Blog # 26 Anger and Resentment

Let us suppose that you and another person are in a conflict.  The other person, however, has more power in the situation than you.  It might be a parent, a boss or an overbearing neighbor or an angry spouse or a person who is physically much larger than you.  In an effort to end the conflict quickly, that other person shuts off discussion by saying something like….

●Why????   Because I said so!

●If you don’t make this right, I will sue you for everything you’ve got!

●Don’t argue with me!  Just do it!

●I don’t care if you have to stay here until midnight.  I want it finished and

on my desk by 9:00 am tomorrow morning!

●You’ll do it my way or else!


What we have here is a situation where one person – the other party – is attempting to force you into accepting their solution rather than making a joint effort to find a mutually acceptable resolution to the issue.  As a result, not only will you leave the battlefield feeling like a loser, you will be filled with (righteous) resentment. Your feelings of being victimized in such a manner will eventually lead to:

●increased chances for a subsequent conflict; and

●long term damage to the relationship.


Resentment is a bitterness that does not dissipate with time.  It eats you up internally.  It does more harm to the person doing the resenting (you) than it does to your target.   Here are some of the results of carrying around a lot of resentment toward another person.

●you will assume that your “loss” is the other person’s gain

●you will spend energy thinking of ways to retaliate

`           ●your opinion of the other party will become distorted to justify your  hostility

●your energy will be directed against the other person rather than against the issues involved

●your thoughts will emphasize the differences between you rather than  the similarities

●your future interaction with the other person will no longer be based on objective reason and facts but on negative emotions

●you will have a continuing expectation of conflict with that person.

It is easy to say that you have to stand up for what you believe in the face of such aggression – which by the way is the answer – but that is very difficult to do.  Here are some helpful strategies for you to use so that you avoid building up resentment.

●Remember that the other person may be using aggression as a manipulative strategy to get their way.

●Think of yourself as an immoveable wall with a foundation ten feet into the ground.

●Keep your hands at your sides  – no clenched fists.

●Your voice should be firm but at normal speaking level.

●Maintain direct eye contact.

●Utilize open-ended questions to force the other person into thinking more  rationally.


Here are some questions you might use to encourage negotiation and further discussion:

…How exactly does that solve the problem for both of us?

…How does your solution gain my commitment?

…I understand your position but I am unwilling to do that.  What would it take for us to find a more compatible solution?

…I realize you are angry and want a quick resolution.  I am uncomfortable with quick fixes.  Why don’t we discuss this further?

…How would you feel if I said that to you?


 DeAnne’s Anger Tips

Do not make today’s solution tomorrow’s problem by running away from your anger with the use of nicotine, caffeine, alcohol or drugs.  Such stimulants provide some temporary relief and escape from the anger and aggravations of daily life.  However, in the long run, they actually intensify and make toxic your feelings of rage and hostility.  Stimulants speed up the nervous system making a person more easily aroused and excitable – more emotionally sensitive and anxiety ridden.


Thursday’s Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

 Scenario #1

Your 22 year old daughter is enrolled in a great college near your home; because of a romance, she wants to transfer…….

The worst thing you can do is tell your daughter, “If you transfer, we will refuse to fund your education altogether.”   The second worst thing you can do is try to talk her out of her romance.  Best to tell her  that if she wants to transfer, you will continue to pay exactly what the local college costs.  However, any costs over that sum she will have to find the additional funds herself.


Scenario #2

You are the manager of a successful advertising agency.  One of your employees has created a costly and elaborate ad…….

Get a total cost figure for the elaborate ad.  Then gather some other ads for similar products done by other agencies.  Finally, show this information to your employee and ask her to work out a cost/benefit analysis which would convince the client to foot the bill for such an elaborate ad.  The thing is you cannot tell your employee that for this type of product, the ad she created is way off base without discouraging her creativity.  The employee has to come to that analysis herself but you can lead her in that direction with the appropriate information.

Scenario #3

In your small town, a huge brick building has become available.  Some want to build low-income housing others want a trendy shopping mall…..

Here again is a situation where the appropriate information might avert a disastrous conflict in your little town.  You might present the following data:

●the cost of rehabbing the building into apartments

●the cost of rehabbing the building into a shopping mall

●number of apartments the building might accommodate

●number of trendy shops the building might accommodate

●the amount of total rental income from the apartments

●the amount of total rental income from the trendy shops

●the amount of population necessary to support a mall of trendy shops

●the distance between the proposed mall and the nearest established mall

●cost of additional police and fire protection for the low income families

●the families have children; can the school system accommodate them?

●the cost of additional sewerage and water connections for the families.

This information just might encourage your little town to leave the building as it is and wait for some manufacturing company to make use of it for jobs.


This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

A very good friend of yours at work tells you she has met a great guy who would be perfect for you.  You agree to meet him via cell phone and, since he sounds and looks reasonably nice, you make a date for dinner.  Grant Julian arrives on time at your door well dressed.  He is not a handsome man but he has a rugged look about him that you find very attractive.  He tells you he has made a reservation at a quiet restaurant so that you two can talk and get to know one another.

The restaurant turns out to be an expensive one.  The food is wonderful and the conversation flows along beautifully.  However, as he talks about his life and employment, you become aware that Grant is quite a narcissist.  He is the center of his world.  He expects that those people he interacts with are there to make his life rewarding and satisfying.  You also glean that when his expectations are not met, he can become extremely angry and hostile.

Later, on your doorstep as you are saying your good nights, Grant suddenly grabs you by the waist and attempts to force you into a big sloppy kiss.  You push him away saying, “What in the hell do you think you are doing?”

Grant:  I made quite an investment in you this evening so I thought we should have a little sex as an after dinner treat.

You:     What you invested in this evening was my company, not my body. Let me reimburse you for my half of the               dinner                  (hand Grant 50.00).

What kind of a life-partner do you think Grant would make?

Scenario #2

A very good friend of yours at work tells you she has met a great guy who would be perfect for you.  You agree to meet him via cell phone and, since he sounds and looks reasonably nice, you make a date for dinner.  Philip Ellis shows up at your door two minutes early.  Although he is dressed casually in a sports shirt and slacks, everything is pressed and tidy.  His hair is cut very short.  His appearance screams ex-military.  He suggests a nearby coffee shop as an appropriate venue to get acquainted.

