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Forums / Staying well / ANGER -> are you reactive or mindful when responding to people? *New members are very welcome to contribute

Topic: ANGER -> are you reactive or mindful when responding to people? *New members are very welcome to contribute

  1. Just Sara
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    29 October 2017

    Firstly I want to thank Karen, (Ggrand) who ignited my idea for this thread. (Not pun intended lol)

    Are you 'reactive' when confronting someone? Do you run away, or step back and 'think' before you speak?

    These are important questions about anger and especially rage. I'm sure everyone who visits these forums will have at some point in their lives experienced out of control reactions or even 'inaction' that they regret or question afterwards. Eg..."Why didn't I say anything?" or "I shouldn't have said anything."

    Personally, I'm no stranger to the effects of reactive anger. It took me many yrs to address and finally defeat as an ineffective and damaging personality trait. I still struggle sometimes, but more times than not, I deal with it productively.

    Anger's a normal animal/human reaction for survival. It goes hand in hand with Fight or Flight responses to keep us safe and alive. What modern society's done though, is create confusion, denial and fear in understanding what a 'threat' actually is.

    There are so many 'rules of engagement' outlined in our laws and cultural niceties, we're stifled trying to identify when a 'real' threat is immanent and, how to approach matters effectively...nature vs nurture.

    I think this is a discussion we really 'need' to have. It plays into our recovery and how we want to live our lives in peace with confidence.

    Are you known as an angry person, a fence sitter or passive/aggressive for instance? These are all tied into our responses to internal or external anger. For the sake of this thread topic, I'd like to keep anecdotes etc to personal experience and not about 'others'; to look at ourselves for answers.

    I'm eager to hear your thoughts...

    Sez

    4 people found this helpful
  2. startingnew
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    29 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara
    Very interesting topic Sez, hmmm it gave me something to think about really.
    Im known as a fence sitter a very quiet shy person who can be easily pushed over but I do have fire within and very few have really seen it as I seem to have good anger management from the outside but I actually have a bad way of addressing anger tbh, and im working on it.


    When im angry, I wont take it out on the person who made me angry, id rather walk away unless they catch me in a really really bad mood and then ill react straight up rather than thinking first. I try to avoid confrontations at all costs and have had numerous panic attacks in the past few yrs trying to address things that need sorting e.g friendship conflicts or family issues


    However more recently while I am still the fence sitter and not engage in conflicts or arguments I internalise it but use it on something else such as speed driving. Another thing ive noticed more recently is ill be more reactive when others arent around such as the other day I got angry over something and I threw everything that was on the kitchen table off it instead of calming thinking about it and doing something else productive.


    I have also realised that I will think of what situations might arise when I go to approach this person/people after ive calmed back down and then ill be ok and think 'ive got this' but not long after that ive gone from anger to calmness to having a lot of anxiety over having to approach them and when I back out I then get angry but not at them at myself.


    Actually writing that has just helped me realise it is a very destructive way of addressing anger and will have to think of better ways to cope rather than what im currently doing.


    So as a 'label' im not sure what this would come under.
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  3. Ggrand
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    29 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Thank you Sara.

    Im an extremely passive person "a no questions asked, yes person never allowed to express or act on anger". Not having to really deal with anger outwardly it's confusing me atm. Will be back later and hoping to learn more about dealing with anger.

    kind regards

    Karen

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  4. Quercus
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    29 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    This is an important idea for a thread thank you.

    I've inherited my Dad's temper unfortunately. We're yes people too. Don't rock the boat, like to avoid drama. It takes a hell of a lot to make me angry or to offend me and I forgive easily.

    But (yeah there's always a but)... I have limits. And once I'm there I'm totally bluntly reactive. Not mindful of others at all. It's never pretty and I hate the feeling.

    Once at work my manager asked me to help her with some of her jobs (banking, invoices etc) which I did because I found it interesting. The owner came in one day and saw me doing the rosters. Didn't say a word they just disappeared for a "coffee". From that moment she started making my life miserable. I found out later the owner had told her I had been offered her job and refused it (idiot!) and he wasn't happy with me doing her job for free while she did merchandising.

