Showing posts with label Anger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anger. Show all posts

January 29, 2019

How Some People Cope With Stress



Thought this was incredible. 

Someone opened up a "Rage Room" in Maryland. 

I know the atmosphere in D.C. is polarized and sort of toxic lately, and there is lot's of identity politics, obstruction, and even people hating on each other, but this really shows how things have degenerated.

And let's face it, it's not just the politics that people are stressed out about--how about stress from family, work, and bills.  We're on 24/7 these days and a lot of stress can build up in people that way. 

But now, people can actually pay money to go to into a room, wrap themselves in safety clothing, and spend their time smashing things. 

Almost like when they put crazy people in a padded room in a straight jacket and let them hit their heads against the wall for a while. 

In the Rage Room:

You can break 10 glass items for just $25!

Or throw in a medium printer in the starter pack and it's $35. 

You can even BYOB (Bring Your Own Breakables) and have at it for $15.

Group packages and even gift cards are available. 

Fun maybe, a little crazy for sure. ;-)
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January 7, 2019

No One Cares How You Feel

So parenting is not always an easy job. 

But it is one full of love and helping your kids. 

Sometimes, I remember listening to my kids say that they feel this or that and seeing that it was holding them back from accomplishing their goals.  

Often, I would tell them that the only people that really care about how they feel is your mother and father--but generally-speaking, it a tough world out there, and: 
"No one [else] cares about how you feel."

I tried to focus them--not on being cold and unfeeling--but rather on being strong inside and focusing on the tasks that need to get done. 

Sure, feelings are important, but if you are getting held back from doing what you need to do--then there are times when you need to put the feelings in abeyance and go forward. 

Overall, there is plenty of time to feel what you feel, but don't let anger, fear, or anxiety get in the way of you accomplishing your dreams. 

In a book that I am reading by Amos Oz, "A Tale of Love and Darkness," he writes: 
'I want' and 'I don't want' aren't reasons, they can only be defined as self-indulgence.

Yes, it's a little tough love, but also it is out of true love to help the kids to be willing and determined to try their best and not get held back by anything in the pursuit of the destiny they choose to follow. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 28, 2018

Breaking The Cycle Of Trauma

Thought these are some beautiful sentiments about breaking the cycle of trauma in our lives: 
"Hurt people hurt people. 
That's how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. 
Break the chain today. 
Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. 
Greet grimaces with smiles. 
Forgive and forget about finding fault. 
Love is the weapon of the future."
- Yehuda Berg, The Kabbalah Center

This is powerful--it should only be that we can have a complete healing, betterment, and a renewal of peace for all. 

One other thing that I heard that was so plain and simple, yet so smart was that:
Our job in this world is to do the most good that we can do!

Thank you to Minna Blumenthal for sharing all this.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 2, 2018

Something Better In Store For You

So I recently had what I thought was a big opportunity slip by me.

My first reaction was to be disappointed, upset, angry, and question why.

But then I remembered something I heard the other day:
"If something doesn't work out then it's because something even better is coming."

Wow, that's powerful!

Think about it...

What do we mortal human beings really know?

We think something is right for us--but only G-d really knows what the future will bring.

Perhaps with this or that thing that we think we so want, instead of joy and fulfillment, it's really just heartache or disaster in the waiting.

My father used to say and was so right about it:
"Better to cry now then to cry later." 

G-d loves us and has our best interests at heart--He saves us and has something better in store for us. 

My father also taught me:
"What can any man do to us when we have faith in G-d."

And he really lived that way!

He never worried about what any person or event could do to him--faith always protected him and even when he was sick and was dying, and I asked how he was, he told me:
"I have no pain." 

And I could see truly with his deep faith in the Almighty, he really did not feel any pain--it was amazing and miraculous!

Like my dear father, when I remember that G-d has the whole world in Hands, and He watches over us then my heart is uplifted and all I want to do is sing His praises, and that is what I will do. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 8, 2017

Is It I Don't or I Do?

Wow this was tough...

I was at a luncheon with some friends, including a couple we're friendly with that's been dating a while.  

At one point, the young man gets up to get some more food, and the young lady all of a sudden asks me, "Do you still live around here?"

I said "Yes, not far from here," and in turn asked whether she was still living in {blankty blank neighborhood}.

