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Archive for the ‘Anger’ Category

I am sure that we have all come across people who are so closed minded or unsmart (I know that is not a real word but I really don’t like to say stupid..oops, said it anyways) that there is almost no point in having any type of conversation with them. Or at least any conversation that involves them changing their own personal narrow minded point of view.

My kids are especially lucky to have been gifted genetically on both sides with stubborness. But even with all the stubborness in my immediate and extended family, when push comes to shove with my family if you actually have a good point you can reason with them. Sometimes you can even get them to agree with you.

Then there are people who are brick walls. They are as thick as one and as deaf as one and talking to them is actually like talking to a wall but the wall is probably more intellligent.

red bricks wall
(Photo courtesy of ezioman)

As you guys can guess, I had a frustrating experience with one of “them” the other day.

I have been debating about whether or not to write about this because I don’t like to label or judge people. I also don’t like talking negatively about people or making fun of them. I debated about it quite bit and decided that the point I will get to in the end is important enough to make.

So back to the story. I was working the other evening. The ER tends to bring out the worst in people whether it be patients, families and even the staff. People are stressed, feel ill, worried, anxious and of course impatient. I am generally patient but I am human and sometimes things do affect me. For instance the 10th time in 5 minutes someone asks me the same thing. I digress though.

The other evening there was an old woman in who was in pretty good shape for her age. She came in with her two grown sons. Forget about the fact that they were told numerous times that each patient can only have one person with them in the ER and they kept ignoring the guard and finding their way in.

That wasn’t even the problem. The sons’ mannerisms, manner of talking and choice of words really bothered me. Where I worked that evening is a kind of closed cubicle with me on the inside and the doctor and patients at the mouth of it. Basically a really unsafe scenario because if a patient gets violent I am cornered.

At one point one of the sons got into a shouting match with the doctor and said “So what should I do? I should slaughter the doctor?” As you can see really inappropriate.

IMG_9038
(Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind)
When they came over to me for blood tests, I started a conversation with the son while I was taking care of his mother. I first bought up the insight I had had about myself just a few days earlier when I had realized how some phrases I use I should be more careful about. I then tried to gently tell him how his choice of words was really not appropriate. I ended up talking to a brick wall.

Now I understand that when people are under stress they are less receptive, but that was not the issue here. This was just a very angry, slightly unsmart and close minded person. After about a minute or two I just gave up. Especially after he said that things only started moving for his mother in the ER once he started yelling and saying things like he had. (Little did he know that I held up sending his mother’s blood tests for a really long time because of that comment. Yup, the stubborn not nice part of me rears its head once in a while. I am sure I will have to pay for that karma at some point.)

Initially I found myself getting really upset at his guy. I mean come on man, I am giving you my time and words of wisdom, don’t you think you can just listen and take it to heart? I joke but being honest I think it did bother me that I really had a good point to make and something that if he took on board would make his life better and less angry and confrontational and he wanted to no part of it. He barely even acknowledged my words.

I also don’t like the bullying attitude where people think they get their way better or faster by yelling. Which is probably why I said something to begin with.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I would love to educate the world and help everyone live their lives better, I know that I am not going to change everyone. I also know that I don’t know everything. Not by a long shot.

That doesn’t stop me from trying because I have found that pointing something out to someone in a friendly way often makes them pause and think before they do the same thing in the future.

And then there are times that I just give up when I see the conversation is going nowhere except for getting on my nerves. A conversation like I had with “that” man. Times like that are really just a waste of your breath because the person is either too wrapped up in themselves or not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. Or maybe they really are very narrow and close minded and see the world only through their own point of view.

We see the inability to carry on a productive conversation with all kinds of people and often times with people who are hateful or rascists. I had gotten a rather hateful and shocking comment on a previous post of mine. A comment that I chose not to air on my blog because the person writing it just spewed hate and one sidedness.

What I have learned from both that incident and the work incident is that there are just times where no amount of reason, goodwill or nice words will help. There are people who don’t want to hear a point of view other than their own and have no interest in change.

So sometimes it is better to just walk away and remember that there are people who cannot be reasoned with. Or at least people who don’t want to be reasoned with. You cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. Remember that the only thing you can do is to change your own reaction to them and their behavior. And you can be thankful that you yourself have the capacity and desire to reason.

Have you ever been in this kind of frustrating situation?

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I am sure that we have all come across people who are so closed minded or unsmart (I know that is not a real word but I really don’t like to say stupid..oops, said it anyways) that there is almost no point in having any type of conversation with them. Or at least any conversation that involves them changing their own personal narrow minded point of view.

My kids are especially lucky to have been gifted genetically on both sides with stubborness. But even with all the stubborness in my immediate and extended family, when push comes to shove with my family if you actually have a good point you can reason with them. Sometimes you can even get them to agree with you.