In the coffee shop, your conversation is rather one-sided; he talks and you listen.  You learn he is a man of strong moral and ethical principles.  He believes in God and the sanctity of marriage, the American way of life and the value of hard work.  He also believes there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything.  For him there is no middle ground.  He appears to have a narrow, rigid way of dealing with the world.  From the stories he tells you of his life and work situation, you glean that he is organized, over-scheduled and compulsive.  Moreover, any interruption of his plans leads to frustration and anger.

What kind of a life-partner do you think Philip would make?

Scenario #3

A very good friend of yours at work tells you she has met a great guy who would be perfect for you.  You agree to meet him via cell phone and, since he sounds and looks reasonably nice, you make a date for dinner.  Ollie Banks shows up 30 minutes late looking as if he dressed himself from a Goodwill giver-away bin.  He tells you he’s been so busy he nearly forgot your date.  He suggests a quick bite at McDonalds so the two of you can get better acquainted.

Over Big Mac’s and cokes, you learn Ollie is currently between jobs but has been working part time at a local hardware store.  When you ask him about his future employment goals, he says he’s not particular but he would like something that pays well but is not too demanding.  He likes his free time.  He has lots of interests like motorcycling, baseball and paintball.  He tells you stories of things he and his buddies have done recently such as camping, fishing and golfing.  At age 34, Ollie sounds more like a college kid on summer break.

What kind of a life-partner would Ollie make?



BLOG # 24 Anger and Stupidity

The most frustrating form of anger is that which we direct against ourselves.  Often this anger is the result of poor decision-making.  Education is the only way to avoid this form of self-directed hostility.  The more you know about anything, the greater your number of alternatives.  Stupid and uneducated people make bad decisions because they make their decisions not on facts or knowledge but rather on how they feel at the moment or on hear-say principles that have no relationship to the issues they are attempting to impact.  Here is a story that beautifully illustrates my point.


Karla was a sophomore in high school when she became involved with Matthew Harris (bad decision), the high school’s premier football player and a senior.  Both she and Matt were more interested in good times than in their education (bad decision).  Karla soon discovered that she was pregnant (bad decision) and so she dropped out of school (bad decision) to marry Matthew (bad decision).


Karla knew that Matthew was very jealous of any attention she gave to other people – male or female.  She thought his jealousy was proof of his love for her (bad decision).  Without a college education and a baby on the way, Matt took the first good paying job he could find – driving a delivery truck.  Within a year, Matt was driving long-haul delivery trucks.  Often Matt was gone for days at a time.  He began to obsess over what Karla might be doing in his absence. With three little kids to look after, he really didn’t have anything to worry about.  Karla had her hands full at home.


Nevertheless, Matt began to suspect that Karla was cheating on him.  When he came home, he would question her harshly at length.  Karla reacted negatively to Matt’s lack of trust and began to withdraw her affection.  Matt felt her growing coldness which confirmed for him that there was indeed another man in Karla’s life.  Soon Matt was not only speaking roughly to Karla, he was also slapping her around.  Karla went to court and got a restraining order against Matt which Matt ignored.  Then Karla filed for divorce.  Matt didn’t want the divorce so he retaliated by refusing to pay child support.


With her parent’s help and financial support, Karla packed up her things and took the children to a nearby state where she set up a new household.  With three youngsters to look after and no education, Karla went into the house-cleaning business.  She did reasonably well.  There were always customers who wanted her services and she was able to arrange her hours so as to be home when the kids returned from school.


Karla had been advised to get health insurance for herself now that she was self-employed but she did not want to spend the money (bad decision).  One day, Karla was in an auto accident which severely damaged her back.  She could not work for several weeks.  Her recovery and doctor bills took every cent she had.  While she was unable to work, her parents once again came to her financial rescue.  They told her, however, that she had to make her own way as soon as possible.


Karla now found that because of her accident, she was no longer able physically to do house-cleaning.  Desperate, she turned to a friend who suggested that Karla sell drugs.

Friend:            Look, it’s easy.  Anyone who wants stuff knows where to go to get

it.  All you have to do is stand on the right corner after dark and

take in the money.  I can introduce you to a supplier.  Best of all, you can make your own hours.


What a great solution, Karla thought.  I can put the kids to bed, get my neighbor to baby sit for three hours and be home before the kids even know I’m gone.  Karla agreed to take the job (bad decision).  Soon money was no problem in Karla’s little household.  However, one night Karla unknowingly sold drugs to an undercover FBI agent.


I met Karla just as she was completing a ten year prison sentence.  Her three kids had been taken away from her to be adopted by other families.  In tears, she told me how she hated herself for how she had messed up her life.


If you are a parent, the most important obligation you have to your children is to make certain they are educated so they have options and choices to deal with the tough times that occur in everyone’s life.


The most valuable ability you can bestow upon your children is a comprehension of how to recognize the kind of person who will make them a good life companion.


What is so difficult about parenting is that we are preparing our children for a world we actually know nothing about.  Fifty years ago, our parents had no knowledge or concept how things like credit cards, social media, television, I-pads or would impact our lives today.


DeAnne’s Anger Tips

Our contentious congress is a great example of how people view conflicting ideas as threatening and adversarial rather than as opportunities to look at issues from another perspective.  Viewing different ideas as wrong, unpatriotic and a threat to a smooth running society is hampering congress’s ability to deal effectively with different opinions.


Perhaps we should not be so surprised.  Human history is filled with bloodshed over differences. People have perceived conflict as a negative occurrence since the beginning of time.  Human beings are willing to wage long and devastating wars over differing ideologies, ethnic differences and divergent religious beliefs.

Don’t you think it is time we all grew beyond this zero-sum method of looking at the world?


In some successful business, the most successful work teams are made up of people with divergent ideas and different ways of looking at problems. Instead of viewing one another as adversaries, they share their various ideas and points of view creating many choices for moving ahead.   As a result, they enrich one another’s thinking and actually find creative, innovative solutions to intractable problems.


We need congress to do the same.  We can no longer afford to have people who have become ossified into thinking that their way is the only way – people who put “principles” ahead of an analysis of current reality.  That is akin to driving your car forward by looking in the rear view mirror.  The problems we face today cannot be solved with yesterday’s solutions.


Thursday’s Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Cody Washington was building a large patio onto the back of his home…


Here is an example of what happens from holding anger inside for too long.  Alex Glenn finally exploded over the continuing noise.  He should have talked to his neighbor, Cody, a lot sooner.  Cody, for his part, did the smart thing – never argue with someone who is holding a gun.  Exit the area as fast as you can.


Scenario #2

Jimmy’s parents knew their son had problems controlling his anger…..


