced to take anger management class for pre trial per an arrest a long time ago. Ironically, later I became certified to teach the components to high schoolers. All that aside, it seems that practitioners find the presence of anger an indicator of maladjustment. The 12 Steps tell us we cannot afford anger. I still would like to strangle the people that introduced my children to drugs when they were 7 and 8 years old(they did not live with me). This led to 25 years of misery which continues today in varying degrees. At least I have learned to compartmentalize the anger. In the immediate, I have learned to catch myself and withdraw from confrontation that will lead to violence. For the clinician, responses driven by anger are not acceptable. In conflict(pun) are the cultural inclinations to anger and violent response inherent to Italian, Hispanic and Afro-American cultures. I do not advocate violence driven anger but I will not let people get away with certain acts and not expect consequences for the trespass .

    • sweet cin, u have a heart worth gentility. these characters, u so generously sympathize with, r but gatherings of thoughts, experiences, and dust that demonstrate for us the point at hand – and maybe bore or entertain as it comes along…

  2. Thought about this question all day today. My father was a “social alcoholic” (if that’s the right wording). He started with cocktails in the evening before dinner but never handled alcohol well. Alcohol seemed to make him angry…or, maybe because I now see how insecure he actually was, alcohol made him feel more confident and, as a result, more confrontational. When he had brain surgery for a hematoma, that eventually killed him, the nurses almost refused to work with him in the early evening because he became so violent. My mother thought it was funny because, as she said, “He’s just upset because he’s missing his cocktail hour.” The doctor said he was so dependent on alcohol that even when he didn’t know who he was or we were his brain was still craving that drink at 5 o’clock every day. Cocktail hour and after were when he lost his temper. Having a conversation with him was scary. Playing games in the evening was scary. Being punished in the evening was terrifying. We saw the pattern when we were little. We just didn’t understand it. My mother never did and that was sad. Cocktail hour and his temper never seemed connected to her. My parents are both gone now but the idea of Happy Hour or Cocktails still make me uncomfortable. Not that they’re wrong…they were just wrong for my father (and for how many other social drinkers????)

  3. I got your tweet, and here are the links to my food allergy bully articles. I think it’s important to address this particular form of bullying, and I’m surprised it doesn’t get as much media attention as other forms of bullying, as these can result in hospitalizations and even death if carried out in heinous ways, such as a girl who was held down while other girls shoved peanuts into her mouth. Seriously. That actually happened!

    Peanut Allergy Rules at School Create Controversy and Protests – http://alwayssick.com/2011/03/10/peanut-allergy-rules-at-florida-public-school-creates-controversy-protests/

    Food Allergies & Bullying – http://alwayssick.com/2011/04/11/food-allergies-and-bullying-threats-assaults-attempted-murder/

    Famous People with Food Allergies – http://alwayssick.com/2011/04/25/famous-people-with-food-allergies-helping-kids-with-food-allergies-cope/

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