Tag Archives: anger

Guilt? Obligation? Anger? An Alternative

9 Aug

Would you hide me?

I’m obsessed with this question.  Prompted by Nathan Englander’s story: ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” .

Hiding refers (partly) to the physical hiding in the event of another Holocaust.  And really so much more.  The layered morality  in the action to hide another.

Are you trust-worthy?

Luckily, in this day and age,  I have the luxury to view ‘hiding’ as an emotional act.

Hiding as a metaphorical act focuses on words of  kindness and compassion.  These are the words you say to offer safety and escape from sadness, bullying, self-hate, insecurity, loneliness.

It’s as simple as sincerely saying ‘thank you’ and ‘I appreciate you’.  I may help others because it’s the right thing, not to be thanked.  Yet, it feels really good to be acknowledged.   In fact, when someone tells me they appreciate who I am, it makes me feel safe.  It makes me think they would ‘hide me’ when I feel low.

After all in one small way, holocausts, genocides and hate crimes begin with small acts of bullying, disregard, and unkindness.   And bullies often feel insecure themselves.  Bullies need to hear:  ‘You are good.  You have something to offer.”

Advertisement from NYC subway at Transit Museum

Advertisement from NYC subway at Transit Museum.

Unfortunately, people don’t use these three magic words often enough, do they?  How often do you feel unappreciated?

Hiding can be as simple as, “I know you’ve been having a rough time.  How are you?”

I remember a friend, ‘F’, sharing details of a mutual friend’s , ‘melt-down’.  It had to do with roommate issues and ‘F’ had sided with the roommate.  I can still feel my frustration, reminding ‘F’ to think about our friend’s feelings.   I wanted to hide  her and urged ‘F’ to do the same.

Emotional hiding demonstrates character and strength.   It’s ‘walking the talk’.   Likely all of us, if asked, would adamantly say we’d hide another.   But how do you really know:  you don’t.  Emotional hiding is a pretty good indicator though.  As I’ve written before,  I obsessively ask myself this question to become a better person, the person I know I can be.

Recently my calendar presented a dilemma.  Two invitations on the same day:  family wedding and out-of-town friend visit.

Where to go?  Who to please?  See, by nature I am filled with guilt – I like to do what pleases.

By nurture, I am equally filled with obligation – I am told I must do what pleases.  I am told I should feel guilt.

guilt + obligation = anger

Naturally, the anger is all mine – pleasing others doesn’t necessarily please me!

When it comes to obligation, what will it cost to pay my dues?  Must I go in debt and be buried in anger?

Needless to say, relationships are complicated.  Not black and white, but splashed with shades of grey and lots of red.   Yet, when deciding where I would go to be engulfed by comfort and love, I found myself asking:  ‘Who would hide me?’

Which event would I be most surrounded by love?  Where would I be listened to and supported?  

Sitting here safely, I realized:

  • First and foremost I have to feel I’m worth protecting, worth hiding.
  • It’s important to let others know when their words feel judgmental, unkind, hateful, and hurtful.  A simple:  ‘that’s not nice’ works well.

Oh, and terrible as it may sound, if you want me to attend your event:  treat me like I’m worth ‘hiding’ – and, I’ll strive to treat you the same.

 For the first 2 steps in my series in how to prevent genocide (and bullying):

https://communicationessentials.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/prevent-genocide-and-bullying-12-ways-to-swallow-an-empathy-pill/

https://communicationessentials.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/6-strategies-to-naked-identity-only-you-can-prevent-genocide-step-1/

https://communicationessentials.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/only-you-can-prevent-a-genocide-an-introduction-to-6-actions-you-can-take/

5 Strategies for Secure Identity: Only YOU can prevent GENOCIDE (Step 1)

18 May

Talking about 6 steps to prevent genocide…

While walking through Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery  with my friend Julie, she pointed out nobody cares about genocides.  Not really.  After all it will never  happen to them.

This is to prevent forest firest....genocideourcarelessness.jpg

This is to prevent forest firest….genocideourcarelessness.jpg

People care about bullying.

Bullying happens.  A lot.  School yard bullies graduate to board rooms.

Have you ever  teased a little too far or not acted with kindness when you were feeling unhappy or insecure?  Bullies act because they’re insecure.