Here we have an example of someone – the librarian – trying to talk common sense to someone who is reacting emotionally – Jimmy.  Jimmy is way beyond the reach of reason.  The librarian should have simply left the area.

Hopefully the librarian went on to sue Jimmy’s parents.  They are the proximate cause of her attack.  Perhaps a good blow to their pocket book will convince them to get Jimmy the help he sorely needs.


Scenario #3

Alicia was on her way home from an exhausting day at her job…..


The fashionable woman in the Mercedes should just get into her car and, lock the doors and drive quickly away.  Confronting a person who is totally lost in a rage is dangerous.  You put yourself directly in harm’s way.



This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Your 22 year old daughter is enrolled in a great college near your home. The fact that she can live at home is a great cost-saving.  Without it, you and your husband would not have been able to afford her college education.  One evening she tells you she has met a wonderful guy who is planning to transfer out of this local college to a university in Pittsburgh.  She wants to transfer with him.   How do you think you should handle this situation?


Scenario #2

You are the manager of a successful advertising agency.  One of your employees has been working on a magazine ad for one of your best customers.  The ad she has created is quite elaborate, complete with many colors and expensive art work. You believe the product that is being advertised doesn’t need all that.  From your experience, you know that a simple ad would work better.  In addition, a simple ad would be less costly for the client.

Since this is one of your most creative employees, you do not want to say anything that might discourage her.  How will you tell her to re-work the ad so that it is a better fit for the product?


Scenario #3

In your small town, a huge brick building where the manufacture of auto parts used to take place has become available.  Those in city government would like to use the building to create low-income housing for the poor.  The residents who live near the site want the building to be rehabbed into a shopping mall of trendy retail shops.  At town meeting, the arguments for and against both plans were hot and angry.  Nothing was decided and all the residents attending went home in a snit.  Suppose you are the editor of the local newspaper.  You want to report on the conflict in a fair and balanced way that might bring both sides a little closer to finding a compromise solution.  What kind of information might you put in your editorial?



