We often mistakenly interpret anger to mean we did something wrong … learn the true meaning.
I was working with a person recently, and realized that she had developed a terrible belief about herself through a simple misinterpretation. Her parents couldn't get her to do what they wanted, so they yelled, cried, and even sent her to boarding school.
After she shared this story, she said, "So what does that say about me?" She misinterpreted this all too common experience as meaning something about her. "I am a problem, hurtful … I am bad."
My more accurate interpretation was that her parents didn't have the resources to get what they want. I actually felt sympathy for these poor parents … alienating and hurting their sweet children … they must have been in tremendous pain.
My patient shared further that she (as an adult) apologized for the strain she contributed to. Her mother actually said something like, "Well, it's about time … you were a terrible pain." Oh, that poor woman! Can you imagine the stress of never learning how to get what you want!?
Here she is, in the twilight of her life, still a victim to her daughter. That is so sad to me.
It is also sad that she left her daughter with a belief … perhaps an identity … of being bad … a pain. This belief has created great difficulty in her life as well. She didn't make the same mistake of making her children feel bad about themselves … she tried to make them feel good.
When you try to please someone or "fix" their pain or problems, they become inconsiderate. And now this patient has raised children who she can't get what attention from, because they are used to getting their way.
Here is the simple rule and truth I teach my children. If you are upset with the person in front of you, you are not understanding how to get what you want … start by telling them what you want. If the person in front of you is upset with you, they do not understand how to get what they want … start by asking them what they want.
Anger and upset is the problem and responsibility of the person who is angry or upset … NOT the other way around. Anger and upset directed at you means that person is struggling to get what they want … NOT that you are bad, hurtful, or anything else.
If you are angry or upset with someone, take responsibility for your upset, and begin seeking resources to more effectively get what you want. One such resource is our video series … "How to Get Your Kids to Do What You Want without Yelling!" We cover holding boundaries and rules, transitions, overcoming defiance, interrupting, incessant asking for something, anxiety, and more …
You will get unique and innovative approaches to getting what you want … no punishing, no pleasing! Check it out here! If you would like more tips and strategies to take control and increase your happiness, sign up for my Free Newsletter, "Healing Me!"
Dr. Stone practices Integrated Natural Medicine using a Five Element approach to identify your negative patterns of body and spirit. His practice is located in beautiful Asheville, NC, with people driving 3+ hours for his hands on care. If you are in the vicinity and want to see Dr. Stone to increase your health and happiness, or are not in the region and want to see "health coaching" options, visit his practice here.