Bullying and genocide share DNA.  Genocides, the Holocaust, hate crimes – are merely bullying on steroids.

The Holocaust started as aggressive bullying way before Kristallnacht (1938) and Germany’s invasion of Poland  (1939).  It started in 1933 with Hitler Youth learning to spot Jews, and beat up weaker ‘youth’.  Hitler youth turned in parents who didn’t support Hitler.  They learned new songs…

“Yes, when the Jewish blood splashes from the knives, things will go twice as well.”

Scary…

Hitler youth were primed and ready for genocide.  Why did they get so wrapped up in this identity?  What was wrong with their authentic selves?

I wonder how this relates to  branding on Facebook and Twitter in the wild world of social media.

It’s a similar question to why kids  join gangs:  the need to belong.   To be liked.

After the recent Boston bombings, the ‘experts’ chimed in about what makes a terrorist:

“Terrorists are people who are alienated.  They have a confused identity… not ‘x’, not ‘y’… not connected to family or to parents… they find a new identity on the internet…” (summarized and pulled from various sources)

Red flag: people are turning to the internet to build community, AND to discover who they are, or who they want to be. HUH???

“Those who don’t love themselves as they are rarely love life either.”  Rachel Naomi Remen

For self-love, here’s my 5 strategies for secure identities:

disc improves....

Step 1:  KNOW your strengths, weaknesses, challenges.    Learning about yourself can’t be googled.  It’s complex and includes race, religion, gender, nationality, looks, socio-economics, and, our innate personality or what I call ‘naked identity’:  who you are without your ‘stuff’.

The best way to undress your naked identity is through the DiSC assessment tool.  The DiSC uncovers how you behavior, act, react, deal with conflict, work and your natural abilities as well as challenges.

I had an education student who was told to be an engineer – inside he was an English major.  Look around your office/classroom – are people their inside ‘selves’, or doing/being what others expect from them?

I’d put money on the mean, grumbling person not being their DiSC style.  Don’t judge others for not being like you.  Accepting someone else helps them accept you.  Focus on you.

Step 2:  Let your values guide your action

Identify your values (click here to identify yours).   Live them.  Believe me it’s hard.  And realize:  you and I may value ‘relationships’ but define it very differently. Understanding these differences in defining them is what’s key to security.

Step 3: Listen to yourself 

Everyone has an opinion about who you should be and what you should do.   Chances are those ‘everyone’s’ are telling you what they want.   I bet they have a different DiSC style and values than you.    Moments of Awareness  is the best and easiest way to listen carefully.

Your ‘friend’s’ not quite complimentary comment that leaves you wondering how you feel – about the comment, him/her, and yourself?  Listen:  it’s more about the commenter than you.  Listen to yourself.

Step 4:  Care more about yourself 

This may sound selfish – but just the opposite.  You can’t take care of anyone else unless you’re secure in yourself.  Taking care of yourself makes it easier to listen to others.

Step 5:  Don’t be a victim of Identity Theft:  Believe in yourself 

Knowing your DiSC, values, and regularly using Moments of Awareness to assess your feelings, will secure your identity.   If someone makes you doubt yourself, try

confidence-thechangeblog-com

confidence-thechangeblog-com

to understand which of their values aren’t met.  Learn and ‘listen’ if it is in line with YOUR identity.

Step 6:  Share your identity

D., a young American-Korean woman I met in Berlin said it best:  A secure identity means you can explain who you are to others.  Practice till you can.

What is your identity?  

How does knowing your identity keep you from lashing out to others?

What do you think we need to teach others to prevent bullying – and genocides?

Spring Gardening’s 6 Steps to Weed out anger Tammy Faye style!

8 Apr

Got anger?

Willing to admit it?

I’ve been laying a bit fallow all winter, rejuvenating myself and hoping fall’s seeds have been planted where they root as the world ripens into sunnier days and warmer afternoon.  As I dip my toes into the shallow end of spring (buds on the trees here in NYC – finally!), I’m taking stock of my potential bounty.

There are lots of things that kill off new growth – literally and metaphorically.  Our bumbling economy challenges even the most gifted rainmaker to survive the job drought.  Not having the right pollinators doesn’t help either  I realize, viewing my ‘connections’.  Fertilization is an ongoing need.  Memo to self:  ‘work’ those LinkedIn connections and stay vigilant on Twitter.

