The Self-Compassionate Way To Overcome D-anger (Destructive Anger)

The Self-Compassionate Way To Overcome D-Anger (Destructive Anger)

The Perils of Business

A while back, I had a conversation with a childhood friend about the perils of business, and wanting to serve the interests of others, while protecting my own.  “I don’t have those problems,” she boasted.  “I simply run over the people, who get in my way.”  The funny thing is that she really is a lovely person.  She just has a “take no crap” attitude.  I could not help but wonder how my life would be different, if I took issue with every person, who wronged me in some way.  Not wanting to offend her, I inquired as neutrally as possible, “How does it affect your time?” 


Her answer stunned me.  She said that it occupied much of her time.  It is also costly.  She has as many as three massage appointments a week to undo related muscle tension.  “It’s the price of doing business,” she quipped.  As her final words settled into my brain, I had an epiphany.  A person with a life path full of knots, much like a pretzel, will only be able to venture out so far before circling home to attend to their wounds.  There is something very dangerous about anger that leads to confrontation or destruction.  It becomes the focal point of one’s life.  The rest of our time is spent trying to cure the pain it causes; a sharp reminder that d-anger is one part destruction, and one part anger.

Confrontation Or Rejection

There are two common responses to frustration and anger: confrontation or rejection. People, who always confront others are consumed by it, and, in time, it defines them.  Perhaps, people respect them, but they also avoid them.  If you walk quietly and carry a big stick, people might not see you coming, but they will also associate you with the stick.  People, who reject or release their frustration or anger immediately appear to be very calm people, but are secretly very angry, and easily triggered by the anger of others.  It is actually impossible to reject or immediately release a feeling that comes up naturally.  It’s an evolutionary mechanism that exists to warn us about a pattern of danger and neglect.  Those choosing to ignore this emotion in the past likely suffered several times before finally encountering an unhappy ending.  Hence, the reason that anger comes up naturally, and avoiding it does not.


It is clear that neither confrontation nor rejection is a solution to the stresses that come with anger or frustration.  So, we turn to a third possibility: Self-Compassion.  Self-Compassion has five essential steps leading you from identification of what causes you discomfort to compassionate understanding, and finally to compassionate action. 

If you skip these steps, and generalize the term to mean, “being nice to myself,” your actions will, at best, provide a temporary escape from discomfort, and will guarantee at least as much trouble with these particular feelings the next time they come up.  Simplifying self-compassion to “being nice” would be akin to describing your duties as a jet pilot by stating that you “go up in the air.”  It gives people a sense of the outcome without the means to get there.  I want you all to have the opportunity to have real self-compassion.  It takes some effort, but it also leads to happiness.  Before you begin these steps, decide to commit to them with the knowledge that you spend so much time on actions that promise happiness without ever delivering, and that these steps both promise and deliver. 

First, notice the bodily sensations that are coming up with this feeling.  Where in your body are you feeling the most tense?  Now, you are in the present moment with the ability to act on your experience in an empowering way. Second, name the feeling.  This focuses our mind on the challenge at hand, and allows us to witness the hurricane of co-occurring thoughts without getting lost in them. Third, ask yourself if you can make space for this feeling.  By avoiding our thoughts, we give them great power.  Permitting ourselves to be present to these thoughts makes them less scary, and gives us courage. 

Fourth, notice how you come by this experience unintentionally like so many other people.  This step reminds you that you are never alone with your problems, and lets you gather energy from this combined effort and self-support (a great replacement for self-criticism).  Finally, you need to ask yourself how you can be kind to yourself.  This is essentially an inquiry into how you can manage the emotion in a way that helps you feel empowered and at ease now and in the future.  This whole process will take you about five minutes.  This is less time than a single commercial break, and this can change your whole life.

365 Days Of Self-Compassion.  Day 266.  In The Books.

10 Self-Compassionate Ways To Turn I Hate Yous Into Happiness

You Had Me At I Hate You

Self-Compassion is an invaluable resource for our daily I hate yous.  Admit it.  Every day, some new person, thing, or object finds a way to get you so riled out that you feel like spitting out an old fashioned I hate you.  You know the ones you served up like Serena Williams, when you were about 8 years old, and completely disgusted that you could not go to the movies or get the games your friends had.

“You don’t understand.  All my friends are going to go.  I am going to be the only one who hasn’t gone.  I hate you!”  You launch that thing off like a canon because what else are you going to do? You are 8 years old.

As we get older, we get wiser, at least about what is acceptable to say in public, and perhaps how we would like to feel, but we cannot escape the I hate yous.  They are like the snow or the rain.  No matter how inconvenient, they are coming, and they will leave a mark whether you like it or not. 

Since we cannot avoid them, I say we celebrate them.  Why not?  You have something better to do with your I hate yous?  Perhaps, bury them deep down until your head pops off like a shaken up can of coke to release them.  Not to worry.  We have a fun way of converting those I hate yous into happiness.  Just watch.

