Posts tagged ‘value’

April 4, 2011

Women and anger

by Dandy

The past couple of weeks I’ve received a few emails from women concerning my post on Boundary Lessons.  This has created some lively discussion on women’s issues, anger, betrayal, forgiveness, expression.  So I’ve been asked to write about this topic some more. 

There was a rough patch in my life awhile ago that caused me to have some serious anger issues.  I didn’t like experiencing  that emotion and sought out counseling and read many, many books about the subject.  I would like to share some of the tools I’ve learned. 

Know your triggers

For most women, our triggers are around issues of power, justice, and responsibility.  We  become angry when we cannot meet our own expectations, when we cannot change frustrating circumstances from work or home, and being treated unfairly or disrespectfully.

The self-esteem factor

Venting anger is even more harmful than keeping it in.  Labels like bitch, shrew, ball-buster mean to undermine self-esteem.   To enhance self-esteem people need to feel loveable, and competent, and venting anger does neither of these.  Having low-self esteem makes people more likely to be easily provoked and to express their anger in volatile ways.  When we are angered we  tend to regard innocent acts and words as personal affronts, further undermining self-esteem. 

Another counterproductive response to anger (this one was so me) is a tendency to ruminate and brood about the precipitating event, construing it as unfair and deliberately provoking said rumination only worsened angry feelings.

When we have high self-esteem we have fewer anger symptoms and are much less likely to brood about the events that provoke anger.  We also have a less propensity to become angry or to keep anger in, or to vent it. 

Rather than suppressing anger or negatively expressing it, women with high self-esteem tend to discuss their anger in a problem solving way, either with a confidante, or with the person who provoked it, or both.

Women with high self-esteem also do not have to busy themselves with protecting a fragile sense of self, but can identify the salient aspects of the anger producing situation and approach it from a problem solving stance.

Women who suppress their anger also suffer from low self-esteem, because they’d allowed themselves to be treated as doormats or punching bags.  Occasionally after prolonged suppression, their anger would erupt in a way that was out of proportion to the triggering event, making  them feel guilty and worthless, further lowering self-esteem( this was me too).

 

The difference between venting and expressing

*Analyse what makes you angry with out walking around it.  Without blaming or reaching for complaints.  Recognize it.  Validate it by writing it down. 

*Admit your anger, feel it out.  Exercise, yell into a pillow.  Go running.  Tear apart old phone books. Depending on the intensity of the emotion this may not always be necessary, some may prefer to draw, paint, or write in a journal.  Expressing anger in this way is so positive and healthy, and it is not venting out, hurting people.  Regardless of whether or not they make sense our feelings are an essential part of who we are – no longer allow repression.  With expression there is no room for it!

* Understand the deeper meaning.  Once you’ve allowed yourself to really feel it and you are aware of where or who it has been directed to.  There is almost always another feeling behind anger. 

* Set boundaries!  Plan ahead.  Say what you want.  Hold yourself responsible for your own happiness.

* Know your limits.  Recognize those triggers.  Find the roots of them.

* Value yourself and forgive.  Forgive others for not always getting it right.  Forgive yourself.

On a side note, any emails sent to me will absolutely, positively be private.  I do not share emails or names, and do not discuss private conversation with anyone, ever.  Privacy is a huge issue for me!  If there is anything you would like to discuss or comment on in private please email me at thereflectiveself@hotmail.com

February 7, 2011

Self-gratitude

by Dandy

With so much emphasis on gratitude and how it positively affect our lives, I would like to focus on self-gratitude.  When we have self-gratitude, we can appreciate ourselves without any outside influence.  It can be difficult to do, but it is one of the most powerful things we will ever do.

There are so many wonderful books and articles that focus on self-improvement.  There is only one thing that makes the advice and tools work or not – the user.  It’s how the user feels about themself that will determine if the self-improvement technique will work.  That is the key to positive change.  Gratitude is a powerful attitude that will bring results and self-gratitude can change everything about your life. 

We all play the “lets beat ourselves up” game.  We replay over in our heads the mistakes we made, regrets we have.  We tell ourselves we’re not good enough.  It is a self-defeating cycle that is heart breaking.  So learning self-gratitude requires that we begin to appreciate ourselves where we are less than satisfied with our choices.  It’s time to give ourselves a break already

One way to do that is to write out a done list.  Not the things we need to do, but have already done for ourselves.  We are the most important person in our lives. If we fail to recognize the things we do for ourselves, we will be discounting our value.

Always start by being grateful for what is.  If we make ourselves a delicious breakfast, acknowledge and feel the gratitude.  Write down everything on the list that we’ve done for ourselves, even if it’s finishing the laundry.  Also the needed time to refocus and recharge and let the gratitude felt, spread to the other things we do.

Eventually we’ll see our done lists get longer and longer.  The magic that happens from having self-gratitude is we will find that we get better at the things we do.  As we start to have more appreciation for ourselves there will be less and less beating ourselves up. 

As we write our life done list and our daily done list we can get creative and even crazy.  No one else needs to see the lists.  We will shine in our own excellence.

 

November 2, 2010

Boundaries for good health

by Dandy

There are great advantages to having boundaries.  We need to have them with everyone and everything.  Having boundaries makes it difficult or even impossible for us to be mistreated, taken advantage of, walked on, and abused.  Having boundaries shows that we respect ourselves and place great value on our self-worth.

When we have boundaries, we aren’t overly accommodating.  We can recognize when something doesn’t feel right, or when something feels wrong.  We know the point of when to say ENOUGH.  People with boundaries can take appropriate action when needed.

When we have established our boundaries we get along better with friends, co-worker, neighbors, relatives, and partners.  We discover what our values are and what our value is.  It’s about knowing what we are willing to accept and what we aren’t and we commit ourselves to it.  That way when people cross our boundaries (and unfortunately some will) we become empowered with the signal that something isn’t right and that action needs to be taken. 

When we do not accept the crossing of our boundaries, we give attention to our basic gut instinct that keeps us safe, physically and emotionally.  In keeping our boundaries strong we say no to those whose behaviour is unacceptable and inappropriate.  We are saying we value ourselves.

Having boundaries is one of the most healthy things we can do for ourselves.  Some of the most critical mistakes I’ve made in my own life have been when I allowed my boundaries to be crossed and I suffered needlessly for it.  Having boundaries doesn’t turn us into hard s.o.b.’s.  It doesn’t mean we aren’t flexible to people and life challenges.

If you need a place to start in figuring out your boundaries, look at past relationships, professional and personal.  Look at what did and didn’t work.  In doing this you can start to define what you can put up with and what you cannot.  All relationships must have deal breakers.  Write them down, put it up where you can review it often and adjust yourself to your new set of values.  This is the road to self-esteem, healthy relationships, and self-worth.

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