    Everything I did was wrong from then on. She would ask me to do a display and then at the end of the day tell me to take it all down and put it on the other side of the shop. Petty little things. I tolerated it for a time. Then hit my limit when my friend called her out on her behaviour and started getting the same treatment as me.

    Breaking point. I memorised this moment afterwards to remind myself to never allow myself to do this again. Take steps before I lose the plot. I remember at close she threw another barb at me about taking too long to count the till. I picked up the tray, put it in front of her and told her I would be phoning the owner tonight to be swapped to another store because I was done with her.

    I remember saying "if you took your head out of your.... for a moment you'd realise you're a useless manager and a horrible excuse for a human being". She made the mistake of threatening me with being fired so I started laughing and said "go for it b.... try that and see how well you go. Unlike you I am actually good at my job". And walked out.

    The next day I was at a new store which I loved. It sounds assertive (except for the swearing). But I regret it. She had a lot of potential. I could have just sat her down and asked what was wrong. But I chose not to because I was in a rage. I don't like how that makes me feel.

    I know I am capable of standing up for myself but it often feels all or nothing. Submission or rage. Nothing in between.

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  5. Ggrand
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    29 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hello everyone.

    my childhood showing any anger at all called for the "jug chord" I learnt very early not to get angry, in my marriage a few month into it. ok I got angry with hubby once and once only leading to a black eye and bruising. . That was the last time I have ever shown anger. Living a life like this over 57 years you learn to not get angry. You learn very quickly to not have that emotion. I think frustration took its place turning into depression and anxiety. I have been diagnosed with high depression/chronic anxiety and chronic guilt complex

    I will walk away from any form of confrontation, admit to doing something I never done to stop someone from getting angry at themselves, someone else or me, I can't stand up for myself at all . Instead I will just hide or go home and cry out my frustrations. "or maybe it was anger". Confusing now to me.

    Seeing anyone angry to me means that I will be physically hurt. It really scares me.

    I will advoid it no matter what. Even when my sons get angry with their kids, spouses or I suppose (sometimes me) I will dissapear. Being the way I am is not ideal as I am trying to keep the peace all the time.

    I woke up feeling angry or ( frustrated) not sure if they are the same thing a few days ago and still am, problem is I don't know how to release it and it's pulling me down quickly.

    Reading the posts about you all seem to be able to release it in some way and stand up for yourselves. That should take the angry feeling away and then a little sense of calm should replace it.

    I know people take advantage of me, and this hurts a lot, as my self respect is non existent , writing this down I can see just how pathetic I sound, but it's me. Hopefully this thread takes off and I can try and help myself somehow with how other people handle their anger. I think I really need to be able to get really angry to feel this emotion properly before I can start trying to heal this part of my brain.

    Kind regards,

    Karen

    2 people found this helpful
  6. blondguy
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    29 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara

    Thanks for the great thread topic. I did learn the hard way and sporadic therapy doesnt help. I thought that getting counseling every 3-4 months was okay and was I wrong! I think that was denial..or kidding myself..

    • Anger is a normal reaction to adverse behavior in an environment or situation that places anyone out of their comfort zone when what we stand for is threatened
    • Anger with an ongoing anxiety/depressive illness...or even a stressful state can make us 'over react' instead of proactive in our responses towards others
    • Being in a continual state of over exaggerated anger response to even minor issues is indicative that we need to 'vent' to a counselor/therapist as soon and as frequently as possible. Doing otherwise is a waste

    My Kind thoughts

    Paul

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  7. Just Sara
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    29 October 2017 in reply to Ggrand

    It's really great to have you on board Karen; thanks for your post.

    I find it interesting when people say they don't 'do' anger. I'm wondering if you find other ways to express frustrations, hurt at the hands of others or even being peeved at the weather being so hot/cold for instance.

    Cheers..

    Sez

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  8. Just Sara
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    29 October 2017

    I'm so sorry Karen, SN, Quercus and Paul;

    I started writing the above post earlier today but was side-tracked; only came back to finish it a short while ago then saw I'd missed several responses.

    Thankyou all for your insights and experiences. It seems anger isn't just an emotion; it's a quagmire of causes, effects, cycles and outcomes.

