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Anger Management 818 participated in the North Hollywood Taco Cook Off on Saturday September 24, 2011. Our team had a booth at the event and handed out tips and information sheets on ways to handle anger. The information was received well by the community and our team enjoyed being at the event.

http://www.nohofoodtruckfest.com/

The Sherman Oaks Street Fair was Sunday October 16, 2011 and Anger Management 818 had a booth at the event. We handed out promotional items and information on healthy ways to handle anger. We also had games for parents and children to play. This event attracted over 80,000 people from the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas. It was a great way for visitors to spend their Sunday supporting local businesses, checking out the vendors, and enjoying the street fair food.

http://www.shermanoakschamber.org/

Anger Management 818 is proud to announce its participation in the Sherman Oaks Farmer’s Market. Our team had a booth at the market in June and September and plans to be there again on Saturday December 17. The Sherman Oaks Farmer’s Market is every Saturday from 8am-1pm at the 101 Freeway and Sepulveda.

http://members.shermanoakschamber.org/Events/details/sherman-oaks-community-farmers-market-12-17-2011

In anger management, the words “respect” and “disrespect” are heard often. Mostly it is about how someone else is disrespectful. So let’s think about what it means to be or feel disrespected.

First, let’s define the term “Respect.” According to Dictionary.com, respect is defined as deference to a right, privilege, privileged position; proper acceptance or courtesy; and acknowledgment. According to Merriam-Webster, respect means a high or special regard. Thus, when a person states they are disrespected, they are probably feeling disregarded, or not acknowledged.

In our Anger Management program, we discuss how the feeling of anger is a secondary emotion, meaning there is an underlying emotion felt before anger. Understanding this feeling allows you to reduce the likelihood of aggressive behavior.

Take the following example: someone cuts you off while driving and you slam on your brakes to avoid rear-ending that person. You suddenly become angry and start yelling at the person. However there is an underlying feeling here: fear. You become afraid that your life or car might be in danger however, you cannot do much with fear. Therefore, anger takes over to help you take action. This is the point you start to honk. The underlying feelings of disrespect and anger parallel.

The word “respect” is based on a person’s beliefs and experiences. Since people have different perceptions about what happens around them, their version of “respectful” will vary. So, when you hold certain beliefs about how someone should act with you in certain situations, and that person acts differently than what you expect, you think that he/she is being disrespectful towards you.

Example: You feel that your partner should be at your side throughout the duration of a party or social event. Let’s examine the situation. Think of the following belief: A partner should be by the side of a significant other at social events otherwise, it is not a good relationship. The reason for this belief is to feel emotionally safe with your partner. Feeling disrespected occurs when your partner leaves your side for a little while. You start to think, “He prefers being with his friends than with me,” and you begin to feel disregarded and hurt. Your discomfort with feeling hurt becomes overwhelming, so your body’s defense mechanism prevails. Instead of connecting with the emotional pain and taking responsibility, you blame your partner for “disrespecting” you.

Notice how you attribute your responsibility of your pain to your partner. You are holding your partner responsible for your own emotional pain, and expect them to change their behavior (which you label as disrespectful), rather than changing your own belief and thought around the situation (owning your emotion and belief, and taking responsibility). Essentially by stating “He disrespected me,” you are victimizing yourself. You are giving your partner the power over your feelings. The purpose of this blog entry is to help become aware of your own beliefs and thoughts, and not give so much power to those around you.

You may think, “Well, at what point am I not supposed to be okay with what my partner is doing?” Great question since it is frequently asked. You still have your set of boundaries that feel comfortable and/or uncomfortable. If you have friends in your surroundings that seem to have healthy relationships, ask them how they perceive the same situation. Or ask yourself, “Is this belief helping me or hurting me?”

The good news is that beliefs that result in feeling disrespected are learned, so they can be unlearned. When replacing a belief with one that is helpful, you realize that you rarely feel disrespected; your poor perception of the situation changes. Your improved insight of the underlying thoughts and feelings of disrespect helps with building healthier relationships.

If you would like to work on your outlook of life so that you feel more respect rather than disrespect, contact one of our Anger Management counselors. At Anger Management 818, we are ready to help you have better influence of your life. You may request from your anger management counselor to review the “Disrespect Worksheet” with you.

Author: Anita Avedian, MFT
Director of Anger Management 818

Sometimes it is hard to remember all the tips and remedies for defusing anger. When you experience a situation with someone that results in feeling upset, the following three principles are basic to dispelling and/or preventing anger from arising.

1. Think: This situation is not meant personally against me. This person is having a bad day. I have had bad days and know that I do not always put my best foot forward under those circumstances. I must find out more so I will ask the person disarming questions (if possible) about how his/her day is going. I call this the “Not -Personal Principle.”

2. The Golden Rule applies: Am I treating this person as I would like him/her to treat me? (Irrespective of how I think they are treating me). I call this the “Respect Principle.”

3. Ask yourself: Do I need to fight this battle now? At all? If not, I should take a break and tell this person that I will get back to him/her later (specific time) when I am able to think more rationally and I respectfully hope that he/she will do the same. I call this the “Another Time Principle.”

In the meantime one can review other ways of problem-solving or dispute resolution which may eliminate the problem altogether in the long-run.

Author: Michael L. Hecht, MA, MFT
October 4, 2011