She said, "Yes, {and continues sort of out of the blue} and we're not going to live together until we get married."

I was sort of surprised at the turn that her answer took about their relationship, and innocently asked, "So does that mean you guys are planning on marriage then?"

Just then the man comes back and I must've been reading the tea leaves {and the ominous music for the laying of the trap starts playing in my head}...

Immediately, the young lady says to him before he even sits back down, "He's asking if we're getting married {and for some reason she's literally pointing at me or am I imaging that finger like a dagger coming out}!"

At this point, I think my eyes started to bug out a little as I must've had this look on my face like what the heck is going on here. 

But if this isn't going bad enough {what in G-d's name did I walk into with this?)...

This older lady across the table, starts blurting out loudly saying, "How would you like if she ends up with another guy?!!!"

Holy sh*t {where is that coming from now?)!

The guy next to me is obviously at the point of fury {I can't say that I fully blame him}, and he packs up his stuff and sort of storms off from the table.

The young women is still there trying to make conversation as if this whole thing just somehow didn't happen. 

But it did and it was pretty ugly!

The older lady {not stopping--this is madness} then chimes in again and says, "Look at what he did, he stormed off--if I were you, I would just drop him!"

We're all sort of sitting there in complete shock now. 

Pulling for a straw to somehow make this scene go away, I ask the young lady, "Should I go out and see if I can speak with him?"

She's shakes her head and says, "No. We're almost done {done--in what way...?}!"

Within a couple of minutes, we excused ourselves and headed out--sort of not believing how this whole scene went down. 

One thing I can tell you is do not get ANYWHERE near people and their relationships--there are a whirlwind of just under the surface feelings, agendas, and finger-pointing ready to take flight and eradicate everything in the vicinity of ground zero. 

Anyway, I hope everything works out okay for this couple...they actually do seem really nice together.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 5, 2017

The Key Is Calm

So what happens to most of us when we experience the stresses, disappointments, and conflicts in life?

We feel...

- Angst

- Anger

- Upset

- Frustrated

- Murderous at times

We even question, "Why me?"

But none of this helps.

In fact, it just makes things worse.

Because we compound our life challenges with more problems in how we react!

What should we do instead?

The key is to remain calm, cool, collected, and composed. 

Don't get rattled, disjointed, and out of whack over anything or anybody. 

These are all tests in life.

They are all fleeting. 

G-d is watching us and seeing if we have faith in him.

When you remember the creator and sustainer of all life then you can rise above the adversity before you.

Go beyond the superficial.

Experience the world beyond the earthly bounds of time and space. 

See the larger picture.

Breath deeply...a sigh of relief. 

There is nothing to be upset about that G-d can't make right for you. 

Face the challenges with a clear head, a brave heart, and follow your conscience.

Act with determination to speak out and right the wrongs you encounter. 

Remember, you are one with G-d and the universe, and all will be for the good. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 29, 2016

Compassion Instead Of Anger

So I was speaking to someone recently about how angry they were with some stressful things and people in their life. 

I listened carefully and tried to empathize--also in full transparency, it got to be a lot and I at some point was begging them to stop!

At one point, I just said, instead of being angry maybe try to be compassionate. 

And I could see in other person's reaction that they thought perhaps that I had hit on something a little eye-opening here. 

We can get angry about all the stresses and injustices that we perceive in our lives. 

People blame us, attack us, don't appreciate us, talk down to us, disrespect us, even bully us or try to hurt us.

Also life throws some pretty stinging to earth-shattering circumstances upon us.

And maybe we have every right to feel angry.

But usually the anger, unless we need the adrenaline-rush in fighting for our survival and for our core beliefs and values, doesn't help us achieve what we really want. 

What we want most of the time is to resolve things!

But getting angry and lashing out often only makes things worse. 

We act rashly, we overreact, we say and do things we may regret afterwards, and the consequences of our reaction can be severe to us afterwards in terms of alienating and harming others, escalating the situation and making it worse, creating hurt and destruction in our own wake, and even losing jobs or getting yourself in trouble and sent to the pokey.

If instead of getting angry and flinging arrows, we look at things from eyes of compassion, we can listen to others more carefully, understand the situation better, and try to rectify bad relationships or cope with stressful life events by employing emotional intelligence and a soft hand/skills. 

