Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anger: what is it good for?

Anger is one of those emotions especially for me as a woman, that feels like a big no-no.  Good girls are supposed to be sweet, nice, and accommodating.  And if we get mad (which we all do) heaven forbid we let anyone know about it!

Recently I picked up my copy of "The Dance of Anger" by Harriet Lerner and found some great quotes I wanted to share today.  Because the truth is that we all get angry.  It's a normal emotion.  I'm trying to view it more in terms of an important signal to pay attention to in myself.  Hopefully if I can figure out what's really behind the emotion, I can make positive changes in myself to address potential problems and I can avoid becoming Betty Draper!

"Feeling angry is neither right nor wrong, legitimate or illegitimate.  We have a right to everything we feel"
~Harriet Lerner

"We are responsible for our own behavior.  But we are not responsible for other people's reactions;  nor are they responsible for ours.  Women often learn to reverse this order of things:  We put our energy into taking responsibility for other people's feelings, thoughts, and behavior and hand over to others responsibility for our own.  When this happens, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, for the old rules of a relationship to change."
~Harriet Lerner

Again, I am responsible for my own behavior but I'm not responsible for other people's reactions --- so good!  It puts the focus squarely in my court and forces me to pay attention to what I can change, because I can't change or control other people.  Nope, I can't.

On a lighter note, I think Betty could have benefited from reading "The Dance of Anger".  She seems to have some pent up anger that explodes in quite dramatic fashion from time to time....

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