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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. MissMySon
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    30 posts
    22 November 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Great question, in that it makes one examine themselves, and maybe chart some progress.

    Unfortunately, I am rather reactive, though I have a long fuse. I think I've had 10 or so eruptions in my adult life, where I was justified in defending myself, but was excessive in my defense. Sadly, the last "event" got me into quite a bit of trouble, getting arrested when you were initially the victim, is rather confusing and depressing.

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Flick SnotGrass
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    22 November 2017 in reply to MissMySon

    Hey Gang,

    Thought I'd pop in my two Centavos worth on this 'Anger Thing' ....

    ... I am presuming we, here on BB, are about getting better ...

    I was taught a 'Healing Formula' from my Old, now dead, Raja Yoga teacher...which I won't bore you with here...but in essence is about the vital importance of learning and applying new tools, techniques and 'tricks of the MH trade' asap, to get over shit quick and get on with in-joying life..

    There is no merit in needless misery and self suffering.

    OMWARDS! ~ Buddhist Mantra

    Flick SnotGrass

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Just Sara
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    22 November 2017 in reply to MissMySon

    Hey and welcome MMS;

    I hear you loud and clear! 'Reactive' has gotten me in some tight situations in the past too; not exactly police worthy, but probably close to it.

    These days I'm more of a step-back gal to avoid the reactive fall-out. Once words come out of my mouth, I can't shove them back in.

    Stepping back and biting my tongue gives time to find mindfulness in the moment. That in turn provides space (away from emotions) to see the forest for the trees so to speak.

    Silence can be a mighty tool actually. If people think they have free reign to talk it up, they tend to give away some pretty interesting material for future discussions, and sometimes even shoot themselves in the foot as far as defending their position goes.

    It takes practice and patience to learn, but once stepping back's refined, peace comes. And, preoccupation with being 'right' becomes a thing of the past. I'm not saying not to defend ourselves; I'm saying we don't always 'have' to engage. In fact many people lose steam when there's no-one to argue with.

    I think of all the times I was in a rage 'reacting' to comments - it was probably all for naught. Focusing on me and 'why' I was in a rage is far more compelling and insightful.

    I mean let's face it; I'd rather walk away feeling at peace and seemingly lose a battle, than have my adrenal glands shot to pieces or have a reputation as an unreasonable bully.

    Hi Flick;

    '..the anger thing' as you've called it, can be the bane of some people's lives. If we don't speak up, we're not acknowledged. If we raise our voices, we're out of control. If we push a little, we can lose our audience or create a worse situation. It's a fine line, so it needs to be discussed.

    Those tools you talk about sure are important. For instance, learning to argue properly is a gift. Apart from stepping back, I use words that express how I feel or what I want. "That hurt my feelings" is enough to let people know why I'm upset.

    Or "Can you please stop talking 'at' me and allow me time to speak too?" This along with a calm demeanour and neutral face can help to keep energy flowing back and forth instead of one person hogging the lime-light.

    Misunderstandings are among the most powerful contributors to anger. My new mantra? Keep it short, direct and tactful, or don't speak at all.

    That's my 2c worth... :-)

    Sez

    3 people found this helpful
  4. blondguy
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    22 November 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara.....my apologies for interrupting your thread for a second....

    Hey Flick....As Sara mentioned you have brought up some good methods to help us help ourselves. This is my 34th year with anxiety/depression and I am still waiting for someone that has had success with a quick fix....as per your comment "to get over shit quick and get on with in-joying life.." It doesnt happen.

    Maybe we can have some empathy for the various levels of anxiety/depression that others experience

    Just my humble opinion Flick....I prefer not to proceed from a false assumption of a quick fix as it can have a negative effect on people's positive path to recovery

    Paul

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  5. Just Sara
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    23 November 2017 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul;

    "...I prefer not to proceed from a false assumption of a quick fix as it can have a negative effect on people's positive path to recovery"

    You didn't interrupt Paul, you offered solid advice!

    There's no such thing as a quick fix. It's step by step and a long haul, whether you're young, old, long time sufferer or newbie. At best, we can stumble upon a coping strategy, but we need to work at it to make it automatic.

    Good pick-up Paul; no offence intended Flick.