Then there are people who are brick walls. They are as thick as one and as deaf as one and talking to them is actually like talking to a wall but the wall is probably more intellligent.

red bricks wall
(Photo courtesy of ezioman)

As you guys can guess, I had a frustrating experience with one of “them” the other day.

I have been debating about whether or not to write about this because I don’t like to label or judge people. I also don’t like talking negatively about people or making fun of them. I debated about it quite bit and decided that the point I will get to in the end is important enough to make.

So back to the story. I was working the other evening. The ER tends to bring out the worst in people whether it be patients, families and even the staff. People are stressed, feel ill, worried, anxious and of course impatient. I am generally patient but I am human and sometimes things do affect me. For instance the 10th time in 5 minutes someone asks me the same thing. I digress though.

The other evening there was an old woman in who was in pretty good shape for her age. She came in with her two grown sons. Forget about the fact that they were told numerous times that each patient can only have one person with them in the ER and they kept ignoring the guard and finding their way in.

That wasn’t even the problem. The sons’ mannerisms, manner of talking and choice of words really bothered me. Where I worked that evening is a kind of closed cubicle with me on the inside and the doctor and patients at the mouth of it. Basically a really unsafe scenario because if a patient gets violent I am cornered.

At one point one of the sons got into a shouting match with the doctor and said “So what should I do? I should slaughter the doctor?” As you can see really inappropriate.

IMG_9038
(Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind)
When they came over to me for blood tests, I started a conversation with the son while I was taking care of his mother. I first bought up the insight I had had about myself just a few days earlier when I had realized how some phrases I use I should be more careful about. I then tried to gently tell him how his choice of words was really not appropriate. I ended up talking to a brick wall.

Now I understand that when people are under stress they are less receptive, but that was not the issue here. This was just a very angry, slightly unsmart and close minded person. After about a minute or two I just gave up. Especially after he said that things only started moving for his mother in the ER once he started yelling and saying things like he had. (Little did he know that I held up sending his mother’s blood tests for a really long time because of that comment. Yup, the stubborn not nice part of me rears its head once in a while. I am sure I will have to pay for that karma at some point.)

Initially I found myself getting really upset at his guy. I mean come on man, I am giving you my time and words of wisdom, don’t you think you can just listen and take it to heart? I joke but being honest I think it did bother me that I really had a good point to make and something that if he took on board would make his life better and less angry and confrontational and he wanted to no part of it. He barely even acknowledged my words.

I also don’t like the bullying attitude where people think they get their way better or faster by yelling. Which is probably why I said something to begin with.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I would love to educate the world and help everyone live their lives better, I know that I am not going to change everyone. I also know that I don’t know everything. Not by a long shot.

That doesn’t stop me from trying because I have found that pointing something out to someone in a friendly way often makes them pause and think before they do the same thing in the future.

And then there are times that I just give up when I see the conversation is going nowhere except for getting on my nerves. A conversation like I had with “that” man. Times like that are really just a waste of your breath because the person is either too wrapped up in themselves or not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. Or maybe they really are very narrow and close minded and see the world only through their own point of view.

We see the inability to carry on a productive conversation with all kinds of people and often times with people who are hateful or rascists. I had gotten a rather hateful and shocking comment on a previous post of mine. A comment that I chose not to air on my blog because the person writing it just spewed hate and one sidedness.

What I have learned from both that incident and the work incident is that there are just times where no amount of reason, goodwill or nice words will help. There are people who don’t want to hear a point of view other than their own and have no interest in change.

So sometimes it is better to just walk away and remember that there are people who cannot be reasoned with. Or at least people who don’t want to be reasoned with. You cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. Remember that the only thing you can do is to change your own reaction to them and their behavior. And you can be thankful that you yourself have the capacity and desire to reason.

Have you ever been in this kind of frustrating situation?

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Yesterday I caught myself muttering to myself. Yes, the massive never-ending Passover cleaning I was in middle of was not helping my mood. For those who don’t know what Passover cleaning is, think spring cleaning and then multiply the amount of work and agitation.

Please Clean Up Your Mess
(Photo courtesy of Allen Goldblatt)

It did not help matters that as I was actually managing to make some progress cleaning out the pantry/mud room the CamelBak water pouch my kids had used a few weeks back on a field trip leaked water all over a bunch of knapsacks. Why they had never bothered to dry it out completely or put it where it belonged is beyond me and the wet mess I had on my hands was just extra frustrating because of that.

So like I said, I found myself muttering to myself and the next thing I knew I muttered to my husband: “Your kids should be shot.” Obviously they are his kids when they do something wrong, but right after that phrase came out of my mouth, something inside me stirred.