    SN.. I'm glad you ventured onto this thread with your feelings. It's a common response to avoid conflict and then wonder why and how it got that way, and what to do about it. Being open to learning other ways though is to be admired. You're doing so well.

    Karen.. In my opinion, yours is less about anger and more about the cycle of abuse and co-dependency. A black eye for opposing your spouse was a sign of things to come. But it was also a continuation of facing 'the jug cord' thru childhood. Not dissimilar to my own dysfunctional upbringing and that of many others. I'm really glad you've joined the discussion.

    Quercus.. I'm loving your honesty! What can I say? Not many would admit a reactive verbal attack on someone. But I dare say there'll be many who read and cheer at your 'had-a-gut-full' confrontational style. We can only take so much, yeah? How do you think things would've worked out if you'd sat her down in the beginning instead of waiting?

    Paul.. you've obviously researched anger and its meaning. Thankyou! I do disagree with your last point though. 'Doing otherwise is a waste..' referring to venting with a psych.

    Doing 'Anything' is productive to release the beast. Whether it's screaming into a pillow, belting a punching bag or even crying. I appreciate you're a great advocate for counselling to combat the effects of anxiety/depression; I don't disagree with this. However, we can't run to our psych's at 3am or scream at a lifeline consultant when we're in the midst of an episode.

    ***

    I find people are afraid of anger because a lot of the time it's out of control and unpredictable. We like knowing what's coming next, so the thought of speaking up or openly questioning authority for instance, might bring on symptoms of anxiety, panic and foreboding.

    Learning to express anger productively, why it's there and knowing when to run needs exploring as well. I still struggle with this one.

    Thanks all..

    Sez

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  9. blondguy
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    29 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hey Sara

    It was only my experience with occasional therapy being unproductive...not anyone elses. Its only my opinion that insufficient (sporadic) therapy is a waste as there isnt follow up that makes long term recovery possible

    My kindest as always

    Paul

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  10. Just Sara
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    29 October 2017 in reply to blondguy

    I'm so sorry Paul;

    I read the words; 'anyone', 'us' and 'we' and thought it was a generalised statement. My bad..

    Your opinion is very important to me and others who read and post. Please don't take my error of judgement as anything but that ok?

    Respectfully..

    Sez x

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  11. Ggrand
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hello Sara

    thats a good question you asked me and I have been going over a few things that might cause others anger.

    1.. I was driving to town, country roads are not good. When I heard a loud bang I pulled over frightened and realised my windscreen had been hit by a rock and cracked. I cried thinking how am I going to get the money to fix this. I then remembered a truck had passed in the opposite direction. I only felt defeated as no money to fix it. No anger at all

    2.. I paid a considerable amount of Money to put a fence put up to keep my dogs from getting out and onto the road. The day after, I get a call saying they were out again. I went home then checked the fence. I found a couple of poles had come out, I rang the fence man and told him. He got angry I know because he swore and said he can't repair it for a few days. Not wanting to face an angry person I told him I will fix the poles so I did. Angry at him no. More annoyed then anything else.

    3... I needed to see my sons together one weekend my brother arranged the meeting as he was going to be there to support me. Only my youngest turned up. Brother could not come and eldest was to busy. I cried again but not angry tears they were from frustration and guilt (won't go into the guilt part)

    4... I leased a small general store/ post office a couple of years ago in town, the previous leasees had two books hence and I started loosing money from day 1. Eventually after 2 years I shut it I lost thousands in the shop plus unpaid credit amounting to over $500.00. I let the credit go as I was to frightened of their response to ask for it. I had residents knocking on my door all hours abusing me about no postal deliveries, we all had to travel a round trip of 80klms to collect it now. Not angry here either instead guilt was what I felt I blamed myself for being so stupid as to not check things out properly.

    These are a few I can think of since I've been widowed and Im curious now as to how you all would have reacted to these situations. Would you have been angry, annoyed, frustrated?

    Kind regards,

    Karen.