This is not to say that we should excuse really bad behavior or truly unforgivable misdeeds, but rather that we should look at things in a larger context, the role we play, and as part of our our life challenges to make things better and overcome.

Anger and the associated response is appropriate when the little devil is doing their misdeeds (lashing out severely and/or repeatedly with harm and intent), but compassion can help to see everything else for what it is or isn't and gives us an opportunity to react with a level head, a stable hand, and humanity as a first resort. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 29, 2015

Why Yell And Intimidate The Child?

So at the table next to us this morning at breakfast was a mean looking lady and a fidgety young child. 

The lady as we found out over the course of their dialogue was the child's grandmother. 

And she wouldn't stop berating this kid, maybe 5-years old. 

Grandmother: "Don't you dare get up from the table until I'm done with my coffee, [and then this weird chilling] thank you."

Child: Obviously looking to run around and have some fun, "But I just want to go."

Grandmother:  Who has finished her breakfast and coffee and is just making a continuing point, "You'll wait until I'm done, and I say we're ready, [and again, the long controlling pause and then] thank you."

Child: "I'm tired."

Grandmother: "Then you'll go upstairs, get back into bed and go to sleep, and no tv, just sleep--you will not move!"

Child: Looks up helplessly sad.

Grandmother: Now the truth starts to come out, "You know I don't like the way you treat you mother. Your disrespectful! And that won't go with me."

Child: Appears to not really understand what she is saying and legs dangle anxiously off the chair, but clearly very afraid to get up.

Grandmother: "You'll learn to be respectful to your mother. You will learn!"

Child: Head leaning sideways on table, says nothing. 

Grandmother: Makes child wait some more and more, and finally, "Now we can go."

Child: Child picks head up and runs to take her hand. 

Grandmother: Sneers and smirks with her power over the child--she looks like a freakin' witch. 

Whole scene was sort of heartbreaking. 

My wife and I look at each other, and shake our heads.

This was not teaching or loving, but something else and it wasn't normal or nice. 

I say, "Perhaps, when a child is abused this way--day after day, year after year--this is why they grow up and then do horrible and hateful things."

It's amazing how adults take out their issues on children--and they think it's legit--but deep down you can see it really isn't--and the children and society pays for the sins of the adults. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 28, 2015

What's Your Vice?

So no one is perfect.

And no matter how outwardly pious the person, everyone inwardly has some hidden (or not so) vice or excess that they must learn to tame.

Here's a top 23 list:

Substance Abuse
1) Cigarettes
2) Alcohol
3) Drugs

Greed
4) Food
5) Money (e.g. gambling, hoarding)
6) Materialism (e.g. homes, cars, boats, planes, jewels, clothes, etc.)

Obsessive Compulsive
7) Work
8) Sex
9) Popularity (e.g. talking, partying)
10) Religion 
11) Sport
12) Control

Anger
13) Violence
14) Abuse (e.g. verbal, emotional, physical)
15) Rape 

Callous
16) Indifference
17) Tardiness
18) Laziness

Egotistical
19) Selfish
20) Boastful

Crooked
21) Lying
22) Cheating
23) Stealing

Think about the people you know--love 'em or hate 'em--and is there anyone that doesn't have one of these to some extent or another?

And for those of you wondering, my vice is, of course, pizza! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2014

Heaven To Look Forward To

Took the family today to see the movie Heaven Is Real.

We were all crying like babies, including me. 


Loved it!


When the boy has a near-death experience (NDE) and sees heaven, he comes back with stories about it being like here but more beautiful, where everyone is young, and relatives long gone hug him.


In heaven, there is no hate or fear--only love. 


It was eye-opening, when his father, a pastor, goes to the hospital to say the last prayers with a dying man and the pastor asks, "Do you have any regrets?" and the old man answers, "I regret everything!"


While living for our selfish satisfaction and fun may be great for a moment's high, it is certainly not a life of meaning and purpose--and will not open the gates of heaven to us. 


That life is hard is portrayed in the movie--with loss, physical hurt, and financial hardships.


But when these are viewed in the bigger picture as tests in life for us to overcome in order to merit a heaven that awaits us--perhaps this gives us some added perspective. 


In the movie, as in real life, there are those who are angry at others and G-d for what they lost, and it is our challenge to replace that anger with understanding, forgiveness, and love of each other and the Almighty. 