Larry Samuels earned his living as a day trader in the stock marker.  One evening well after dinner, he had his head buried in the stock pages of several newspapers preparing his strategy for the next day.  It had been a very volatile stock market lately and Larry knew he had to come up with a clever strategy to avoid losing money.   Larry’s wife, Donna, was attending an evening course at he local high school and had arranged for a neighbor to look after the children in her absence.  The children had been watching television in their pajamas.  At nine o’clock the neighbor told the children it was bedtime and turned off the television.  She then walked into the dining area where Larry was working and said, “I’m putting the children to bed now.  Do you want to say good night to them?”   Larry exploded into a white hot rage.  “How dare you interrupt me when I’m working, you dumb bitch.  Can’t you see I’m busy? Our livelihood depends on what I’m doing right now.  If I don’t get this right we could lose everything.”.   The neighbor was completely taken aback.   She was holding a throw in her hands which she immediately started waving from side to side in Larry’s direction as if he were a bull and she a matador. “Hold on there, Larry.  Do you recognize who you are yelling at?  I am your neighbor, Mrs. Baker.  Why are you screaming?  Who are you shouting at?  Why are you flying into a rage?”  Larry stood up with his hands raised as if to punch or slap the neighbor.  Then he stopped, shook his head and said, “I don’t know what came over me.  Sorry for the outburst.”   Larry is a rager, a person with poor impulse control.  Larry’s problem is common to about 20% of Americans who experience reoccurring periods of extraordinary rage.  Such frightening outbursts are caused by a distorted sense of danger.  People like Larry feel deeply threatened or attacked when there is actually no real danger facing them at all.  People like Larry believe they are under consistent attack.  They perceive the world as a hostile, threatening and dangerous place.  Although any situation can set them off into a full blown rage, most often the rage reaction is the result of: ●overwhelming stress ●emotional trauma ●perceived insults and put-downs (whether or not the other person actually intended to be insulting) Note:  a person’s perception is their reality ●a sense of having been victimized ●feel powerless over important events that affect them personally   People who have problems with anger, aggression and rage are already so close to a exploding that it does not take much to push them over the top into a complete meltdown. All it takes is a little pressure or a tiny bit of agitation and off they go.  Four things these people most certainly do not need: ●recreation mood-altering drugs ●alcohol ●prescription medication that lists rage-inducing as a side effect ●a government that uses fear as a political strategy   If you have parents who were ragers, you are more likely to be a rager yourself.  The process does begin in childhood and for many, persists into adulthood.  There is a big difference between a childhood tantrum and a child having a full blown rage.  A kid having a tantrum has a goal: to get his or her way. A child having a rage is bent on destruction.  Here are some of the telling signs of a child with rage problems: ●easily upset when under stress ● fairly inflexible ●unable to adapt to new situations ●little tolerance for frustration ●lacking in social skills ●high degree of anxiety ●often irritable Individuals suffering from depression are also prone to outbursts of rage.  Some do become suicidal turning their rage inward again themselves.  The problem is, nobody – not even the rager, knows when the next explosion will occur.  What most of us do, once we realize that somebody we know is a rager, is cut them out of our social circle.   Joanne and Carol were friends who got together infrequently.  The problem hanging over their friendship was Carol’s continuous conversation about her many health issues.  Joanne tried to be a patient listener but when her own beloved twin sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, Joanne found her tolerance for Carol’s minor medical problems at an end.  She tried to explain this to Carol but her words were ignored.  Joanne finally told her family that if Carol should call to please say she was out.   Several weeks later, both women were attending the wedding of a mutual acquaintance.  Both women were standing in the receiving line just after the ceremony.  Dozens of people were milling around.  Joanne walked over to Carol to say “hello” and tell her that her twin was on the road to recovery; the surgery had been successful.   When Carol laid eyes on Joanne, she started screaming using angry language and shaking her fist.  Her face was purple with rage.  “How dare you not return my phone calls. I’m outraged that you would insult me like that.  You are one lousy human being.  You don’t really care about anyone but yourself.  You knew how I was struggling with my bladder condition and my hip issues and you never called.  Now you want to say hello?  Forget it.“  Everyone in the vast room stopped talking, turned and stared at the two women.  Joanne immediately exited the room shaking her head in bewilderment leaving Carol to face the social results of her public meltdown.  Since that day, Joanne has maintained her distance from Carol even to the extent of not acknowledging her when they run into one another socially.  “I don’t want to give Carol another opportunity to unload her rage at me in public ever again,” explained Joanne.  “I can never be sure that it will not happen again so I have cut Carol out of my life.”   If you are married to a rager, you should try to convince them to get some help before they take out their rage on you or the children.  There are professionals who can help.  There are also medications that can impact the lack of impulse control.  If you cannot convince him or her to get help, perhaps you need to consider leaving the partnership.  It may save your life and the life of your children.   Suppose, however, you have a possible rager at work. What can you do to protect yourself?  First of all, you have to recognize the signs that a person with possible impulse control issues might exhibit in the workplace.   Here is a list of the telling behaviors that signal someone with rage issues: ●blames others for their problems ●feels outraged about what others get away with ●dwells on past issues; has trouble moving on; can’t let go ●deliberately hurts people verbally ●cannot forgive others for their mistakes ●minor issues are blown up way out of proportion (awfulizing) ●paranoid; thinks everyone is out to get them ●every argument with them is like a fight to the death ●lives in a state of perpetual agitation ●treats others with disrespect ●innocuous comments are often misinterpreted as insults   Secondly, give them a wide birth.  Try to avoid close interaction with them.  Should any explosion occur, even if it does not involve you, make sure you speak to the boss or to human resources about your concerns regarding this person.  These are the people who are likely to go postal when sufficiently upset.   DeAnne’s Anger Tips People with rage control issues fail to see the difficulties and problems in life as challenges to be solved.  Instead, they react in a predictable, repetitious pattern of brooding over perceived unfairness and injustice directed specifically at them. They complain and grumble about common everyday frustrations that most of us deal with easily or hardly even notice.  In addition they may also run from these frustrations by engaging in avoidance activities such as excessive gambling or substance abuse.   In The News When those dancing flash mobs first appeared in our world, did you suspect that they might become a blueprint for group violence?  I did.  We have become a very violent society – angry and hostile about almost everything.   Thursday’s Special Last Week’s Scenarios Scenario #1 Beverly Lawson’s new husband, Howard Gundry, was unable to create a relationship with Beverly’s eight year old daughter……   Howard should continue being the nice guy who wants to be friends with the daughter.  If he continues behaving toward the daughter as if he genuinely likes her and would like them to be friends, eventually the daughter will come around.  It may take months,  but it will happen.  Howard just needs to maintain his I’m-open-to-a-friendship-with-you position.   Scenario #2 Rowena Diaz salary was far and above what those already working in the company were receiving………   Jealousy is an emotion characterized by resentment of one person against another party because of his or her success or advantages.  People troubled by jealousy have suspicious fears of rivalry in which they will lose.  The emotion keeps them stuck rather than moving ahead to acquire whatever it is they need to gain those same advantages.  At work the unfortunate truth is that everyone wants you to be successful but not more successful than they are.   Rowena needs to remember that all those jealous others do not have her expertise.  Her pay is a reflection of that expertise.  She must ignore the hostile feelings coming her way and just do her job.  She could also volunteer to help others gain some of the knowledge she already has.     Scenario #3 The Bsiscsenmasnany’s were the first family from Southeast Asia to move into a small southern town….   Often people fear that which is different from what is familiar to them.  They fear the unknown.  In their fear, they strike out with hostility against that which they do not understand.  One thing the Bsiscsenmasnany’s can do is invite their new neighbors to a cookout where they share a little of their culture with them. A little interesting food, some pictures of the old country and some good conversation will do amazing things to calm people’s fears.   This Week’s Scenarios Scenario #1 Cody Washington was building a large patio onto the back of his home.  Every day, after work and an early dinner, he was out there sawing the wood and nailing it into place.  Cody’s neighbor, Alex Glenn was unhappy about the noise that continued until 10:00 pm each night.  From spring all through summer the banging continued.  For Alex, the noise went from a minor annoyance in the spring to the “most horrific racket a sane person could stand” in August. One hot summer evening in August, seething with rage, Alex crossed the hedge into Cody’s yard with his shot gun in hand and demanded that Cody quit making such a furor.  “I can’t stand it anymore.  You are making my life miserable.  I expect to come home to peace and quiet and there you are disturbing the entire neighborhood with your racket.”   Cody took one look at Alex and saw that he was totally out of control.  If he stayed there and argued with Alex he would probably be putting himself in mortal danger.  He therefore put down his hammer and retreated into his house.  Cody then called the police to say that his life was in danger from his crazy neighbor.  Both men later wound up in court.  What might have been a better way for Alex to handle this situation?   Scenario #2 Jimmy’s parents knew their son had problems controlling his anger but felt he would grow out of it as he approached adulthood.  They were wrong.  One day, Jimmy was working on a research paper for class.  It was a challenging subject and Jimmy was spending lots of hours in the library at the computer, in the archives and reading books on his chosen subject.  One particular book seemed to be especially crucial to Jimmy’s research but it was no where to be found.  He asked the librarian to assist him in locating the book.  The librarian looked in her register and discovered that the book had been borrowed by another patron.   Lib:      You will just have to wait until that book is returned. Jim:     That’s not fair.  I need it now.  It’s critical to my report. Lib:      I’m truly sorry, young man.  But it is in the hands of someone else until the end of the month.  You will just have to wait for it to be returned. Jim:     (stamping his foot and using his fists to beat on the librarian’s desk and  shouting) You have to get that book for me. Lib:      Be quiet.  This is a library.  You do not raise your voice here – ever. If you don’t calm down, I’ll have to ask you to leave. Jim:     (screaming even louder) You are going to make me fail that course. It will be all your fault. I hate you.   With that, Jimmy started throwing whatever was on the librarian’s desk at her.  Then he tried to beat her with his fists.  Several other patrons finally pulled Jimmy away from the librarian but by that time, the librarian was bleeding from a blow to her head and her glasses had been broken.   No doubt Jimmy will be punished for his rage meltdown.  Please consider, however, the responsibility of Jimmy’s parents.  They were aware of Jimmy’s lack of impulse control and did nothing about it.  How do we as a society protect ourselves from people like Jimmy who engage in random episodes of rage and their parents who refuse to recognize the signs and do something about it?   Scenario #3 Alicia was on her way home from an exhausting day at her job.  She was a sales associate at the city’s most elegant and expensive ladies dress shop, Ritzy Missy.  Today had been their annual blowout sale and she was weary of dealing with wealthy, self-absorbed, demanding women.   Alicia realized she needed gas so she pulled into a gas station.  She was third in line for the self-service pump.  She put the car in park and went rummaging in her purse for her credit card.  When she looked up, some well-dressed woman in a Mercedes sports car had muscled her way in front of Alicia’s clunker.  Alicia went ballistic.  She leaned on her horn, screamed at the woman, put her car in gear and gave the Mercedes a good hard bump.  The smartly-dressed woman got out of her car to confront Alicia.  By this time, Alicia had retrieved an old heavy umbrella from her back seat and began to beat the woman about the head and shoulders with it screaming all the time, “You G-d damned people think you own the world because you have money.  Well, I’m sick of your lousy attitude.  You’re not my customer and I don’t have to play nicey nice with you, you scum bag.”  If you were the woman in the Mercedes, what would you do?   END