For the first time in all the years that I have used that phrase I actually heard what I said and the potential significance of it. I had just said that my kids should be shot. Something that in this country was not unheard of, especially seeing as my eldest son is in the army and carries a rifle.

I then thought about how lightly I use potentially loaded phrases. How often have I blurted out to someone, “I am going to kill you.”? I have no intention of ever killing someone, so why would I even use those words?

Sure there are some phrases that are just figures of speech that we don’t really mean. For instance telling someone before a show to “Go break a leg”. Or telling someone to “Go jump in a lake.” A few less polite phrases came to mind as well, but since I am obviously a lady, I won’t “repeat’ them.

I find it very interesting that a phrase I have used loads of times in the past, out of nowhere touched on a nerve yesterday and made me pause and think. How many times do we say stupid things that we don’t really mean or want to happen and we do it all without giving it a second thought.

I think that my thought process was kick started yesterday to remind me to look at the big picture and not to get so caught up in trivial things like cleaning and forget that what is really important is my kids and family and that I should watch the words coming out of my mouth.

Words have a lot of power. I don’t necessarily think that if I say someone should be shot that they are going to be. What I do think is that by getting upset at them for something not earth shattering I am sending negative energy out into the world. I am a believer that what you put out into the world is what gets returned to you, so why would I ever want to send out negativity instead of love and patience.

IBM Think D100 Test
(Photo courtesy of H. Michael Karshis)

The lesson is that next time an unbecoming phrase tries to cross your lips, think twice about whether or not you actually want to utter it.

So what phrases have you said that you really would never want to come true?

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Disappointments will not ruin your child’s life. Though at that precise dismaying moment it definitely feels like you might be.

Yesterday was a particularly hard day for my husband and I, as was the day before it. All because we had to crush an 11-year-old’s hopes and dreams.

Okay, I am making it sound more serious than it was, but we did actually feel like that. We had to tell our 11-year-old that we did not want him trying out for the Israel National Juvenile Baseball Team. He was one of three kids chosen from his team to go to the try-outs. We were notified, actually our kid was notified, on Friday and the try-outs were Sunday afternoon.

We were in a dilemma, for a number of reasons. Firstly because Sunday afternoon was when he was scheduled to start a program for gifted students at a local University. It is an unbelievable program and he was signed up to learn amazing things. We were told by other parents whose kids had gone that it was a truly unique experience. It was not something we wanted him to miss.

That aside, we felt he was too young to be on the national team and travel to Europe. He is 11. He lives a relatively sheltered life (we are Jewish and observant) and the logistics for someone who eats kosher on a trip like this is not simple. We know because with our two older sons we had this experience three times. They were on Israel National Softball teams and flew to Europe to compete, but they were older. Neither of them were on the team before the age of 15. Even then it was hard for them and to put an 11-year-old in that delicate position is not an easy decision.

We also knew that next year our son would have a better chance of making the team and actually get playing time as a pitcher which is his preferred position. Next year he will be one of the older kids. He will be have more practice and experience under his belt and he will without a doubt be even better than he already is. He will be stronger. He will be older. Did I mention older already?

Then comes the cost of him being on the team. In total a whopping sum of $1600. That was also a factor, but if that had been the only one, we would have somehow come up with the money. It was all these factors together that made us decide that this was not the right decision for him right now.

So how do you tell an 11 year old, one that as it is, is prone to crying, that you are not letting him do something that he sees as exciting, prestigious and as very important to him? On top of all of this was the fact that one of his best friends was in the same predicament and they were spurring each other on. Lucky for us, we are good friends of this child’s parents and we made the decision together.

So we explained our reasons and tried to show him how tough the decision was for us as well. We used all our parenting skills to try to put it all in a positive light. We obviously have more to skills to learn because we were not able to prevent the puddles of tears, the locking himself in his room or the heartbreaking look of disappointment written across his face.

His sister did not help matters by telling him to stop being such a baby and to stop crying already. (She was trying to get my attention and my help with her homework.) That sisterly comment generated a flying leap by her brother at her head and an outburst of anger that I have not quite seen the likes of yet. I had to physically separate them. And then yet another slamming of doors and locking of himself in his room.

We have a water shortage here in Israel and all I kept thinking was at the rate he was going the Sea Of Galilee would soon be filled again. The poor child’s face was red and swollen as were his eyes. I finally managed to get him out of the house and over to his friend whose mother had the “envious” task of getting our two disappointed and crushed boys to the bus.

Needless to say my husband and I, like our friends had a really gut wrenching day dealing with our kids’ emotions. It was probably my husband who took this all the hardest since he is the sports fanatic that said son takes after. My husband had also once upon a time played for the Israel National Softball Team in the World Championships. He is an avid sports fan and sometimes he laments the fact that he is not a major league baseball player. Never mind that it is impossible to live a religious orthodox life playing ball, but some boys’ dreams never quite die. So in short (or not, as that was pretty long), my husband truly felt my son’s pain.