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  12. Shelll
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    I may be a little like Karen there, I am not certain though. When growing up it was unconsciously taught that emotions including anger was not to be expressed or even awknowledged that it existed. It was like feeling emotions was something that was uncomfortable. I do remember feeling a few times angry whilst growing up ( except at that time, I did not know it was called anger) I never saw anger in any of my siblings or parents. Not the forceful yelling out or anything. So anyway I think I just stuffed in down somewhere inside myself. Stuffed down with all the other emotions, that could never be expressed. Even the feeling of tears were stuffed down there. Then years later , lots of these emotions came out. Even rage... which was such a scary feeling for me to feel. So forceful and I hated feeling it. I did not know what to do with it either. It just exploded out like some hidden volcano. Tears now also came out. So much that I am still crying. I was not taught how to manage any emotion including anger.

    Anyway now I can recognise the emotion of anger, I can feel it. My body feels like it wants to punch and punch, run away, hit out, kick, and scream. I have also come to realise that anger for me comes from no getting something you need or want. And that it is quite normal to feel angry sometimes. But it is what you do with it that matters. Lashing out at someone else in anger can hurt them. It can also be destructive such as breaking things, punching holes in walls etc.

    I am still learning about anger and what to do with it when I start to feel it. I do not want to keep it or stuff it down because then it may turn into self pity, ( which I think I am wallowing in right this minute) and it may push me into that dark place, may explode suddenly and hurt others.

    So doing some kind of physical exercise helps me .... ooh gosh, I have lost the plot. Not to worry.

    Me xx

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  13. Shelll
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Ggrand

    Karen.... I think I would feel pretty much the same as you there in all those situations. I wonder why the fence guy was angry though? I think I may feel like I was a nuisance to him. But logic is telling me that it was his responsibility to fix the fences and he was not very professional in the way he took out his anger. Not good for his business either.

    As for the frustration and annoying feelings... I could be wrong about this, but I think they are like the start of anger. Like if those feelings are not awknowledged ( which you did) and then dealt with, well maybe it does not get the opportunity to grow into anger or something. And it does not get pushed down either to later explode or turn you into the dark place..... Just my thoughts Karen, I have no idea if it is the truth.

    Shell xx

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  14. Flick SnotGrass
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Just Sara et al,

    Absolutely great thread. GOLD STARS!!!!!

    "ANGER. wot me angry? oh, no, no, no, not me...that wouldn't be nice...and we MUST be nice, mustn't we Flick." ..... sounds like Golem.

    Yup, our ANGER response is part of our self protection circuitry

    ~ some of us freeze and hope 'it' goes away

    ~ some of us run away and take flight from 'it'

    ~ and some of us lose our Temper at 'it'

    Being of the English persuasion, and bourne in 1949, it was 'unwise' of us seen and not heard kids, in our rigid family dynamic, to express our anger openly,

    but

    it doesn't help to block it, as I expensively found out.

    Actually, I do remember getting very angry with my parents and giving them a jolly good telling off ... when I was three.

    You see as a healthy fully functioning three year old I thought it was quite appropriate to play on the roof of the coal bunker but Dad and Mum disagreed.

    I can still remember them laughing at me as I stamped off down the garden path to the vegetable plot and had a good shout at them.

    Scarred me for life it did.

    Well almost...I became an exquisite Passive Hostile.

    Exquisite.

    And a 'Stirrer'.

    [I got a wooden spoon for my eighth birthday...no kidding...stop laughing Quercus, it's rude to mock the afflicted,,, where was I? Oh yes Passive Hostile.

    and nasty with it.

    But no one guides you.

    "Hey Buddy that's a pretty self defeating anger pattern you're running there, you probably wouldn't want to take care of it yet?...no, I didn't think so."

    I never got the How to Be a Human documentation either...did you?

    So we block our feelings [essential for boys, who must not cry because only cissies and girls cry and we must grin and bear it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think one of the big breakthroughs in Me healing my terrible excema was when Brian slipped up one day at a party and I told an inquisitive someone that my scabs was actually infancy excema...

    I was 42....

    ouch,

    hahahaha

    Anywho...what I have gleaned so far...

    acknowledge your feelings even if they're bit tender,

    check your hands,

    breathe

    and

    do a Dory "Just keep swimming, swimming, swi

    What do they say? "A sign of maturity is doing something even if your parents would approve

    Hugz,

    Flick SnotGrass

    5 people found this helpful
  15. Ggrand
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Shelll

    Hi Shelly, Sara, and

    I was thinking the same that being annoyed and frustrated is the start of or a type of anger.