    Sez

  6. running up that hill
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    23 November 2017 in reply to Just Sara
    In answer to the question are your reactive or mindful it is easy ... with medication I am mindful without medication I am reactive .... bring on the meds.
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  7. Just Sara
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    23 November 2017 in reply to running up that hill

    Wow!!

    What a classic comment! Love it! You rock RUTH!

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  8. MissMySon
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    23 November 2017 in reply to Just Sara
    I wish I could take the meds I need for mood stabilization, but they interact with my pain meds, which have the unfortunate side effect of Anger and depression. Crazy lol
    1 person found this helpful
  9. Just Sara
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    23 November 2017 in reply to MissMySon

    Hey MMS;

    I don't like to use the C word, but if it's how you feel... :-) I'm lucky I don't need Mood Stabilisers, I'm on arthritis med's that seem to interact with everything but my AD's and anti-anxiety pills. Thank God!

    Are you reactive with anger or internalise it?

  10. MissMySon
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    1 December 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    Most of the time I internalize, though in some instances I'm reactive (when I'm attacked on a personal/physical I lash out)

    And, I should be mindful of using the C word, thanks.

    MMS

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  11. Just Sara
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    10 December 2017 in reply to MissMySon

    I've been feeling the anger beast this morning; not your run of the mill grouch or silent treatment stuff, more of a motivational, mildly pissed off and reflective anger.

    I've been let down and disappointed by quite a few people over the past month or so, and yesterday when I ran into one of them at the supermarket I felt an urge to walk away mid sentence. Instead I kept saying I had to go to be polite.

    I noticed a shift in me. I used to (not that long ago either) stay, talk and hope she'd ask me for coffee, or I'd ask her. But recent events have me suspicious and not wanting to engage.

    Since childhood I've internalised anger or burst out of my skin defending myself or someone else. The past few yrs I've learned to stand back, assess the situation, and decide the best course of action for a win/win outcome.

    Good on me eh! Yeah, well it's a work in progress. How I behave and treat myself instead of relying on people being honest, is beginning to make its mark.

    I've withdrawn from closeness lately to evaluate this feeling. The old adage; 'give to yourself what you want from others' holds value today. The truth is; I'm angry and want to express it instead of being scared.

    My disappointment comes from seeing people for who they really are; uncovering lies, false persona's and cruel blame/excuses outed as a means of justifying disgraceful behaviour.

    When people wrongly profess to being/doing one thing, then get caught, sorry means shit if it's followed by 'but' and a finger pointing at me or others. I need to trust people and it's being tested to the limits.

    My expectations come from what I believe (or want) to be true. 'If you hurt me, shame on you. If you do it again, shame on me' I truly understand this saying now.

    Why have I stayed around people who lie or hurt me? Hmm...maybe I'm angry at me as well. Makes sense..

    Negative patterns of behaviour and beliefs need to change for my MH to improve; I live by this. I can't change 'them', but I can change me. Demanding honesty, respect and fairness isn't too much to ask as I see it...of them OR me.

    Yes, forgiveness is necessary, but it has to come with boundaries and change. Forgetting isn't part of the deal. My dad's been invited to Xmas lunch this year. I don't want to go. Sigh.. What do I do?

    If I'm strong, I'll survive. If my little girl within takes over, I'll crumble.

    I shouldn't be put thru this damn it!

    Sez

    3 people found this helpful
  12. Nztruckr
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    10 December 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    I would say i was reactive in more than just confrontation in fact a simple look in my direction could end in the worst possible way for anyone looking in my general direction i had no empathy or sympathy for anyone in the human skin

    Nowadays some 30yrs on life is different however many people still see me as being extremely angry even when i think I'm actually happy so i think many friends that i have are only there through the thought if i think their friends they may escape the rage inside me

    Truth is for a very long time i had to use the rage within to keep me safe and survive the shit life i was blessed with thanks to the hard work and tireless hours by a dear friend who has since passed i can now walk away from situations if i feel I'm losing control rather than stand my ground

    I also battle each day to better control my rage towards human life and have had many successes but still fall over from time to time the hard bit is trying to fight it when it starts which is something i have not mastered yet but am hopeful that day will come as at this present time if i start getting angry i normally lock myself away from everyone until it subsides