Regretting everything is tragic, but probably not that unrealistic for many of us...particularly in a world where we constantly strive for our individualized versions of perfection. 


In the end, I think our failures weigh on us and it's challenging to see past them to appreciate our successes as well--in whatever measure we've achieved them.


Let's face it, it is not easy to maintain 100% purity of heart amidst a world of lust, envy, and sin--but that should not take away from us constantly trying. 


Heaven awaits--even the imperfect. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 9, 2014

Shout, Let It All Out or Shut Up and Take 10

I like this photo..."I don't know what we're yelling about!!"

On one hand, some people may yell out of frustration or anger--because they feel terribly wronged or even abused by someone else (i.e. they feel a "righteous anger").

On the other hand, others may yell because they are mentally unstable or just can't handle their sh*t (i.e. "they are losing it").

Some may yell like in martial arts training to scare the other person and get them to back off. I remember someone telling me back in NYC that if you're about to be attacked, start to talk to yourself, act crazy, foam at the mouth, and yell...this way maybe they will leave you alone (i.e. "they'll look for an easier target"). 

While some studies are saying that yelling is becoming less of a problem, the sheer number of articles on this topic tell a different story. From yelling at your children to yelling at your employees, the yelling phenomenon is alive and well.

Parents are yelling more, maybe to avoid spanking, which is now more a social taboo. Studies show that 75% of parents scream at their kids about once a month--this includes shouting, cursing, calling them "lazy," "stupid," or otherwise belittling and blaming them. The problem is that yelling only makes the kids depressed, angrier, and creates more behavioral problems, not less. 

In this way, shouting at children is no different than physically abusing them (e.g. hitting, pushing, etc.)

Similarly, when superiors or customers scream at employees, the workers feel they are in an out of control situation where they are powerless. There are numerous negative impacts that this has on them, including problems with memory, reduced creativity, worse performance, and higher turnover rates. 

While some people may not resort to actual yelling in the workplace, they instead do "silent yelling--sending flaming emails, making faces or otherwise denigrating employees or simply marginalizing them. In other words, they don't yell, but rather are silent and deadly, nonetheless. 

Businessweek quotes Rahm Emanuel about how he motivates people, "Sometimes--I don't want to say scream at them--but you have to be...forceful."

Rather than yell or scream, the common advice is to bring it down--way down--using measures from taking a deep breath to meditating, counting to ten or waiting 24 hours before responding, describing how you feel to focusing on problem-solving.

The key is to calm down, act with your brains not your brawn, and figure out how to get to the root cause of the problem and solve it. 

People may raise their voice to vent or make a point, in the heat of the moment, or if they are being personally attacked, but in general, as it says in Ethics of Our Fathers, "Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations." ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Soukup)
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January 17, 2014

China's Dangerous Socioeconomic Malaise

Fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal today on China's "Left Behind Kids."

While we hear about China as the rising Asian economic powerhouse, we do not often contemplate the socioeconomic impact of what is occurring there on Chinese families. 

As China rises to economic superpower status, more than 250 million migrant workers pour from the poor rural parts of China to the cities to supply the  relatively cheap labor to keep manufacturing humming and the economy brimming with growth.

Those left behind are 61 million Chinese children, who are growing up without one or both parents. 

One in five Chinese children haven't seen their parent(s) for at least 3 months.

But laws in China prevent children from coming to the cities with their parents in order to stem the flow of migration from rural areas. 

Chinese parents are saying, "We'll go wherever we can get the highest pay,"

Children are saying, "What's the big deal of having no mother anyway? I can grow up without a mom."

So while smog and pollution is spoiling beautiful China cities and harming people's physical health, the greater concern is that children are missing out on the loving, bonding, caring, and guidance that comes with a regular parental presence and good sound parenting from them. 

Understanding that strong parent-child relationships are critical to the formation of mental, emotional, and spiritual health of the children, the numbers and severity of Chinese children that are missing out on this is of great concern. 

While some children may be okay under the care of able grandparents along with regular visits or calls by parents, many others children, who don't have this, could end up having serious mental and emotional problems.

Already "more than 70% of children in rural China show signs of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression."

And as is often the case, anxiety and depression turn into resentment and anger.