    These feelings I got from these incidents don't go away or are not acknowledged they linger in my thoughts as they invade my headspace and I think on them over long periods of time. Even years later.

    when I do think about them "like now" well, they continue to go round my thoughts I begin to dislike "being a better word " myself for being so weak for not standing up for myself and righting a wrong done to me. and I wish I had more courage. I think courage only comes when you feel anger enough to right a wrong that's been done to you.

    Without anger I can't see how we can have courage or self respect as you can't defend yourself from wrong done to you

    Anger is I think ..is the release of the emotion...and not the emotion itself.

    Just my thoughts

    kind regards

    Karen

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Carla09
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Ggrand

    Prior to my mid 20’s I was a fairly pAssive person...i however was in a fairly verbally abusive relationship in my early 20’s which unfortunately left me being a very reactive person prone to rage...despite being happily married for almost 10 years to a kind gentle person, when I am feeling depressed my mind still tends to remember all the negative nasty things that were said to me in my early 20’s...and when confronted with someone that makes me feel like my ex...I feel A deep sense of rage...

    l

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  17. Just Sara
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Shelll

    Dear Shelly and Karen;

    Thankyou both for opening up as you have which gives much insight.

    Self blame is a way of avoiding anger. This leads to guilt, internal resentments and an inability to protect yourselves. This avoidance is a valuable key to self knowledge. It's at this point we're on auto pilot that asks 'what if?'. It's like a game of chess.

    Each move on the board will incur a response from the opponent. It's this worry that forms habits of avoidance. For you Karen, fear of being belted with the jug cord was a type of grooming by parents to keep you in line. That fear far outweighed rational decision making so freezing kept you safe, you stayed silent.

    In essence, you've stayed frozen all your life, even at times running or fighting would've been more successful, as with your fence man. In serious situations that might end in violence, we think staying quiet will work, yet it doesn't so we blame ourselves again for not doing the right thing and try all sorts of tactics to avoid the inevitable except fighting or fleeing.

    Shelley, releasing anger in positive ways has to be learned as you've found out. Congratulations! I dare say when you were a toddler there would've been the odd tanty yeah? I'm wondering if you were ignored, punished or placed in seclusion as a means of being dealt with.

    Those early yrs are a training ground for future responses to unsettling stimuli. Each event teaches us how to behave. It took me until I was 33 to say 'No!' to my mother. Why? I was scared shitless of her.

    This brings up a very important problem; Arrested Development. I don't have enough space to explain so if you research the term, it might help to enlighten you.

    In my own case, learning to develop assertiveness, eg...rebelling by saying 'no', was stifled by 'learned' frozen fear.

    I have no doubt I probably did say no at some stage and was severely punished; lesson learned hey.

    This dialog is really important. It's a great issue to bring up with psych's and even parents. It's probably the case they went thru the same training and just passed it on.

    Lovely chatting...

    Sez

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  18. Just Sara
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Carla09

    Sorry Carla and Karen;

    You both must've posted at the same time as me.

    Carla, raging 'at the moon' isn't abnormal. It's letting out frustrations from dysfunctional beliefs about others and yourself. Moreso, communication deficits.

    Karen, I have no doubt frustration/resentment/anger from challenging old memories/habits/beliefs is a result of being alone and 'safe' from harm. (Being widowed)

    For you both, focus is on the other person/situation. That needs to be turned around to look at how you've responded to 'them'. (With empathy, understanding and forgiveness. Not harsh judgement ok) Not blame their behaviour alone for the outcome.

    We need to really 'know ourselves' to change, not ruminate on why 'they' did whatever. If you think back at how you acted, would you change it? If the answer is yes, then bring that into the present and retrain your Brian to respond differently if it happens again. (Thanks again Flick!)

    Self empowerment is the only way to go. We absolutely cannot control others. So it's pointless getting angry about the past. It's gone and long forgotten in the minds of those who hurt you.

    How do I know this? It's been part of my recovery plan to learn assertiveness (not aggression) and not take on blame for what others do/have done; even if it's at 'their' peril. They wouldn't do it for me!

