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How do you deal with anger? Do you let it out or keep it pent up? What’s better? Maybe Aristotle knew the answer. ‘Bits and Pieces’ with Celia Ianelli

bits and pieces
Here’s a little self-quiz:

Has someone repeatedly snapped at you?

Has anyone stepped over the line?

Has a pal passed snide remarks behind your back?

Has your job been downsized or eliminated?

Does your employer deserve the “ruthless boss of the millennium” award?

Did an inconsiderate driver cut you off?

Did your significant other grate on your last nerve?

Did things go wrong rendering you helpless?

Did your health give you a nasty surprise?

Does local or national politics leave you frustrated?

Can you relate to any of the above scenarios? Yes? I thought so.

One more question, I promise: Were you ever so angry that you wanted to scream? C’mon now, If you didn’t answer, “yes,” you are a candidate for sainthood!

When anger rears its head we see heart-attack red, right? Adrenaline kicks in and shifts into overdrive causing our muscles to twitch, bellies to do back flips and hearts to race at the speed of light. The need to find a bathroom may become overpowering.

Physiologists tell us that anger isn’t always bad; however, it must be channeled properly. Seriously? What we really want to do is “channel” our anger a tad differently: punching the wall, someone’s nose or kicking the poor cat seems preferable. But the physiologists are on the money.

Anger is a warning bell that something is amiss. When someone explodes in anger, it’s been simmering in the pot of life for a long time. And then, “bam” another ingredient is added, the pot boils over and we’re facing an ugly mess.

I’m no expert; I’ve been p…..- off many times! However, I’ve learned (not mastered) some time-honored strategies to bring it down a notch: Take a few deep breathes, count to ten, put a sock in it and walk away. Not easy; but the realization that it’s not worth the hassle is a great pain free option.

Many times anger is a stand-in for other emotions: frustration, hurt, loneliness and sadness. During a trying time in my life, I took a kick-boxing class. The instructor told us to kick with the image of someone in mind. Although skeptical, I followed his instructions and visualized my then boss. I was feeling “Brue Lee strong,” when unexpectedly, I experienced a complete meltdown.

It wasn’t my boss (although she deserved the ruthless boss award) instead, it was the tremendous loss that I had suffered. In a moment of truth, I recognized that I was damn angry; the next moment found me embarrassed by my outburst—bone marrow embarrassed.
The experts say that when we’re angry communication is paramount. After we’ve calmed down, we should express our feelings to the person who made us angry. But there’s a technique: “They” didn’t make us angry, what they “did” made us angry. (OK, we know “they” made us angry!)

Anger can motivate folks to listen to our concerns; it can prevent us from becoming doormats. Studies reveal that folks who suppress anger sometimes become depressed. One study suggested that couples who expressed anger constructively lived longer. (Yeah, but were they always fighting?)

Anger that’s directed at our local or national politicians is frustration taken to the max. It’s especially mind-boggling when our elected officials engage in damaging cronyism and brinkmanship. Blogging or writing to said politicians is an excellent way to vent. The best option? Vote them out of office!

Passive-aggressive folks who seethe in anger are hard to deal with, right? Masters of snarky remarks and avoiders of confrontation, when called to task, their stance is wide-eyed innocence. Our knee-jerk reaction may be to point a finger and say, “Yes, you!” But wait…when we point a finger, there are three fingers three fingers pointing back at us. Ah, me.

Aristotle put it this way: “Anybody can become angry, that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

Is anger good or bad? Beats me. But one thing is certain; anger sure as hell is tricky!

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Iannelli Celia hed 2013
Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker, enjoying a second career — in ‘retirement’ — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport with her husband Frank. {loadposition tab20}<br>{loadposition tab1}<br>

 

 

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Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in 'retirement' — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport.