This blog contains the handout from Gloria Namkung, PWN’s speaker for November 2016. Her topic was “Anger: A Cost/Benefit Analysis.
At the moment you become angry you tend to believe that your misery has been created by another person. You blame him or her for all your suffering. But by looking deeply, you may realize that the seed of anger in you is the main cause of your suffering. Many other people, confronted with the same situation, would not get angry like you. They hear the same words, they see the same situation, and yet they are able to stay calm and not be carried away. Whey do you get angry so easily? You may get angry very easily because your seed of anger is too strong. And because you have not practiced the methods of taking good care of your anger, the seed of anger has been watered too often in the past.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger
Anger is fuel. We feel it and we want to do something. Hit someone, break something, throw a fit, smash a fist into the wall, tell those bastards. But we are nice people, and what we do with our anger is stuff it, deny it, bury it, block it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, muffle it, ignore it. We do everything but listen to it. Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice, a shout , a plea, a demand…We are meant to use anger as a fuel to take the actions we need to move where our anger moves us. With a little thought, we can usually translate the message that our anger is sending us.
Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
People with a health attitude concerning anger understand the difference between constructive and destructive anger. Anger is constructive when your anger expression affirms and acknowledges your integrity and boundaries without intending to threaten or violate another person’s integrity or boundaries. Destructive anger is when your expression of anger is defensive and rigid attempt to protect your vulnerability and boundaries by intending to threaten or violate another’s integrity and boundaries (whether the intention is conscious or not.) If you have a healthy relationship with anger, you have learned how to transform anger from a weapon that wounds others and yourself to a tool that promotes understanding and healthy change in relationships. Anger is most constructive when it is used to solve a problem, rather than merely to prove a point or vent your feelings.
Beverly Engel, Honor Your Anger
One of my pet peeves is how widely the option of catharsis has been accepted. People think they will feel better by “getting it all out” or even that a hockey game is a release for their aggression. Aggression begets aggression. People are better off taking a deep breath and counting to ten than “venting” their hostilities.
Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D. professor at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine
People are disturbed not by things, but by the views they take of them.
Epictetus, Stoic philosopher
There’s nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.