    I hope I've made sense y'all. :-)

    Sez

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  19. Quercus
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    This thread gets more facinating by the day. I think how we express anger has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves as a human being. At the time when I had this outburst I felt pretty worthless deep down.

    You asked...

    How do you think things would've worked out if you'd sat her down in the beginning instead of waiting?

    I wouldn't have. In order for me to stand up for myself things had to get to breaking point. It is only a recent thing for me to start voicing how I feel at the minor annoyances and not let them build.

    It is very hard to do. Part of speaking up involved me trying to accept I deserve to be treated better. And that my opinion is valid and important. In other words trying to learn I am not worthless.

    I am learning. It is trial and error and easy to fall back on old habits and feel crap about myself again. But necessary. Swallowing anger and letting it build is unhealthy. I either end up exploding or imploding and either way I get upset.

    Time to accept it doesn't have to be like this. And to change.

    ❤ Nat

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  20. Shelll
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    What about assertiveness verses aggression? I think aggression may stem from anger, but assertiveness is like standing up for yourself. A bit like Nat was saying perhaps??

    Being assertive can be done in a kind and respectful way. So I am learning slowly.

    Anyway I think those two words are connected somehow to anger.

    And Sara.... mmm I am not sure what discipline I had. I know it would never had been talked about though. I always felt not noticed and invisible.

    Shell x

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  21. Ggrand
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Sara, Quercus and everyone else,

    I posted earlier but hasn't come through yet but it's okay

    I read arrested development and got upset with what I read. After a few hours of thinking about it I then decided to tell myself I couldn't control my upbringing so I'm going to ( Flick... going to accept it...not try and accept it.

    Sara... I think I am beginning to understand myself after I read it through a few times as well as a a few different versions of arrested development thank .you I appreciate you letting me know about it. I will bring it up at my next physiatrist appointment.

    Quercus...I like what you said "I think how we express anger has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves as human beings" To be able to confront someone with your anger and voice your opinion is in fact saying I am worthy, I do count and I do care about myself because you are defending yourself.

    Sara you have helped me so much with suggesting I read Arrested Development it's the first time in over 4 years I can sort of relate to me and my vulnerability with who I am to who I should be.. if that makes sense. Thank you so much.

    Quercus your story has also helped me I'm not sure of why but it has thank you.

    Kind regatds

    Karen.

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  22. geoff
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    30 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara
    hi Sara, it's strange how moods can change over time, from being single to getting married and then alone again.
    When I was married my wife did most of the anger to other people which many times embarrassed me and also did it to me, so it was only occasionally I raised my voice but when I did this terrified everyone, however in depression I was quite as a mouse.
    Now being single once again I'm stern, straight to the point and won't let go until the situation has been rectified, if this doesn't happen then I take it on the chin and move on, simply because there's no point continuing.
    If however I know that I'm right then I won't let up. Geoff.
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  23. Just Sara
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    31 October 2017 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Geoff for joining in on this discussion.

    You've bought up a very valid point about letting go of wanting to be 'acknowledged' as being 'right'.

    I had to learn to walk away for my personal safety. Feeling invisible as many of us do when growing up, and not being able to feel validated for my insight or intelligence, was absolutely gut wrenching. It broke me Geoff.

    Now, I'd rather walk from an argument than engage because I'm right. It's a fight of 'wills' more than a productive endeavour I'm afraid. Many wars have been started over this type of conflict; like refusing to negotiate or agree to disagree.

    As for standing up for myself, there's still a sense of dread at times. But I'm learning to speak, be gently assertive and walk if I know it's going nowhere. This is for my well being and ongoing peace of mind.

    I'm not saying there aren't times to raise my voice and flare my nostrils because fighting back does let others know I won't tolerate certain things. Being right though isn't one of them anymore. It's knowing, well, like the song says;

    You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.

    Geoff, how would it affect you to walk away even when you know you're right? What is it that drives your resolve?

    Really interesting chatting about this subject.

    Sez

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  24. quirkywords
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    31 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Sez,

    I have just found this fascinating thread.

