Saturday, February 9, 2008

Slow To Anger

A few weeks ago I taught a Relief Society lesson based on President Hinckley's talk from October General Conference titled Slow To Anger. From it, I learned many things, not the least of which is that I probably need anger management therapy. The talk was given in the Priesthood session, but our Stake leaders felt that all of the adult members needed to learn from it. As part of my lesson, I had the sisters write on posters the things that made them angry and what they did to overcome it. My motivation was two-fold--I thought it would make for interesting discussion, but I also wanted to be comforted in knowing that I wasn't the only one who flies off the handle at little (and sometimes big) things. I've kept the posters hanging around thinking I'd jot them down, and finally today, I'm ready to get rid of the posters in order to de-clutter my ever-increasing cluttered home. I thought I'd share the list here--so you can feel better too and maybe get some good coping ideas. I open the questions to you (for comments, please!):

**What makes you angry?
**How do you deal with your anger?

What makes you angry?

  • disobedient children
  • injustice
  • kids not doing jobs
  • wasted time
  • bad hair day
  • people who see others that need help and don't
  • people who don't come to me if they have a problem with something I have done
  • election year--political mudslinging
  • fighting kids
  • uncontrollable clutter
  • gray hairs
  • TV writer's strike
  • post-teen acne
  • ignorance
  • slow drivers
  • dog barking in the night
  • people who don't do what they say they'll do
  • selfish actions and thinking
  • rude remarks
  • people who take advantage of others
  • being judged unfairly
  • when my husband has a problem and he doesn't want to talk about it
  • bad ones of voice
  • I get angry when I get angry (mad at myself for allowing anger to take over me)
  • things I can't control
  • tantrums
  • messy house
  • canceled TV shows
  • grocery carts not returned to the corral
  • when my children ignore me
  • driving--when I feel others are endangering me, driving too close or cutting me off
  • husband doesn't put toilet seat down
  • children being defiant and abusive
  • when my kids say "whatever" and ignore me
The list is of course not all-inclusive (and it's pretty evident that it's a group of women wrote it!). I really liked the discussion that came after with the list of ways to deal with anger (no matter what the cause).

How do you deal with your anger?
  • clear communication with others
  • talk
  • breathe deeply
  • pray for charity and help to forgive
  • go for a walk
  • bake
  • pray
  • think about good things or happy memories
  • step away--remove myself from the situation
  • humor
  • prayer, service, just let it go!
  • scream (probably not AT the people you are angry at, but into a pillow or something)
  • take a time-out
  • work out, exercise
  • create
  • take a deep breath and realize I might not understand someone's day
  • trust that the Lord will make it right
  • give it time
  • attend the temple
  • shop
  • sing a song
  • realize that they might be having a bad day and didn't receive proper training
  • take a nap
Finally, one sister wrote: "I don't know, that's why I need this lesson!"

I loved getting others' ideas for dealing with anger. I hope that I will be better.

President Hinckley's closing words have become all the sweeter for me since the day that I taught the lesson he left us: "Put a smile upon your faces, which will erase anger; speak out with words of love and peace, appreciation, and respect. If you will do this, your lives will be without regret. Your marriages and family relationships will be preserved. You will be much happier. You will do greater good. You will feel a sense of peace that will be wonderful. May the Lord bless you and inspire you to walk without anger, without bitterness of any kind, but to reach out to others with expressions of friendship, appreciation, and love."


Ryan said...

In an effort to hopefully avoid the potential wrath from my dear sweet slow-to-anger wife, I figured I should leave a comment! (especially since I almost didn't and got 'the look')

As I read though the list, I experienced a few of them yesterday. The one about the shopping carts gave me a laugh because while making a quick Costco run (is there such a thing?) I pulled into the lot and rejoiced (a little inner happy dance) as I spotted a parking spot right at the front and it was all mine. Although as I approached, my happy dance turned into something not so happy as I saw four shopping carts chilling in my potential source of joy. Curses!

Then I went to return our redbox videos (an excellent service, and I truly hope they will fix this source of contention) and I stood in line for 20 minutes while one person proceeded to read all 50 of the rentals (I swear she was even reading the descriptions of ones not currently available) and slowly I might add. Occasionally she would glance back at the growing horde as if to say "they're out of everything good" and encouraging others to gather around while she made her decision. After finally picking one, she proceeded to swipe her card backwards over and over (at least 5 times) all the while appearing aggravated at the stupid machine that wouldn't read her card before a clearly calmer individual than myself suggested she turn it around. And after several mistypings of her email address (unable to find the back button clearly marked BACK) finally found the button marked "skip and let me out of here before several acts of violence are carried out upon me".

Apparently I need to go review list number two again....

LAURA & ELIZA said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read that today! Thanks for that awesome lesson in the form of a blog post ;)!

gurrbonzo said...

I bet you are the best teacher ever.

Sally said...

I always tend to talk talk talk when I'm upset--it's my way of thinking. Troy hates it. If he's not around to be my human punching bag, I call him at work. If Ryan answers, I feel stupid, hang up, and call a friend in the meantime. Troy still gets it all when he comes home, even if it wasn't a problem with him to begin with.

lAuRa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lAuRa said...

LOL-- that's hilarious Ryan! I find myself laughing at things that make me mad after the fact- too bad I don't I can't get a grip during the situation. ok,as I'm sitting here typing, my baby is smacking on my keyboard, turning on the caps and hitting all buttons, making me have to write this like 5 times! that's on thing that makes me can I deal with it? move to the table...but I'm so comfy and warm on the couch! lol thanks for sharing Lisa!

Janene said...

wow. Maybe I need to bookmark this post, great list of ideas! When I'm about to boiling point, I tell Zach I'm upset (put Ben in the crib with toys) and go have my very own timeout. I'm hoping he will copy me in dealing with his anger someday! :o)

My number one coping technique is singing though (can't really take a time out while driving). Most effective is I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus. I just can't sing that and stay upset. And yes, sometimes I have to sing it through several times!

Tricia said...

I wish you taught the third week lesson like me. I would love to use more of your ideas!

HarperHappenings said...

I have to say music works for me! There is such truth in that music is like a prayer. It can truly change the mood! But when the music isn't helping...I'm a talker...I wan't to talk until everything is okay and sometimes people just need time. I'm still learning that. And hugs work well too!!