Howling Despair – 6 Controlling Anger Tips

What is the end point of your anger? Mine is a state I call “Howling Despair.” Here is how the growth of my anger looks on my personal  Feeling Thermometer.

An Anger Feeling Thermomter

Get a download of several feeling thermometers at the EFTI Store.

Anger is a signal to right a wrong. How you handle anger depends on your emotional intelligence, what I mean by emotional fitness.  As a child, I was taught “If you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Wise some of the time, but not always.  Eventually, only being nice was part of the end point of my anger what eventually came to call “Howling Despair.”

Only one person can drive me to this state and he knows who he is. No, that’s not true. In fact, it is that he doesn’t know how he makes me so upset that upsets me.  We have been together for 45 years, and have had the same fight for 44 and a half of those years.

It is a typical Men are  from Mars and Women are from Venus fight.  My need is to have my thinking understood, I don’t care if it logical or makes sense. I just want it understood and not refuted. His need  is to refute my understanding. He has a very logical mind but one pointed toward winning, therefore, he is not above sarcasm, innuendo, subtle and not so subtle name-calling. And yes, I am guilty of the same.

Here’s another kicker. Every once in a while, he does understand, then he is graciously apologetic and the fight ends.  One of his tactics, however, is to make faux apologies. I know when he is doing this, and I don’t accept those graciously and  probably that is what I should do. When I don’t as he is quick to say,  the problem, is mine. Sigh.

Just typing and remembering some of our fights is triggering  feelings of despair. How has our marriage survived? Three ways:

First: Neither of us has resorted to physical violence to make our points. The worse he has done is pound on a desk; my worse was throwing a spoon which missed him. I claim I intended to miss; he claims the opposite.

Second: The good out weighs the bad. We fight, but we laugh more.

As John Gottman, noted researcher into relationships notes “Marriages survive if there are five good moments for every bad moment. “

Third: We work at helping each other become our personal bests. I would never have done all that I have accomplished without his support, pushing, and yes, teaching me to fight back.

Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tips

These kinds of fights  are called “Gotcha War” fights. The main premise is not the issue being discussed but who acts the craziest defending their point of view. As the link discusses, teens are great Gotcha warriors. In fact, it was when I was a foster parent caring for troubled teens that I learned how to survive such wars.

Gotcha War

Emotional fitness tip one: The main strategy to come through such battles unscathed is to responde mininally. You make EFTI’s strong body and calm face; self-sooth; listen lot; agree with a nod when you can add shake your head or raise your eyebrows when you cannot agree; even if forced to answer a question you do so calmly and as briefly as possible.

Emotional fitness tip two: Create a personal feeling thermometer. Anger is a sneaky feeling, good at hiding quietly to build strength and then hijack your brain and get you to do something you regret. By being  attuned to the presence and growth of anger you stay in control. That is best done by regularly taking your feeling temperature on a personal feeling thermometer

Emotional fitness tip three: Have an anger management plan. For me, staying unscathed means sometimes walking away, other times tuning out, and all of the time using all the self-soothing and Emotional Fitness Training Skills at my command.

Emotional fitness tip: Own your choices and think about what matters.   Staying to fight is one choice, walking away another choice. When I stay to make my point, a disagreement can become a deadly war. Better to let somethings go because peace matters more.

Emotional fitness tip five: Be patient with your self and others. All advice sounds easy, and most is not. Which is why I am confessing that it has only been in the past few years of my marriage that I have managed to stay  at a 7 or 8 instead of finding myself howling with despair.

Parenting tips

Parenting tip one: All of the above.

Parenting tip two: Understand the reasons why.  This is particularly true for parents of teens.  It is a way to handle their own feelings by making you the bad or crazy one.  I remember one of my foster children wanted to go to a party in his home town. His probation officer had said no.  He followed me around the house relentlessly, and finally wore me down to the point where I said, “Stop being so stupid.” I said angrily. His response was to run from the house, screaming, “I’m not staying where people call me names.”  He enjoyed the party, but was returned to a lock-up. I would have had him returned to our care, but the judge and his probation officer disagreed.