    Shell commented about the difference between assertiveness and aggression, and I found years ago when I felt I was being assertive while my ex thought I was being aggressive. I felt that was about his interpretation rather than my behaviour as I had no anger at all. I was just expressing an opinion.

    I feel I use my anger against myself and not towards others. I sometimes get angry at myself when I do something silly or when I worry about things I don't want to.

    Quirky

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  25. blondguy
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    31 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara

    Im sorry about my robotic reply to your great thread topic. Sometimes I type (the super old fashioned word for post) before I think.....doh!

    My kindest as always Sara

    Paul xo

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  26. Just Sara
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    31 October 2017 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul;

    Thanks for explaining as I didn't know you were expressing personal experience; I thought it was advice about all. No problems ok...all good. Thankyou for your contribution too btw. It is important to vent with your psych when the 'unknown' factor gets on top of you. If it works, work it!

    Hey Shelley and Quirky;

    Assertive vs aggression; I find this confusion applies mainly to women. (But not exclusively) I've been accused of being aggressive towards managers for instance when approached with unacceptable terms in my workplace over and again. My emotions were raw and overwhelming. I still struggle to stay composed when standing up for myself with authorities.

    If it's my son though, I'll get my claws out and fight to the death. Go figure! I don't stutter or take deep breaths; I walk the walk, talk the talk and their response is usually to back down and give me what I want or sneer and growl at me. A man did this once; my son's boss who physically frog marched him across a crowded room to get him off his property.

    I went straight down there, stared him in the eyes after he swore at me, and said I refused to be intimidated, get my son the required paperwork he needed immediately and quoted legislation re his legal obligations as an employer. I never lost my gaze, he turned and walked away grumbling under his breath.

    Now why can't I do this for myself?! I was focused, pumped up on adrenaline and had the expertise to promote my cause...my son's fair and legally appropriate rights being respected.

    I WAS angry, but I channelled it positively. I understand the concept surrounding my inability to assert myself well in my workplace. I just don't understand how I could stand up for my son as if there was no tomorrow with my diagnosis of complex PTSD.

    Anyhoo, as I see it, aggression is being emotive, and asserting oneself is being unemotional; that's all I can work out.

    I wonder if there's anyone out there to help us solve this conundrum.

    Sez

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  27. Peppermintbach
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    31 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez,

    Interesting comments and thoughts on aggression versus assertiveness.

    I can appreciate that everyone will have their own opinions on it. But my personal understanding is a key difference is that assertiveness involves expressing one’s opinions and exerting one’s rights BUT respectfully and calmly. I personally don’t see it as necessarily being unemotional but others may feel differently and that’s okay too.

    To me, assertiveness is having a “voice” but without name calling, shouting, put-downs and other insults, turn-taking in terms of talking and listening, etc. As I said, I think showing respect for the other person/people underpins assertiveness. Just my thoughts anyway...

    Thanks Sez :)

    Pepper xoxo

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  28. Peppermintbach
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    31 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    *correction: “...with turn-taking in terms of talking and listening...”

    Sorry, not “without”

    Pepper xoxo

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  29. geoff
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    31 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara
    hi Sarah, if I had to walk away knowing I'm in the right, then 'proof is in the pudding', and if I don't care or even believe in what I'm trying to aim for, then do I actually have a goal I want to achieve, although this differs completely when suffering from depression, but that's what I have learnt coming out of depression. Geoff.
    2 people found this helpful
  30. blondguy
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    31 October 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara, Its only what I have learned from my doctors for 30+ years after long term anxiety/depression. The more frequent the therapy/counseling, the stronger our foundations are to utilize the various coping techniques more effectively.

    As I mentioned above, frequent counseling can be an invaluable tool for many people to find some peace in their lives. I did try hard with sporadic visits for nearly 15 years and just for me (and many others) I was still thinking I could get better. I posted here for the good of the many...not the few

    Just in my situation infrequent counseling provided little gain...but as you mentioned its better than nothing and thats for sure Sara

    This is a great thread where people can voice their own experience when it comes to anger management without judgement. There are great posts here with different ideas about being mindful and not reactive with anger. Its a very broad yet an important thread that will help many people

    My Kind thoughts (and Kudos for the great thread topic too)

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful

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