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Processing Anger (for day to day events) ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Freedom, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    The following just happened and I am wondering what I should have done:

    Went to the Revenue Collections Parking Division office. I was going to get a residential parking decal and they told me I had an outstanding ticket. As I asked a few very reasonable questions and the lady behind the counter was extremely abrupt and looked at me like I had three heads.

    Part of me wanted to tell her "there is no reason to be rude to me" but another part of me thought "what if something bad happens and they don't let me pay now and the price goes higher." This type of thinking happens in a lot of situations, I'm worried that Ill get bad service or people will somehow shun me and I'll be hated or screwed.

    Then I'll feel guilty for NOT telling her how I feel, so it is a layering of negative emotions. This type of thinking happens in a lot of scenarios where I think about doing something, have a thought that gives reason (whether valid or not) why I maybe shouldn't, then I feel bad about holding back.

    Also, what if you are able to reframe it and see it as funny rather than getting angry ?
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  2. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi Freedom,

    This is common issue for most of us here. I had to deal with them after I recovered from TMS. There are two aspects to this:

    1. Your internal response
    2. Your external repsonse

    1. Regarding for internal response: When faced with these anger-inducing situations you need to see it as an opportunity to change your internal response completely and turn the anger and frustration into energy and excitement. This is one of the best ways to avoid accumulation of tension that can lead to pain. I hope to do a free workshop on this topic soon. You can access a recording on an earlier workshop on my podcast page titled, "Turn Problems into Energy and Excitement in Three Easy Steps."

    2. As for external response: Look for improving your communication skills. There are some simple techniques you can use depending on the situation to safely and effectively express yourself and your concerns. I do mention a step-by-step process in chapter seven of Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain.

    Additionally, you may consider assertiveness training. One of my clients described himself as a doormat, especially when it came to how his wife was treating him. Combining the steps I mentioned above and helping him tailor them to his specific situation, he no longer describes himself as a doormat and feels much more empowered and confident with expressing himself and standing up for himself.

    What you experienced is quite common, yet the good news is that there are effective approaches available to help you deal with those situations constructively.
  3. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    I am still a bit confused on this, and I had another situation come up today.

    I have someone help me do the labor part of a saturday night gig (I do this gig every saturday). When I say help, I am paying them, so it's not out of the kindness of their heart lol. The previous person I had moved out of town so I've had someone fill in for him and he did the month of January. He was under the understanding that this was a weekly thing, and I told him to let me know as soon as he could if he could not make it one week.

    A few weeks ago he told me the days he could and could not amke it, so I found someone to fill in for him for the weeks he could not make it. One of the weeks he said he COULD do (this week), I texted him today to reconfirm and he said he couldnt make it. There was no apology or anything. I understand if something came up, but it's common courtesy to tell someone ahead of time, and not only that, but THEY should be the person to proactively tell you, not you finding out. So now I am in a bind because I don't have someone to do this part of the job. What stresses me more is this guy is seeming more and more unreliable so I'm wondering if I'm going to find a replacement or lose this job.

    How should I be reacting to this? This morning I asked him so far what his schedule was and what he told me it was. He has not replied back. I am planning on texting back tomorrow with a "..?"
    The thing is, part of me wants to tell him "hey that was messed up you should have told me" but the other part of me is thinking "maybe I should just be nice so I don't lose the help altogether"
    This is similar thinking to the situation that happened with the parking ticket I described above.
  4. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    "How should I be reacting to this?

    I have found our immediate emotional response is key to avoiding tension, thinking clearly, and making good decisions. To do that you need to turn problems into sources of energy and excitement. I do have a podcast by that title and hope to do a free online workshop soon.

    "The thing is, part of me wants to tell him "hey that was messed up you should have told me" but the other part of me is thinking "maybe I should just be nice so I don't lose the help altogether."

    This is the dilemma for most of us TMSers. I suggest working on your communication skills and assertiveness training. One of my clients who is a very caring mother of twoI never felt comfortable asserting herself when in a sales situation. Yet after following the strategies we practiced together she felt so confident that comfortably let the car salesman know exactly what price and options she wanted in a van she was buying without feeling anxious or guilty for asserting herself. She told me her husband could not believe how she handled it so smoothly.

    In the past, she would have walked in a dealership, knowing what she wanted but was unable to speak her mind with confidence. It is simply having the right approach and practicing it. As you do, you get better and more confident with asserting yourself while still being a nice and caring person.

    Most of us are made to feel guilty asking for what we need or want, feeling shame or guilt. It is amazing how most people care and are more than willing to help us meet our needs and wants if we only know how to express them.
  5. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    This is a good thread. I'm glad you brought this up and Fred is right it does take practice. When I first started my career I was a doormat and even if it wasn't my fault I would apologize. I've been reading a book called Self Compassion recommended on this site and this busy season at work has been going much better.
    First, I make sure I do my job and if I cannot do anything more and it still falls apart I have compassion for myself instead of others first. Then, I realize that they are putting me in a tough spot and it is very unfair.
    I think you should find another helper on saturdays. This guy doesn't seem to appreciate the opportunity to make money working for you. He should respect your time.
    Another thing I noticed in the way you describe your scenarios is that you are very lucky that you can think in those situations. I freeze and only can think of what I should have said later. You are really lucky. Fred gave some good pointers for those situations.
    Thanks for asking this question.
  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    "I freeze and only can think of what I should have said later."

    We should allow ourselves (self-compassion) different reactions and responses to different situations without being too critical. None of is perfect and reacts appropriately every time. It is the perfectionist in us that can be our worst critic.

    Learn new skills. Be flexible. Move forward.
    Ines likes this.

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