Many teens also pick fights to save face. A father told me of a time his daughter asked to have a beer keg at her sweet sixteen parent.  She threw a big hissy fit and walked out on the fight. He yelled at that point making her the victor. He later heard her telling one of her friends about his “temper tantrum” as the reason why she could not have beer at her party.

Parenting tip three:  Be prepared for your own tactics to be used against you. My smart sons learned rather quickly to use minimal response as a tool in their Gotcha Wars. I had to work hard not to escalate, and to see that as a long-range positive.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Life is rarely easy.  Others do the best they can; you do the best you can. As much as we try often the best any of us can do is often disappointing. Solutions:  Be gentle on all, yourself included, keep working at what helps, let go of what isn’t working, and as always remember what matters.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.

Katherine

This post was inspired by Word Press’ DAILY PROMPT Mad as a Hatter: Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?

A Nun Joke; Laughing Keeps You Emotionally Fit.

Enjoy this one. Sent to me by High School friend Jack Simcox.

A joke about two nuns and a rapist

Remember that healthy laughs work best. Healthy laughs are those that are kind and not mean to any one or any group.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.

Katherine

BROWSE THE EFTI STORE FREE STUFF NOW

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ADD HAPPINESS TOOLS TO YOUR LIFE

The Happiness Gurus promote joining the work force only when you find a job your love. Not wise. Jobs pay the rent and feed you – happiness necessities.

quotes about jobs.

I’ve worked most of my 78 years. Started babysitting when I was twelve, mucked out stalls at thirteen in trade for riding lessons, planned to be just a wife and mother, but my first true love jilted me and I didn’t marry until I was in my thirties. Then I became a mother and then a foster-mother.

Career wise I stumbled into Social Work, was lucky enough to find I loved what I did and worked my way up to managing mental health programs and several professorships.

Eventually, I also became a published author, despite being learning disabled. Lucky me to find people always willing to help me be all I could be.

Because I mucked out stalls, I discovered friends and mentors in the laboring class. My family had fallen from the upper-class to the somewhat impoverished middle-class. The one who most gave me the most was Thomas Hardy, known around the stables as “Old Tom.”  As with all the grooms and stall-muckers of the time and at that place, he was a black man.

Thomas Hardy was a life raft for me throughout my teens and adult life. He kept me on target, made me earn the right to ride, cheered and comforted me.  He knew what mattered and that was caring, practicing kindness, working hard and taking pride in  work well done, no matter how menial.

Emotional fitness tip one:  Instead of seeking a job that makes you happy, figure out how to be happy in any job. 

Emotional fitness tip two: Value all who work, be grateful and practice kindness by thanking every person whose job makes your life easier. 

Emotional fitness tip three: Add happy moments to your life in all the safe and healthy ways you can. EFTI’s Easy Exercises add bits of pleasure to your life.

PARENTING TIPS

The saying we need to give our children wings and roots is a wise one. Roots do the hard work of pushing through soil, rocks, and all sorts of other stuff in order to grow.  Instilling a solid work ethic in your children strengthens their ability to do what has to be done in all aspects of life..

Parenting tip one: Start putting your kids to work as soon as they can walk well. That is the age they want to do every thing you do. Have them put dirty  clothes in a hamper, trash in the waste basket, toys in the toy box.

Parenting tip two: Teach them to value all who work. This can be done in lots of ways: Just thanking those who serve them is one. Seeing you say thank you to firemen, policemen, soldiers, and definitely garbage men.

Parenting tip three:  Start paying them young. Allowances should be divided into love allowance and earned allowance. The love allowance being much smaller.  As the teen years are entered upon gear your children up for real jobs by paying them to do some of the jobs you do around the house. Then when legally able to work at a part time job, have them get a job and begin assuming responsibilty to the wants of their life while you continue to provide for their basic needs.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Life is rarely easy.  Others do the best they can; you do the best you can. As much as we try often the best any of us can do is disappointing.  The solution? Be gentle on all, yourself included.Keep working to stay strong, I work hard to do the same  and I do not always succeed.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.