With tens of millions of left behind children being forced to fend for themselves and hundreds of millions of migrant parents living in "dormitories, tents, or bomb shelters" away from their families and homes, what we have here is a bonafide socioeconomic ticking time bomb. 

Political pundits often point to the concern of China's power elite that the people will rise up against them and the Communist Party,
but I think the far bigger concern is to those outside of the system altogether. 

In my mind, the destruction of the core family will ultimately result in a tsunami of frustration, anger, and a weakening of social values.

Moreover, this  could very well spillover and lead to a dangerous rise of militancy, where people do not want to lash out against their political system or leadership, but rather against everyone else who took the goods that left them economically richer, but poorer in just about every other way. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 25, 2013

Less With Less

This was a funny picture of a "Complaint Jar".

"All complaints must be written on $1.00 bills or larger. Thank you."

Hey, if you're going to complain, put your money where you mouth is. 

The person on the receiving end isn't looking for more negativity and insults about the job they are doing--they want compliments and tips!

This is similar to a story I heard today about an executive where he and his team where stretched thin and stressed out.

So at one point, when he was once again asked to do more with less, he slams his fist on the table and says, "No, we are going to do less with less!"

It is interesting that nationally and in our organizations, we are constantly asked to increase productivity, but at the same tighten our belts. 

And in the short to intermediate term, we are able to shed "dead weight" and become more efficient.

However, over the longer-term, there does come a breaking point, where trying to do more with less results not in cutting fat, but in cutting bone--and the stress ends up in a fracture. 

Before you know it, fists are slamming on desks, absenteeism is going up, people are getting sick, fights--verbal and otherwise--are breaking out at work, poor decisions are being made, fighting for scarce resources become fierce, and collaboration becomes overt warfare, and perhaps, even someone commits suicide or "goes postal."

Cutting for efficiency can work up to a point, after that all bets are off and you cut at your own and your organization's risk--then even the complaint jar or suggestion box will be nothing but a broken marquee. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 1, 2013

Panera Bread and The Disabled Man

So how many of you have seen the ABC show "What Would You Do?" hosted by John Quinones.

The show is a little like "Candid Camera," which ran for over 5 decades, in which a practical joke was played out on people with a hidden camera capturing their reactions. Then when the joke was over, the people would be told "Smile, you're on Candid Camera."

The new show "What Would You Do?" is similar in that a scenario is played out with a hidden camera, but rather than a joke, people are tested with illegal or unjust situations to see what they would do and whether they would speak up for the victim? It is a test of character and conviction. And at the end of the scenario, Quinones and the cameras are revealed. 

I was reminded of this show yesterday, when I was in at Panera Bread and at the table next to me was a disabled man in a scooter--hunched over and not looking too well. 

At one point, the disabled man leaves the table for a moment to get something to eat or go to the bathroom, perhaps.

In the meantime, another man comes over and takes his table. When the disabled man in the scooter returns and asks for his table back, the other man simply ignores him (intentionally) and keeps eating as if the diasabled man wasn't even there. 

The kicker here was that the disabled man could not really sit anymore else as this particular table had the extra room around it that he needed to get his scooter in at.

The disabled man put his head down and just shook his head in disbelief that the other man wouldn't let him sit back at the table. 

The man eating his sandwich finally says, "No one was here--this is my table!"

At this point, I couldn't stand seeing this poor man suffer anymore, and I said "He was sitting there, the whole time, and just left for a moment." To which, I thought this whole "misunderstanding" between the men would be resolved.

But I was wrong!

The man eating his sandwich at the table then shakes his head and nods his shoulders indicating that he just didn't care and too bad on the disabled man. 

In turn, I offered the disabled man our table and that we would move instead, but he refused and just waited for the other man to do the right thing. 

At this point both myself and my wife and the people sitting on the other side of the man try to intervene and ask that he please give the disabled man his table back, where he had been sitting, so he could finish his meal.

Then, the man at the table slams his fist down and starts cursing us all out, loudly. 

My wife got up to get the store manager, and while she does this the man finally moves to another table pushing an empty chair at us. 

I couldn't help thinking how this was like the show "What Would You Do?"--but this was real life and this horrible man was no actor!  

And John Quinones did not appear to interview everyone after and have a few laughs. Instead, we were saddened by how some people can be so cruel to others and I was reminded by something I had read from Voltaire that stated that "every person is guilty of all the good he didn't do."