10 Ways To Convert I Hate Yous Into Happiness

Here are 10 glorious ways to convert those I hate yous into happiness:

1.     Somebody cuts you off in traffic, and you want to yell I hate you.  Instead yell, “Yahoo, this must be what it is like to drive in Nascar!”  Imagine spitting into your hand, and hurling it into the stars.  Bye, bye frustration!  Hello, Relief and Excitement!

2.     Somebody takes the parking space you have been waiting on, and you think silently about lighting them on fire with your eye lasers. This is a good time to say, “I need special theme music to find the coolest spot in the parking lot, which is clearly cooler than this one, since bozos park here.  I am going to celebrate the increase in fitness I will get from walking a few more steps to my destination.”  In other pars of the world, they actually try to park within some waling distance to keep their waists trim.

3.     An unexpected bill comes in with hidden fees, and we want to chase the mailman down, and yell, “Hey, you forgot something!”   Instead, take it to a room where you can be alone, and spike it into the floor like a football.  Do an end zone dance (a dance of celebration), and when you are done, you look that bill right in the eye and say, “Thanks, I needed that!”  Now, you have the well-being to pay it, and let it go.

4.     Your friend cancels your plans at the last minute, and you think to yourself, maybe I will just scream I hate you for a second. Don’t!  It is the universe’s way of freeing you from what would have been an unhappy night.  Think about it.  If they cancelled, they were unwilling or unable to go.  Did you really want a whole night of being with someone, who felt that way?  Not me!  Find something really enjoyable to do with your time or call and make plans with a friend you have not spoken to in a long time.  Their loss is your leisure!

5.     Your car breaks down, and you are going to be late again for work.  You just want to scream at your car, “I hate you!”  Take a deep breath, and oh who am I kidding.  Let ‘er rip.  Let out a great big, “ I hate you!”  Why do you have to be afraid of this feeling? It is just an emotion.  Then, tell your car, “I am sorry that I got so upset.  We have had so many problems lately that I have just begun to worry about our relationship. “  Then, hug your steering wheel.  Hey! Cars need love to.

6.     Your boss asks you to stay late again, and you are worried that you are going to miss the big game or your favorite television program, and you want to say, “Hey, Mr. Boss guy.  You are a big jerk, and I hate you!”  Instead, take out a piece of paper and write down every frustrating word that comes to mind.  Do not skip one.  This is a matter of life and death.  Well, it is not that important, but it is still very important!  When you are done, rip it up (you don’t want the boss to find it).  Give yourself a big self-hug for letting the anger out in such a healthy and fun way.

7.     Your pants rip in the middle of a big meeting, and you want to scream at your pants, “I hate you!”  Notice this feeling.  Think about how hard your pants have worked to not have ripped before this moment.  Think of all the work it has been willing to do just to keep your seat warm and looking professional, then be the last to slip out and change in to your spare pants.  Note to self: always bring a spare change of pants.  Don’t look at me like that, you have 6 varieties of snacks, but you can’t bring a spare change of pants.  Come on!

8.     Your favorite sports team throws away a big lead, and you just want to scream at the television, “I hate you!”  Think about how many times your team has come from behind to win.  The frontrunner does not always win, even when the frontrunner is you.  Keep your eye on the big picture, and if your team really stinks, think about how much it is doing for the well-being of opposing teams and their fans.

9.     They stop making your favorite food, clothing item, or television show, and you want to rip your hair out just so you can throw it at them, and scream, “I hate you!’  Notice this feeling, and let it pass.  Remember that before you loved this you loved something else.  To make room for something new, you have to let go of something old. 

10.  People are most irked these days for having to wait in line.  We try to do all of our shopping on the Internet, but it is hard to have groceries shipped.  Cheese just is not the same after it has been in the mail for 5-10 days.  So, we try to wait patiently.  Of course, somebody has to ask a question about a coupon that we all know is no longer valid.  Then, they begin to get frustrated, and all of a sudden they are telling the cashier how much they hate them.  We are pretty upset by this.  That is our move!  All of a sudden, we realize how nice it must have been for that person to get their “I hate you” out of the way, so that they can enjoy the rest of their day, and we begin to enjoy the rest of ours.

Killing Your "I Hate Yous" With Kindness

Sometimes, it is the little things that keep us going.  We only have so much energy, so we have to unload the negatives when we can.  Avoiding the “I hate yous” just gives them more power, and causes us fatigue. 

Notice the I hate yous, as they arise.  Find some way to acknowledge them, allow them to breath, and watch them pass away.  Working in crisis for most of my professional career, I am assured when patients are able to get out an “I hate you!”  It means that they are willing to fight for themselves, and that they have found a way to get out a little bit of negative energy, and make room for some positive self-care.  It also helps that most of those I hate yous were meant for other people.  What?  You did not think that I was going to end without a little joke, did you?

365 Days of Self-Compassion.  Day 131.  In The Books.