Blog # 21 Anger and Decision-Making

How many times have you found yourself obsessing over some decision you made which didn’t work out as you had hoped?  I’ll bet lots of times.  We tend to revisit our bad decisions and drive ourselves nuts with our self-directed anger.  Mentally we beat ourselves up with “I should have…” thoughts.  This is not healthy because there is no way of unloading this type of self-directed hostility.  Such emotions leave us feeling depressed.


What’s past is past.  It doesn’t accomplish anything to obsess about something you did in the past because you cannot change the past.  You have to deal with the situation you have today – right now.  That way you change the future with what you do today.


Failure is only feedback.  It tells you that the action you took or decision you made did not work out well.  Therefore, try something else.  We are only human. We can only do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the moment of the decision-making.  To avoid this self-hate, you must build in an attitude that regards failure as just feedback.  That way, any failure is only temporary.  Obsessing over it makes something so horrendous that you cannot recover from it nor get past it.


There is an often told story about Thomas Edison whose friends chided him when his 200th attempt at making the incandescent light bulb failed.

Friends:          My God. Tom, you’ve failed again.  What is this, your 200th

                                                experiment?  Give it up, man.

Thomas:         I haven’t failed 200 times.  I’ve found 200 ways my idea won’t work.


Superior problem-solving is one of the measures of an effective human being. You must be able to gather and analyze facts and then reason things out systematically.  Then you have to select a strategy that does not complicate things by creating more problems than it solves.  If you do this, you can expect your decisions to produce good results.




Decision-making is the process of problem-solving through making a conscious choice or selection of one alternative from a group of two or more alternatives to achieve an objective. The key here is: your decision’s purpose is to achieve an objective.


Decision-making can cause a good deal of anxiety in circumstances where:

●the actual problem situation is ambiguous;

●circumstances are vague;

●available information is unclear;

●the ramifications of the decision are obscure;

●the problem situation is new and there is no strategy for dealing with it;

●there is no historical data on which you can base your thinking;

●you have to put your trust on the information and expertise of others;

●you may not see the outcome or results of your decision for a long time;

●the consequences resulting from your decision will be far-reaching.


What follows is information about a simple and very basic method for decision-making which will work well in most situations. If you employ this method, it will severely reduce any hostile revisiting of old decisions.



The Basic Model for Decision-Making


This model for anger-free decision-making has ten steps:


1. recognize that a problem exists;


2.set a solution objective;


3..analyze the situation;


4. identify uncertainties;


5. determine “workable” solutions;


6.gather data, information and seek expert help if necessary;


7. select the best alternative;


8.  develop a plan for implementation and action


9.  implement the plan


10. follow-up: examine how the decision worked out; evaluate its effectiveness in solving 1he problem.



A diagrammatic illustration of this process follows. The process is represented in a circle to stress two critical issues:


●All good decision-making begins with a clearly stated solution objective. This way, the direction of your efforts is explicitly stated.  You know where you are going.  You have an answer to the question, “What are you trying to accomplish anyway?”


●Decision making is a skill that can be learned, and like any skill, you need to have a logical, repeatable process into which you can incorporate what you have learned from previous situations.  That way, the more decision-making you do, the better you will become at it.  Moreover, the fewer opportunities you will have for beating yourself up over poorly made decisions.





Suppose your decision does not achieve its solution objective.   The first thing you want to look at is your analysis of the situation; perhaps it was not complete and accurate.  It if was not, maybe that is where you went off the track.  The next item you want to look at is the alternatives you generated.  Perhaps you did not generate enough choices.  Thirdly you want to examine your selection of “workable solutions”; perhaps you missed something important there.  Maybe you neglected to obtain necessary information that was easily available from sources other than yourself.  In other words, you go around the circle, examining each of the ten steps to see where you went off track.  The circle gives you an effective, logical method for evaluating your decision process.  This allows you to set things up for going around the circle a second time – repeating the ten steps – and this time, achieving your solution objective.


To know how good your decision has been requires measuring it against your objective.  If your decision did not achieve your objective, do not obsess about it.  Just go around the circle again.  Here is a true story of a friend who went off track by starting her decision cycle with a poor solution objective.



Nancy Waldorf was a good looking forty-something woman who feared getting old looking.  She decided to have some cosmetic work done so she saved up her money and then went looking for a plastic surgeon.  She wanted to locate a doctor who would charge her an amount of money that was within her saved and budgeted funds.  Unfortunately she had not saved enough to hire a top plastic surgeon.  She went with a newly minted inexperienced cosmetic specialist.  The result was that although her turkey neck was gone, one ear was now two inches higher than the other.  Every time she looked into the mirror, she was filled with anger at herself and loathing at her bargain doctor. Now Nancy had to locate a specialist in plastic surgery who could correct her bargain doctor’s work.


Illustrated below are Nancy’s two trips around the decision cycle.




Decision Steps First time around the circle Second time around the circle
Objective doctor who charged what she had budgeted best available specialist experienced in correcting poorly done surgery
uncertainties None considered Even the best specialist might not be able to correct the problem
Alternatives Wait until she had more saved Live with the problem
Workable solutions Keep looking for a doctor who would charge what she had saved Arrange some monthly payment plan
Gather Information Yellow pages, “plastic surgeons; calling each and asking “What do you charge for…..” interviewed other plastic surgeons and their patients to locate the best person for the task
Best Alternative Hire the cheapest doctor Hire the doctor considered the best plastic surgeon by his peers
Plan of action To make a surgery appointment as soon as possible In depth conversation with her chosen doctor about expectations and risks
implement Just do it and get it over with Surgery was planned after several preparation visits
Evaluate Poor outcome Successful result



Here is an example of someone who  made such a morass over a so called poor decision that his entire life came to a standstill.