My hope is that whatever hurt this person had in their life that would cause them to treat others this way is healed and that they can find in their heart to have mercy on others and help them rather than get angry and spiteful--there are more tables to eat at and the food is just as good over there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 9, 2012

Feeling Groovy


Who_cares
It was interesting, I was reading about how humans have six universal emotions.

These emotions are considered largely involuntary responses to stimuli, and they are:
  • Anger
  • Happiness
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Surprise
As I thought about these out of the six emotions, only happiness is the straight out good one. Hey, who doesn't want to be happy (maybe only an ascetic, but that's because they parodoxically get a type of happiness out of being unhappy)? 

Then, I thought about surprise and that is sort of a toss up--it can be a good surprise or a bad one. Most of the time, people don't like surprises and would rather have an element of control over what is coming, when, and how. So I would throw surprises in the you can keep it pile. 

And while the other four emotions--anger, fear, sadness, and disgust--may be helpful at times (in protecting us physically and emotionally), they all have negative connotations and implications. 

Anger usually means someone has hurt or slighted us. Fear impies that that there is something dangerous or scary to be feared out there. Sadness is the opposite of happiness, so it's a non-starter. And disgust is attributed to something vile or revolting and is usually something we want to get away from as quickly as possible. 

So, six primary human emotions and only one--happiness--makes us feel--happy!

Thinking about emotions as colors, we can feel blue (sad) or fiery red (anger), what about green (with envy)?  Uh, wonder why this emotion was missing from the list, but I would add it as number seven for universal emotions. 

Unfortunately, envy means we feel less than or jealous of the next person, so this is another one that doesn't make us feel very good. 

Maybe then expectations for how much happiness in life we should or can have should be tempered knowling there are six others to keep us busy and feeling--other things. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 13, 2012

Let People Feel

Dr. Ben Bissell has a terrific presentation on Managing Change and
Transitions.

Basically Bissell explains that when we face Significant Emotional Events (SEEs)--major life changes (personally in our lives or professionally)--we go through 5 stages:

- Shock (i.e. Denial)--I Can't Believe it!

- Emotions (e.g. Anger)--How could this happen to me?

- Bargaining--Do we have to do it today?

- Depression (i.e. grief)---I can't take it anymore!

- Acceptance--1) Intellectual--If that's what they want! 2) Emotional--Ride the train or be run over by it.

When we have major life change, we can experience loss in terms of control, influence, respect, freedom, security, identity, competence, direction, relationship and resources--in essence, we are forced out of our comfort zone and must transition.

Since according to Biseell "all change produces loss (and fear), and all loss must be grieved, it is understandable why these stages of transition track to the Kubler-Ross model of the 5 stages of grief.

Bissell explains that getting through these stages is not quick and takes a minimum of one and a half years to make it all the way through the 5 stages--during which time, it's normal to feel abnormal. 

The problem is when you get stuck in one of these five stages, then you either:

- Get burned out and quit

- Act out and get difficult

- Become sick, physically or emotionally (e.g. migraines, chronic depression, etc.)

Some ways we can help people get through changes is to:

- Recognize and accept that these stages are normal and necessary.

- Give people a safe place to vent their feelings (i.e. low morale = unresolved anger).

- Increase information flow--when people are undergoing severe life change, you need to counter the tendency for distorted perceptions and help them see where they are going and how they will get there.

- Maintain other elements of stability and familiarity in the person's life--this gives comfort.

- Protect your health--your body, your breathing, your pace of eating and living, and your sleep.

- Give yourself time and space to play, be silly, be foolish, unwind (or else you will pop).

Bissell recognizes that the pace of change is continually increasing and "technology is seeing to that."

Therefore, there is an increased urgency to help people deal with change in healthy ways--working through the stages of transition.

However, from my perspective, when people suffer huge losses in their lives, they never really get over it. The loss is always there, even if it's just behind the scenes rather than out front like the first year or so.

When it comes to loss, people can experience enormous pain, which gets engraved in their consciousness and memories, and we should not expect them to just get over it.

In other words, it's okay to incorporate feelings of loss and grief into who we are--it is part of us and that is nothing to run from or fear. 

Just like good events can having lasting positive impacts in our lives, so do severe disruptions and grief.