Cyberspace is important, but it’s our real space internal garden where we need to fend off weeds and other invasive species that keep us from growing.

Recently, I’ve noticed an overgrowth of anger.  And once it roots it is tenacious!

Anger sucks up all the oxygen and  nutrients that should be better spent on a blossoming new project, including having fun.  But anger, like weeds and invasive species – appears to have no predators.  Anger takes over other emotions.  Memo to self:  it’s hard to differentiate the weeds from the flowers.

Anger is like a carnivorous plant:  hungry and dangerous.

Remember the movie:  "Little Shop of Horrors" and the carnivorous plant's 'feed me'?

Remember the movie: “Little Shop of Horrors” and the carnivorous plant’s ‘feed me’?

Turning from a gardening metaphor, Tammy Faye (Baker) says it best:  from the movie “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”, Tammy Faye sits and bats her mammoth false eye

Tammy Faye:  Read her quote and watch her movie and remember to never judge a book by the cover again!  http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/%3Fm%3D02%26d%3D20070509%26t%3D2%26i%3D771302%26w%3D460%26fh%3D%26fw%3D%26ll%3D%26pl%3D%26r%3D771302&imgrefurl=http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/05/09/us-tammyfaye-letter-idUSN0927384020070509&h=339&w=450&sz=26&tbnid=mW2Xk3YWO-lCAM:&tbnh=92&tbnw=122&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpicture%2Bof%2Btammy%2Bfaye%2Bbakker%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=picture+of+tammy+faye+bakker&usg=__TglXvyNDLRYFl3MA_ZYke2aZAfA=&docid=_oX64oh0S6vGuM&sa=X&ei=19ZiUdCsC82L0QGZo4HIBQ&ved=0CDUQ9QEwAQ&dur=45

Tammy Faye: Read her quote and watch her movie and remember to never judge a book by the cover again! http://www.google.com/imgres?

lashes before sharing great wisdom:  “when you’re angry at someone it’s like you are carrying a decaying person around on your back”

A reminder that brilliance comes from unexpected sources.  (the movie is great!)

Decay is great for the literal garden.

For my internal garden, I’ve shrugged off anger in a weeding frenzy with:

Six Steps to Weeding your Anger

Step 1:  Spot that weed:  Feel that anger rising in you?  Sit and luxuriate in spring’s new blooms while jotting down the focus of your anger.  Note the name and issue that is sucking up the nutrients in your mind’s rich soil.

Step 2:  Assess:   how much of that anger is directed at yourself.  Yes, really.  A lot of times when we’re angry at someone else, we are really angry at ourselves for allowing that person to get under our skin, to make us feel a certain way or keep us from getting what we want.  In Tammy Faye’s words, you are carrying your weight on your back in addition to the source(s) of your anger.  (Note to self:  this is why you’ve got bad posture!)

Ask yourself:  Why do I hold onto these energy-suckers?  What does it/she/he provide me – or how does being angry ‘protect’ me from dealing with ‘new growth’?

Step 3:  Commit to weed and dig deep:  Focus on forgiving:  YOURSELF.  Forgive yourself for what you’re feeling, for your anger, for what you haven’t done, for what you have done, for allowing someone else to mess with your head.  This of course it harder than it sounds, after all weeds grow back, right?

weeding

Step 4:  PULL out that anger with your forgiveness and kill its roots by telling yourself you can’t control someone else, but you can control your own emotions.

Step 5:  Plant new seeds:  Create a ritual where you declare yourself anger-free and commit to preserving your energy and joy.  Ask yourself:  What can I do and SAY differently to myself to remind myself I deserve to have joy?  Leave out judgmental words that weigh you down including obligation and fault.  Identify a plant or flower that reminds you of your weed-free mind and keep a picture or an actual plant around you.

seedling

Step 6:  Nurture your new growth:  Look at your plant or flower regularly and remember you’ve forgiven yourself AND the person at the root of your anger.  Remember that person is no longer in your garden when you see them.

Stand up straight and feel the freedom in your back!  

What makes you angry?

How do you forgive others and/or yourself?