    So i know one day i maybe able ti put thus part of me to rest as i have come a long way since my youth to the point i am now i just cant be complacent about it so always am aware or situations and i try not to enter areas of life where triggers my start or set me off

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  13. Just Sara
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    10 December 2017 in reply to Nztruckr

    Hi and welcome NZ;

    It takes courage to open up and reveal your story on a public forum, so kudos and good on you. It's important for men to disclose such issues, as many would have similar patterns and seeing you talk about it may encourage more dialog, so thankyou

    I find men tend to externalise anger, and women internalise it. As a single mum, I didn't know how to confront my son's anger which became worse at 14. (Hormones) We talked and he admitted his anger was insatiable which he didn't understand and neither did I.

    At one point, he 'shaped up' to me. Without a man to lean on and no brothers, I stood my ground saying I refused to accept his behaviour and he'd have to find another way of expressing what he felt. Women shouldn't be treated that way, especially his mother. He walked away and cried.

    He needed a man to stand his ground and protect me; teaching by example. I know, it's an ideal scenario. I do wish though it had've been that way.

    I guess I'm wondering when your rage began and if it was responded to functionally by males and females in your circle; family or otherwise. My family home growing up was full of anger, violence, unpredictable chaos and fear. I never learned how to negotiate or stand up for myself and instead was told to shut up and do what I was told.

    I internalised my anger until I exploded; this became my pattern. My sister told me yrs later I scared and intimidated her with my outbursts. This killed me inside and was the impetus for getting help.

    It sounds like your mate was a treasure. I'm sorry for your loss NZ trucker. How great tho to find such a man in your lifetime. :-)

    You've expressed your story well btw, it's a credit to you. I'd like to hear more if that's ok. One question I have is; 'Do you understand the pattern and reasons you've responded as you have?'

    You mention 'humans' as a cause for hatred. It stuck out to me but you didn't elaborate. I hope men on the forum see your post and also respond. It could turn into a good discussion. Thankyou again...

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind thoughts;

    Sez

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Nztruckr
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    34 posts
    10 December 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    My life til i was 8 yrs old was like most kids playing midget rugby league,bullrush hide and seek all the normal boyhood games when i passed my eight birthday i was taken by my mum and her then boyfriend to a boys home in new zealand was ment to be for a weekend only she never came back the hours i spent watching out the window waiting seemed like an eternity but nothing not one sign of her six months past then the abuse started both physical and sexual passed around like a slab of meat i withdrew into myself and trusted no one not that anyone really cared for the next three years afterwards this was my life being locked in cupboards tied to beams for hours on end caned whipped and more sexual abuse

    Six years later i managed to make my way to auckland after running away soent time living rough on the streets living off fruit trees in peoples yards and convincing the odd hot meal from those who looked like they cared from that point i was too old to return to the home by which time my only survival tool was rage and i let everyone i came into contact with feel that rage

    My term human i guess was to distance myself from the very people that spent so long hurting me for all those years that no other human would ever get that chance again

    Back then no i couldnt see the pattern or the reasons guess i didnt want to but all people were put in the humans box in my mind they to me regardless of who they were deserved to feel my rage no empathy no sympathy soon became a motto and a way of life

    Now i see the patterns and the reasons behind the responses but thats taken almost 30 odd yrs i guess i have a better understanding of myself now however i still have trust issues to a point ,no idea on how to make friends or how to stop my temper building once i start getting angry but am way better than i was thanks to my one true friend who is no longer here

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  15. Just Sara
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    11 December 2017 in reply to Nztruckr

    Huge sigh...

    NZ...I'm struggling to find words; lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Your little boy's life is a tragedy and travesty of biblical proportions. Less than human indeed. You're still here? I'm surprised. It seems that rage actually saved your life.

    .......

    I've just had a cry and finished a cigarette trying to formulate what I want to say. Words aren't enough. What you've so skilfully written has such immense power, I'm floored.

    I have no advice or questions at this time; only grief.

    Please forgive my response. I really need time to absorb what you've disclosed. I'll be back later once I can get my head together with my heart. I'm sorry for the loss of your childhood and family NZ.

    Warmth and kindness;

    Sez

  16. Brosan
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    11 December 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hello Just Sara,

    Have you heard of Marshall Rosenberg. Are you familiar with Nonviolent Communication?