People will progress and continue to heal, but they will always feel what they feel--good and bad--and we should never take that away from them.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to LiquidNight)

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September 2, 2012

From Coworker to Killer

People are people, but there are some who walk a fine and dangerous line. 

Some are stable, rational people--those, that we hope we can depend on. 

Others are prime time wack jobs--they are not "safe" and everyone knows to beware of them.

Finally, there are those who are like firecrackers, one step away from explosion--and these can pose a nasty surprise. 

These last two perhaps invoke the fear of someone in the workplace "going postal"--a reference to the 1986 killing by a postal worker of 14 people and then himself. 

In light of the workplace shooting this week in front the Empire State Building, Newsweek (3 September 2012) asks "How to Spot a Workplace Crazy?"

Their default answer--see the Department of Homeland Security's Active Shooter Booklet, which includes a list of 16 "indicators of potential violence by an employee" (page 10) from addiction to depression, over reactions to mood swings, unprovoked rage to paranoia, and more. 

Perhaps, their more genuine answer is that anybody can be the next workplace shooter--and that it is hard to really tell what demons lay in wait inside a person's head or heart or what can set them off.  

They reference  the book, Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion, which states: "it can be anybody who's getting completely screwed in the workplace--so that's most workers in this country." 

When people feel a "perceived injustice" or they are "grievance collectors"--harboring hurt and anger at their mistreatment day-in and -out, they may be one step away from dangerous. 

As leaders and managers, we cannot control for everything that people feel or for all their personal struggles and life's circumstances, but we can do our best to treat others fairly, with compassion, to listen to them, and try to accomodate genuine needs.  

I was reminded of this again, recently, when I went with my daughter to a car dealership.  At one point in negotiating for a new automobile, I asked a question about the current odometer reading.  

The Manager yells over to a worker and tells him harshly to get on it and quickly.  It wasn't what he said per se, but how he said it--ordering his subordinate around like a thing, not like a person.  

My daughter turns to me and she is clearly uncomfortable with what she saw.  I asked her about it.  And she whispers to me, "Did you see how they treated the worker? It's not right." 

I couldn't agree with her more. And when the man came back with the information--we thanked him so much for helping us and told him what a good job he was doing getting everything ready--the paperwork and the vehicle.  

Is he going to "go postal" today, tomorrow, or never...I don't know--he seemed nice enough, but if people get pushed too far and their mental state is frayed, anything is possible, and we shouldn't tempt fate--more importantly, we should treat everyone with respect and dignity. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Charlie Essers)

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April 8, 2012

Poisons Anonymous

One of the Buddhist teachings is that there are 3 poisons in this world: greed, anger, and ignorance

But that by turning these poisons around into generosity, compassion, and wisdom, we can create life-healing. 

While this is sort of simplistic, it does point to a number of important things:

1) We can have an impact on our destiny. We can choose our direction and work towards something that is good or we can fall harmfully into some bad and destructive ways.

2) Everything has an antidote.  While we may not know the antidote at the time, generally everything has its corollary or opposite and we can find healing by moving towards that. 

3) The answers in life are not so far away. How much of a stretch is it to turned a clenched fist into an open hand or to quench ignorance with learning--these things are doable.

If we look at people and events at face value, it is easy as times to get angry and feel hatred at the corruption and injustices out there--but I believe, the key is to channel those feeling into something positive--into change and Tikkun Olam--"fixing the world". 

By channeling our feelings into constructive actions, then we are changing not just ourselves, but can have a broader influence--one deed at a time.  

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 19, 2011

What Arms and Legs Can't Touch

Unbelievable video of Nick Vujicic coaching people to believe in themselves.

The catch is that Nick himself is missing all four limbs.

Yet he shows how he can--without arms and legs--run, boat, dive, fish, water slide, play soccer, golf, and much more.

I love when he says with conviction:

- "Forget about what you don't have. Be grateful for what you do have."

- Don't be angry at your life and at others.

- You are worthwhile and you are beautiful.

- You have the strength to conquer.

I am inspired--no, I am amazed--by this human being.

Sometimes, like now, when I see such courage and strength, I wonder how people do it!

Life is so challenging even when we have all our limbs and faculties...

I think that G-d must give a special gift to these people so they can inspire others and be role models for us.

So that when times are tough, we can remember them and be elevated to break our own barriers and limitations.


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