Bernie Wycoff was a computer wiz at college.  In his senior year one of his classmates, Tony DeBaio, told Bernie that he was going out to Seattle, Washington to start his own software company.  He asked Bernie to come with him as his VP of Development. Bernie was reluctant to leave his family and friend.  Moreover, he believed that good-time Tony would never make a success of anything.  Therefore, he turned Tony down.


It is now ten years later. Tony DeBaio’s company is one of the most successful software development companies in the world.  Bernie has settled into a back office bank job that uses his computer skills. During the ten years since his graduation from college, Bernie


has watched his beloved parents sell the homestead and move to Florida.  His three

best buddies took jobs in different parts of the country.  Even Bernie’s two sisters have married and moved away.  There is only one relative left in Bernie’s home town, an old uncle in a nursing home who no longer remembers who Bernie is.


Bernie has a girlfriend, Beverly Anders, to whom he complains every day about the poor decision he made ten years ago.  “I should have gone to work for Tony DeBio.  My life here has gone nowhere.  I was so stupid. I literally threw away what might have been a brilliant future.”  Bernie tells Beverly he is very depressed over his situation.   Beverly is tired of hearing this old story.


Beverly:          I’m tired of hearing how depressed you are. You make me depressed because you are living in the past.  Meanwhile your present and future are quietly slipping away.  Do something about it and stop complaining.

Bernie:            I don’t know what to do.

Beverly:          You could start by calling Tony up on the phone.

Bernie:            What?  And ask him for a job?  He’d laugh at me.

Beverly:          You could just make it a friendly how- are- you- doing sort of call and let him take the lead.  He’ll ask what you’re doing work-wise and you can tell him you are thinking of making a change.  See what happens.  Doing nothing and complaining is making a mud-hole out of that ten year old decision.  All you are doing is digging that mud hole deeper and deeper until it buries you alive.



DeAnne’s Anger Tips

Anger and depression are very closely related.  They are, in fact, two sides of the same coin.  Depression is anger turned inward against yourself.  Anger is an emotion that explodes outward.  Depression is like beating yourself with a rubber hose – it leaves no marks.  You do it to yourself.  Here’s the critical issue.  It is by far healthier to be angry than it is to be depressed.  When a person becomes seriously depressed, he or she is in danger of committing suicide.  The next time you feel depressed ask yourself, “What am I


angry about?”  Keep asking that question until you get an answer.  Then, don’t stop there.  Ask yourself, “What am I going to do about that?  How will I move forward from this?”



Thursday’s Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Sally Miller is the VP of Human Resources.  At a meeting she makes a suggestion; no one says anything.  Then one of the men makes the same suggestion.


If this sort of thing happens to you at work, there is only one way to stop it. Put your idea in writing, with all the attending data and make sure your name is all over that document. Then you can hold up that document and say, “It is gratifying to know that all of you believe my idea has so much merit that you are all wishing my idea was actually Bill’s.  But it is not Bill’s idea.  It is my idea and here is the proof.”



Scenario #2

Your spouse nags at you from the moment you get home from work until you leave the house the next morning.


At a time when the kids are not around, say something like this:

●I have asked you three times over the last three weeks not to nag me and complain about issues when the kids are around.  Nevertheless, you continue to nag me and complain when the kids are around to hear it.

●This makes me feel concerned because the kids are developing negative personalities as a result.

●I want you to reserve your nagging and complaining for times when the kids are not around.

●How else can we ensure that out kids grow up with a healthy and positive attitude toward life?


Then, no matter how your spouse responds, you continue to repeat that third line.  You want to emphasize that you are not asking that he or she stop nagging and complaining.  Just that you want it not to occur when the kids are around.  As a result, you will experience a huge reduction in the nagging and complaining.



Scenario #3

Your child tells you she hates school and doesn’t want to go there anymore.  Every day she comes home upset and crying.


This is very serious because she refuses to tell you exactly what is going on.  Perhaps a visit to her teacher and then the principal might be a good starting point for your investigation.  If you are acquainted with her friends and classmates, you might ask them what is going on.


If you try again to persuade your child to reveal the reason for her intense dislike of school, start the conversation from another place.  For example, you might ask her to describe what a school that she likes might look like and sound like.  What kind of kids would go there?  Describe the type of teacher she would like to have. How would everyone be dressed?  What would they be learning?



This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

About twice each week, your neighbor’s teen-aged son and a few of his friends go rummaging through your waste can of unwanted mail and other pieces of discarded paperwork. You are concerned that he is searching for personal data such as social security numbers and bank account information with which to do identity theft.  You have no proof that this is his intension.  But, you are very suspicious that he is up to no good.  What do you think you should do?



Scenario #2

Your husband’s best friend, Derek Grable, is married to a very beautiful woman named Antonia.  Derek is absolutely nuts about Antonia.  However, Antonia is unhappy in her marriage.  Over coffee the other day Antonia confided in you that she plans to leave Derek within the month.  “That will break Derek’s heart”, you said.  Nancy replied, “I’m being stifled by all this housework and cooking.  I want a career.  I want to spend my time doing something significant.  I’ve told Derek this but he just doesn’t understand.  So I’m leaving him.   Please don’t tell anyone what I’ve just told you.  Please.  I will tell Derek myself when I think the time is right.”  What do you think you should do?



Scenario #3


It is a dark, rainy night.  You are driving home from a friend’s home where you had a nice dinner and some great conversation. You are replaying the evening’s events in your head and smiling to yourself.  You are unaware that you crossed into another lane without signaling your intended lane change.  You nearly hit another car.  The driver in the other car becomes enraged and starts to tailgate you, honking his horn and putting on his bright lights.  Suddenly, you feel a little fear creeping in because you do not know the reason for the other driver’s strange actions.  He appears to be screaming at you from his open window.  You see his fist pumping.  You speed up.  He speeds up.   What do you think you should do?




Blog # 20 Anger Against Inanimate Objects

Lucas Snelling was on his way to make a sales presentation at his office to his company’s biggest client.  Traffic was terrible.  He began to agonize that he might be late.  Then, for no understandable reason, his car started making strange noises.  Lucas edged the car over to the side of the road and turned off the engine.  He took off his suit jacket, got out of the car and raised the hood.


“Why am I doing this?” He thought.  “I don’t know anything about car engines.  We’ll probably lose the client because of this stupid automobile. The boss will blame me.  AAA will take hours to get here because it’s drive time”.  With that, Lucas slammed down the hood and gave the car a good kick – and – broke his foot.