    It was recommended by Neil Strauss of PUA infamy. He might be atoning for the misconceptions his expose had on him and the PUA community. I listened to it as an audiobook on Audible. I think it's worth it.

    Regards,

    Oliver.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Nztruckr
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    11 December 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Ummm thanks sez

    Yup its certainly catches people off guard thats for sure my family for the last little bit lets say 30 yrs have touched base when it suits them and only ever for what they can extract money wise i have tried on at least 5 occasions to try and not only fit in but try to get them to like me never worked well only really worked when i gave money or cars or food or whatever it was they wanted so i have decided no more i will just go through life as a family of one me

    As far as the rest well everyday is a struggle sometimes with anger sometimes self loathing but always with sadness i look at how other people react with their friends ,their children etc and wish i could have that kind of normalization in my life but thats a pipe dream reality is im hoping the end isnt to far away i would happily go to my final destination i think this world has pretty much given me all i want to take from it

    The problem i have is finding actual friends i have alot of well aquaintances who seem happy to know me when theres something in it for them most i rarely here from unless they have a problem i always feel self concious around people wether i know them or not for obvious reasons and this is where my sadness originates as if my anger doesnt drive them away my other moods tend to so it really does become a lonely existence

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  18. Just Sara
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    11 December 2017 in reply to Brosan

    Thankyou so much Oliver;

    I found a Marshall Rosenberg workshop on YouTube which began with him singing a song he wrote. What a wonderful man! I don't have time to watch the whole thing as it's over 3 hrs long, but at some stage I will...absolutely!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LuPCAh9FCc

    'Non-Violent Communication' Here's the link for people to witness Rosenberg's grace and strength of character.

    I want to thank you for reminding me how skilful 'words' given with beautiful intent, can uplift, enlighten and shift our mindset. In those first few minutes of his workshop video, I felt negativity drain from my body.

    As this was your first post, I'm assuming you're a long time reader? I'd enjoy chatting if you're up to it. I haven't looked up the 'PNU' subject matter yet; maybe you could elaborate?

    You have a beautiful intellect. I'm an instant fan..

    Sez

  19. Just Sara
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    11 December 2017 in reply to Nztruckr

    Hi again NZ;

    Thankyou for replying to my 'heart on my sleeve' post to you earlier. I'm feeling a little better than before, it was just a bit confronting.

    As your post reveals, there's much more to you than anger and rage. I see you have a thread running, I may join in there as well ok.

    Thankyou again for talking about your anger issues here. How you've expressed pain from the past 30 yrs is so understandable and relevant to this thread.

    I do have a question; 'Do you find it difficult to cry?' There's a reason I ask, but won't go into it now.

    Look forward to hearing from you..

    Sez

  20. Nztruckr
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    11 December 2017 in reply to Just Sara
    In general yes crying isnt one of my emotions however when my mentor passed i cried for weeks ermm i think the loss coupled with the fear of what now played a very big part in that however crying in front of people most definately not as i dont want people to know what or where my weakness would lay
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  21. Just Sara
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    11 December 2017 in reply to Nztruckr

    Hi NZ;

    I previously wrote how men externalise and women internalise anger (in general) My question was because men usually express anger instead of crying, and women cry when they need to express anger.

    Both crying and anger come from fear and hurt.

    I needed to rid myself of past anger/tears which took many yrs of probing into why I still carried everything around on my shoulders and in my heart. (Thru therapy and BB forum) Now that I've come to a place of peace, I treat each situation in the moment. I don't hold grudges or let things brew.

    I may step back for a while so I can turn my feelings into words; then talk to the person I'm upset with and let them know. It's not about winning or being superior, it's to protect and validate myself in their eyes so they understand I won't tolerate being belittled or abused.

    At first it was really difficult as I was in the midst of an anxiety/panic disorder. I did what I could to identify when I was at risk or had been hurt, it was so entrenched in my psyche I was confused if/when it occurred. "Was that appropriate or did they just put shit on me?"

    About a yr ago I met someone on a dating site and met up a few times. They ended up sexually assaulting me because I didn't recognise the signs. I'm not taking blame off their shoulders, just admitting I was confused by their behaviour which in hindsight, was grooming me for future abuse.