Katherine

BROWSE THE EFTI STORE FREE STUFF NOW

Down load  a free  poster coach: Just like a live coach EFTI’s poster coaches inspire, teach, and motivate.  To use, print up in color and post there it will be seen often.  Poster Coaches can also be used at in the business world, in the class room or a family meeting  to provide a laugh, encourage critical thinking, remind all to think about what matters.

ADDED BONUS: IMPROVE YOUR THINKING SKILLS 

If I Had a Hammer: If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

This did inspire all of this post. The skill I would most love would be formatting eBooks so I could get more and more of what I think of as my intellectual property out there. Of course, if I were skilled at earning money, I could apprentice and pay some young people to help me with all that stuff.

LINKS OF INTEREST

WHAT TO DO TO WIN THE LOTTERY

I buy a lottery  ticket every week –  have to be in it to win it, and it is fun to dream; but knowing your mission  is how to  win life’s lottery. First some laughs.

Lottery humor

EMOTIONAL FITNESS THOUGHTS AND TIPS

Winning the lottery has made lots of people happy and just as many people not so happy. Money matters and having enough matters even more. Then what?

Not what the admen want you believe. The admen want you to think the things that matter most are the newest gadgets, how you look, what kind of car you drive, or wearing the latest fashions.  Lies, lies, and more lies.

What matters is building your life on a mission that echoes the Golden Rule. All the research agrees: when it comes to living the good life  being kind and caring, treating others as you want to be treated, forgiving others for their flaws, forgiving yourself for not being perfect, and working together to make the world a better place matter most.

Emotional Fitness tip one: Make practicing deliberate kindness your life mission.  This does not mean giving up dreams or passions.  It does mean figuring out how to wed your dreams and passions to practicing kindness.

Practicing kindness every way you can blesses you, no matter who else knows or what you get back from the you bless with your caring

Emotional Fitness tip two: Ignore the small stuff.  What is the small stuff? The things that only heaps of money can buy, the rudeness of strangers; the occasional rudeness of family and friends; and yes, even your occasional lapse of manners.

Emotional Fitness tip three:  Improve your self-soothing skills. Minimally, learn these four Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises.

Emotional Fitness tip four: Expect less, practice imperfection.  Most unhappiness comes from expecting too much.  High expectations are useful when it comes to going for the gold, but expecting too much of others, of you, and of life creates frustration, anger, hurt, and shame.  Moreover, pushing and sales.

Emotional Fitness tip five: Be grateful for all you have been given and look for the lessons.  Not all that you are given feels good, but all is  one lesson or another. Maybe the lesson is to practice acceptance, maybe it is reminding you of old lessons, maybe it is a new lesson, but there is always a lesson.

PARENTING TIP

As always remember age and stage, then work to teach your child what matters. That starts with stopping behaviors that hurt others and teaching good manners. Both teach the broader mission found in the Golden Rule.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Life is rarely easy.  Others do the best they can; you do the best you can. As much as we try often the best any of us can do is disappointing.  The solution? Be gentle on all, yourself included.Keep working to stay strong, I work hard to do the same  and I do not always succeed.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.

Katherine

BROWSE the EFTi store FREE stuff Now

Down load  a free  poster coach: Just like a live coach EFTI’s poster coaches inspire, teach, and motivate.  To use, print up in color and post there it will be seen often.  Poster Coaches can also be used at in the business world, in the class room or a family meeting  to provide a laugh, encourage critical thinking, remind all to think about what matters.

ADDED BONUS: IMPROVE YOUR THINKING SKILLS 

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: You get some incredibly, amazingly, wonderfully fantastic news. What’s the first thing you do?

First, recover from the shock. Then, pay my debts, pay my children’s debts, set up a trust fund for my children and grand children, take a cruise to visit and wine and dine all my far flung internet friends, then give the rest away to friends and strangers.

LINKS OF INTEREST