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. Aside from our youngest child everyone else ending up being out of the house in the evening. We waited for our disappointed 11-year-old son to come home from his science program figuring that it would cheer him up to go out to a restaurant for dinner. We did take him out, but it turns out that it was probably unneccessary.

Kids it seems are more resilient than we think. He had a great time learning things he had never been exposed to before. He learned chemistry and nanotechnology and they did experiments. They wore lab coats and goggles and it was cool. Sure baseball would have been his first choice, but turns out his disappointment was pretty well compensated for. By the end of the night he was all smiles.

So have you ever “ruined” your kids lives by disappointing them?

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I originally was going to title this post Violence Isn’t Always Bad, but I thought about it and decided that I didn’t want that to be the title of my lesson learned today. Sure positive lessons can be learned from everything, but violence on its own is not positive.

So today’s post as you probably guessed is about violence. Violence is everywhere these days. Our children are exposed to it in the news, on the internet, in movies and TV shows. Some even sadly see it personally. I was 8 months pregnant, walking in broad daylight on 6th Ave in Manhattan and I got mugged. I had my gold necklace ripped right off my neck. All while by big strapping husband (his words but I concur) was standing right next to me.

This post is about taking a negative event, a violent one and turning the event into something positive. It is about using something negative as the impetus for a very important lesson taught and hopefully learned and internalized. It also turned out to be a very important bonding moment with kids 3 & 4 and I had a very lovely chat with them.

Yesterday as you recall if you read yesterday’s post was my 4th son’s 11th birthday. As part of our family tradition, I took him and his sister out to lunch at a local restaurant.

We were just seated when from the other side of the restaurant (the take out side), shouting started. Not normal shouting. Angry, high decibel shouting.

The verbal fight moved outdoors and we were then able to see the argument. First shouting, then getting into each others faces, then about 6 or 7 other people trying to break it up. At the point when other people rushed in, I thought for a moment that one of the men had a knife in his hand. Thankfully, I was mistaken. It was in the end just him raising his fist as if he was going to hit the other guy.

The police came. My kids ages 11 and 12 were noticeably anxious and worried during this whole exchange. My 12 year old daughter was pleeing to leave. She obviously was not thinking clearly because in order to leave we would have had to pass the fight. She also made some kind of comment that she was never coming back to this restaurant. It is her favorite restaurant and one we frequent often. She was also afraid that I was going to cry or faint. (I think that was probably just her projecting her worries about herself onto me).

My 11 year old, said his stomach was turning and all of a sudden he was not hungry.

I said to myself that I need to take this traumatic incident and find a way to turn it around. So I started to talk to my children about the incident and what they had seen.

My son started to tell me about how once when we were on a plane and he saw two guys fighting for a parking spot and one got really angry and stabbed the other. I was in disbelief. I said when? What? I was worried about my dementia at age 40 and how I could have possibly forgotten an incident like that, To make a long story short, I finally understood that on the plane he had watched a movie that had a scene like that in it.

Both my son and daughter right away then said they need to be more careful about the shows they watch on TV. My daughter said she is not watching anything anymore without knowing what is on it. That is except for shows like Arthur, because in her words, what can be bad in that show. I am not holding my breath. I am sure they will not always be careful, but still they thought enough about it to bring it up on their own.

The next comment my kids made is that the fight was probably about money. When the waitress came, we asked her. Surprisingly it was not about money. It was about someone verbally saying something not nice to the other and the person responding in anger that then escalated. That was a lesson to my kids as well. Firstly that not everything is about money. People can get angry and violent about simple words.

Secondly, it was a lesson about anger.

What is anger? I explained to my children that anger is when someone is trying to control a person or event they have no control over. Or in certain instances it can be because you see in the other person a trait you don’t like about yourself. In that case you get angry at the other person when you are really angry at yourself for having that trait. I further explained that while you have no control about the other person’s actions, you can control how you react. You don’t have to respond in anger.

I know that sounds kind of deep for an 11 and 12 year old. I think that a lot went over my 12 year old’s head but my 11 year old was hanging onto every word.

I also explained to them that I do not believe in coincidences. We were supposed to have gone out to eat about an hour or so earlier. If we had not been delayed, we would have missed the whole incident. I told them that the fact that we were there meant that there was a reason we were there and that there was a lesson for us to learn from it.

A horrible tense violent incident merited a lovely important conversation. So you see, a negative event really can also be turned into a positive event as well. It all depends if you are willing to learn affirmative lessons from not only the positive events but also from the negative events in your life.

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