Two hours later, after a trip to the hospital, Lucas finally arrived at the office on crutches with his foot in a cast.  The client was waiting.  “I heard you had a little car trouble but I didn’t realize that you had been in an accident.  Are you all right?”  Sheepishly, Lucas explained that he had taken his anger and frustration out on his car.


Does this make Lucas abnormal?  I don’t think so.  All of us can easily relate to poor Lucas.  If you have been following this blog, you know that a key generator of rage is unfulfilled expectations.  We all have certain expectations about the equipment we purchase – that it will work when it is supposed to; that it will not let us down.  Then, when it doesn’t, we simply lose it.


Here is another example.  Louise Jensen was busy in the kitchen preparing a grand meal for her new in-laws.  She had arrived home a little late and was frantically hurrying to get everything ready.  Louise was serving a crown of lamb roast.  At a gourmet shop Louise had purchased an imported can of special mint salsa to go with her lamb.  This little touch would guarantee a memorable dinner.


However, Louise’s electric can opener refused to do its job.  She tried and tried to make the thing work.  Finally, in frustration, Louise yanked the can opener from off the wall and hurled it out the opened kitchen window.


Louise’s apartment was on the forth floor.  A man was walking home on the street below.  The flying can opener hit him a glancing blow to the head.  When Louise’s husband and parents arrived at the apartment some twenty minutes later, they were greeted by the police and an angry neighbor who was threatening to charge her criminally for assault and battery.  Here again we have a situation where rage is generated because an expectation that went unmet.


Here is my favorite example of this type of rage.  Walter Nolan had a neighbor, Ray Hogan who had purchased a second-hand riding mower.  The machine made an awful grinding noise whenever Ray used it.  The noise was so loud that the entire neighborhood always knew when Ray was cutting his lawn.  His bargain mower would often break down but Ray was good with equipment and he always seemed to know how to get the thing working again.


The one day, the mower evidently came to the end of its miserable existence. That terrible grinding noise suddenly stopped.  Walter looked out his window and was treated to the spectacle of Ray swearing at the machine and throwing his fix-it tools at it.   Walter chuckled and went back to what he was doing inside his house.


Several minutes later, however, Walter heard a series of gun shots.  Racing outside to see what had happened.  Walter found the riding motor on its side on Ray’s front walk.  The machine was full of bullet holes and was lying in a pool of oil.  Ray was stretched out in his hammock, sleeping.  His gun was resting on his stomach and there was a beatific smile of satisfaction on his face.


There isn’t a person on this earth who hasn’t felt this depth of rage.  Most often, the feelings are directed at another person rather than a piece of equipment.  The feeling is so very strong that we literally scare ourselves.  We’d love to kick that person or maybe throw something lethal at their head or even take a gun and shoot them.  But we don’t.  We pack all that hostility away inside.


We aren’t afraid to act out when it comes to equipment.  Unloading that level of severe and dangerous rage on a piece of equipment is (most often) a safe method.  But, when it comes to another person, we:


●rationalize………………..”He/she must be having a bad day”

●minimize…………………”Really, it wasn’t that big a deal; let it go”

●self-deprecate……………”I’m too thin skinned; I shouldn’t let these

things bother me”

●excuse bad behavior……”I’m sure he/she didn’t mean to do that.”

●deny……………………….”I must have misunderstood him/her”


None of these reactions will support your very valid anger.  If you are truly angry about what someone has said to you or something they have done, go talk to them.  Maintain your sanity by getting into action. Holding things inside is not healthy.  Moreover your anger will leak out anyway in strange behaviors (passive aggressive actions).




This week a thirty-four year old man and his live-with girl friend were having one of their many knock-down, drag-out, screaming fights.  The argument spilled out onto the street in front of their home.  The man was holding his three month old baby girl.  In a fit of rage, he slammed the baby down onto the concrete curbstone splintering the baby’s skull.  Neighbors called the police; an ambulance rushed the baby to the local hospital where it is reported the baby is in intensive care and not expected to live.  The man ran away but later gave himself up to the police.  His explanation was “Sometimes that woman makes me so mad…”


DeAnne’s Anger Tips

Perhaps this has happened to you.  A person angrily accuses you of something which they did.  Immediately you want to (angrily) correct them with an “I did not such thing” statement.   Step back a little and consider this:  sometimes an angry accusation can be a confession.  The person may feel extremely guilty about something they have done.  Furiously, they will accuse someone else of having done it. This strategy diverts attention away from them and helps them maintain their self-image.


Thursday’s Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Your boss asks you to help do the work of Sugar Lee Jones who spends her day tweeting friends…..


This is clear evidence of very poor management.  Your boss needs the work to be done and the easiest way for him to get that accomplished is to give it to the most capable of his employees, allowing the deadwood and the slackers to do very little.  He wants to avoid confrontation.


You need to have a conversation with this boss.  Put your concerns out as a personal hardship; that you are suffering from all this overwork.  This type of boss wants everyone to be happy.  You want to tell him you are not happy and that only he can solve this problem.




Scenario #2

Your boss, Reggie Gill is a real turkey.   Reggie’s boss, Bret Baylor, evidently wants you to confirm that fact to him.  That’s why he asked you to give him some feedback on Reggie’s performance as a manager.


Politically, this is a mine field.  It is not your job to provide performance feedback on your boss to his boss.  Reggie may well be a dufus but while you work for him you have to support him.  Tell Bret Baylor not to put you in this position. It just isn’t right.  You must say nothing negative. Nothing


By the way, as long as you work for Reggie, you career will go nowhere.  When your boss is a dufus, you get tainted with dufus dust.  Your hard work is what keeps him in his position.  He gets any credit; you remain invisible.  Your best move is to find another boss.  Ask for a transfer.  Say something like, “Now that I’ve learned all about framistats, I’d like to learn about gizzlestats.


Scenario #3

Your boss, Reggie Gill is the son-in-law of the company’s CFO. How will this knowledge affect what you say to Bret Baylor?


This knowledge should not affect what you have to say one iota.  Reggie is the company’s problem to solve.  You don’t want to get involved.



This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Sally Miller is the VP of Human Resources at her company.  Because of the poor economy, the company is facing some serious financial issues.  All department heads, Sally included, have been called to an important meeting with the company president.  The president wants to solicit ideas from his senior staff for reducing the company’s operating costs.

Sally has an idea which she shares with the group.  Since manufacturing and sales are very slow during the summer months, Sally suggests that the company consider giving every employee Mondays and Fridays off during July and August.  She presents the group with savings figures which the company would realize if her plan were executed.  Silence follows her presentation.  After a long pause, several more suggestions are presented.  Then, the VP of finance offers the exact same idea that Sally had suggested.