    I ended up on a psych ward for 10 days and found a piece of myself I thought was long gone. The psych's taught me to evaluate my own behaviour and responses before making decisions as I'd been 'programmed' as a target for abuse in my childhood. I'm still in the process of retraining my brain. It's a work in progress..

    I have complex PTSD which will be with me forever. However, I'm self aware and educated in how to manage symptoms which helps me cope.

    I'd like to discuss PTSD with you on your thread. I may pop in over the next few days.

    Until then, take care and thankyou for writing on here. Your anger is indicative of past hurts and very relevant to others.

    Warm thoughts;

    Sez

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  22. CMF
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    11 December 2017 in reply to blondguy

    I'm reactive with my own kids and mindful with everyone else.

    im really tired and flat. That's all I have ATM.

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  23. White Rose
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    21 December 2017 in reply to CMF

    Just found this thread Sez, and what a thread. Such amazing stories from you all. I am so pleased you started this thread because of the responses. Heart breaking stories such as Nztruckr while others have talked about their own battles with anger.

    I think this has been a gift to many people, allowing them a safe place to talk about a hugely important topic. It has also been a good place to learn from others. As I read through much of the thread I found myself shaking with the fear of all the anger being expressed. I had not realised how much anger I had witnessed in my life and how much I have copied that anger because I saw how effective it could be on others.

    Yes I learned long ago that anger was not the best way to live, but not how to cope with it. It's taken time.

    Reading the stories of others had me in tears because of all the hurt that has been expressed here. If ever I need a reason to manage my anger and associated emotions it's here. All you lovely people, take a bow for your courage writing here and for making your own journey through pain and anger. Most of all for the reminder that we must always be aware of others vulnerabilities. Anger can so often be a reaction to pain and disillusionment.

    May this Christmas time be full of love and care for each other.

    Mary

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  24. Just Sara
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    22 December 2017 in reply to White Rose

    What a beautiful response Mary!

    Merry Xmas to you too, and all those reading. :-)

    I agree; it's pretty humbling when we read about other people's trauma and pain. Even though we've experienced our own set of traumatic events, there doesn't seem to be two alike. Their details can leave us gobsmacked at the extent of what people endure.

    As I've said, I don't quite understand 'anger' in its entirety, and often don't recognise it in myself, but when I do, I try really hard to express it productively. I've seen what my rage can do and don't want to go thru those situations again.

    I posted a link a few posts above re 'Non-Violent Communication'. This workshop had some benefit for me personally; I left behind what I didn't agree with or need and only took relevant stuff with me.

    It helped me understand that; 'jumping to conclusions', 'trying to get into other peoples heads', 'feeling for others too much' and 'not accepting others have a right to behave in a flawed manner' were a few things I needed to work on.

    The most important learning curve though, was considering my own responses more-so than those of the person I'm speaking with. Obviously it's difficult to let go of a nasty or targeting comment, but that's where calmly and assertively protecting my rights comes into play.

    This is ideal of course and doesn't address repressed anger from past abuse or trauma, but it does help to identify why anger occurs while communicating. Being 'reactive' as opposed to 'reflective' will more often than not cause drama.

    One thing I used to do was internalise people's comments and judge them to be one way or the other in relation to my own experiences/opinions. I now accept everyone has a right to speak whether I agree or not.

    If I choose to respond, it's usually to ask a question to clarify what they're trying to express. I also let them know they can speak freely without threat of recourse.

    Unless of course I'm being verbally attacked or abused. It's a fine line to recognise sometimes though..

    Food for thought eh? Thankyou to all who've contributed to this thread. We're a mighty bunch aren't we?

    Kind regards;

    Sez

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  25. StevoP
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    5 May 2019
    Yeah finally something helpful to me- Im usually reactive cos Im in a pretty tough situation with depression and anxiety, that sort of thing. Also have this mindset that ppl like taking pot shots at me and just hating me, anyway I try avoiding it now
  26. A2D2
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    27 May 2019

    Anger sneaks up on me and explodes. Or I see it coming and cage it, which causes me to disintegrate into tears. Neither is a very successful approach.

    How I might respond to situations makes me so anxious I am afraid to apply for work in case I mess it up.

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