Pres:                           That’s a great idea!

VP of Sales:              The staff would love the long weekends.  I’m all for it.

VP of Marketing:       Good suggestion, Bill.  That would work out very nicely.

VP of Manuf’in:          That would give us time to do any mechanical repairs.

Pres:                           That’s what I call thinking outside the box.  Nice work, Bill.

If you were Sally, what would you do now?


Scenario #2

Your spouse nags at you from the moment you get home from work until you leave the house the next morning.  This doesn’t make for a very happy household because the kids hear all the complaints and respond with their own negative behavior.  You have asked your spouse to save the complaining for times when the kids are not around.  Your spouse’s reaction is as if you haven’t said anything at all.  The complaining continues.  What do you think you should do?


Scenario #3

Your child tells you she hates school and doesn’t want to go there anymore.  Every day she comes home upset and crying.  When you asked her if she was being teased or bullied, she refused to answer.  Since you don’t know what the problem is, you are feeling angry, frustrated and worried.  What do you think you should do?



BLOG # 19 Anger and the Differences Between Men and Women

Some of the gnawing aggravations and frustrating conflicts occur between men and women because each gender really views the world from a totally different perspective. This is true both in the home and at work.

The most significant difference is:
●a man will explode but then it’s over;
●a woman will seethe for a long, long time.

Here is an example. A man will become furious over a situation and blast forth, sometimes using very unkind words. Once he’s unloaded, usually on his long suffering spouse, as far as he is concerned, that’s the end of it. She got the message that she was spending too much money on things other than food. She, however, will brood for days. It’s not about the message. She gets that he’s upset at her spending. She is enraged that he would talk to her in such a disrespectful manner.

Later that evening, he indicates he’s ready for a little loving.
She: I’m too tired.
He: What’s the matter?”
She: Nothing.
He: I can tell you’re angry. What are you angry about?
She: If you can’t figure it out, I’m not going to explain it to you.

He has already forgotten about his hissy fit over her spending but she will hold on to her anger over his disrespect for a very long time doing things to purposefully annoy him (passive aggressive behavior).

Men and women communicate differently:
●men make statements;
●women ask questions.
Although conventional wisdom tells us that women talk more than men, recent studies have shown that:
●men do much more talking than women;
●men are more likely to dominate conversations;
●in adult conversations, 96% of the interruptions happen with men interrupting women.

Guess how much anger this generates in the woman being interrupted? When this happens in personal relationships, the woman is left feeling very angry because she doesn’t have the chance to voice her opinions fully. She wants to talk about the problem a little, perhaps to look at it from several points of view; perhaps to uncover a solution that is comfortable for her. He wants to get to the solution immediately and move on. Here is an example.

She: I think it would be nice to take the kids on a vacation to…….
He: We are not going to take an expensive trip to Disneyland or some other theme park this year.
She: But…..
He: The kids can use the local pool and I’ll take them camping in the back yard.
She: My parents invited us to join them in Florida….
He: Florida? That’s great! The kids will love that.
She: during the kids winter break.
When faced with problems, women generally come up with far more innovative solutions than do men. One study attributes this to the fact that women have little investment in the traditional approaches to problem-solving and have less of a psychological investment in doing things the usual way. A man will become angry because he cannot make sense of how the woman thinks. Here is an example.

One young woman was the facilities coordinator for a large company whose offices were housed in a 30 story high rise. There had been a number of complaints regarding the slowness of the elevators and she had been ordered to “take care of the situation.” She did not ask for a special budget allocation to study the problem. She did not call in an architectural consultant to explore solution possibilities. She did not even contact the elevator company to research the situation. She had a glass manufacturer install full length mirrors in the front entry hall by the elevators. Since people now spent the time checking out their appearance, they never noticed how fast or slow the elevators were. As you can imagine, she and her boss almost came to blows over her request to purchase those hall mirrors.

Boss: I don’t think you understand the problem. We need faster elevators.
She: I understand. Repairing them will be expensive. The mirrors will work and they are a cheaper fix.
Boss: I don’t understand how you think.
She: If the mirrors don’t solve the problem, you can take the cost out of my salary.
Boss: This is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard

Here is another example. Joanne’s husband Bill had a brother Frank who would invariably drop in for a visit at dinner time on Sunday when Joanne would put out a magnificent spread for her family. Joanne and Bill’s family consisted of four twenty year olds – some were married, some were not. All the kids were off working and building their own lives. Sunday dinner was very important to Joanne and Bill because they were able to reconnect with their kids and find out what everyone was doing.

Frank would bring his six young kids and his wife, Mona. In ten years of marriage, never once did Frank and Mona invite Bill and Joanne to their home. Bill complained to Joanne that they were being used and that he wanted Frank’s visits to stop. Moreover, their sacred Sunday dinners had become about Frank and his kids. Bill was furious but since Frank was family, he didn’t want to tell Frank he was not welcome.

The following Sunday, Joanne served her family a hearty lunch. Later in the day, Joanne put hotdogs – one dog per person – on the table for dinner. When Frank and his brood arrived, Joanne explained that with food prices so high, she had decided to cut back a little. The following week, she did the exact same thing. That was the last time Frank brought his family for Sunday dinner.

One issue men and women never understand about one another is the importance with which each regards status, hierarchy and power. Men have a lot of personal investment in that system; it takes years of “paying one’s dues” before one moves up. Protection of one’s gains becomes critical; respect for those above on the hierarchical ladder is mandatory if one expects to climb higher. Women often regard this sort of reverence as a bit overdone. This can make a man angry because the woman does not regard this important and precious. Here is an example.

One woman learns from a friend about a shake up in another department of the company. Apparently, the Credit Manager and the Director of Purchasing were brothers in law. Because of the difference in last names, no one knew they were related. The two men were able to set up a very slick, bogus voucher system whereby the company may have lost a good deal of money. All excited about this bit of hot news, she starts to tell her manager the story. He interrupts her immediately and asks:
He: Who did they put in charge of the office now that those two are gone?
She: I don’t know. The story was so interesting, I forgot to ask.

Marjorie and Andrew Pinker go shopping for a new car. Marjorie says she will be happy with a small hybrid. Andrew wants to purchase a Lexus sedan. Marjorie insists they do not need such a big, expensive car. Andrew insists that a Lexus purchase will confirm to all their friends, neighbors and relatives that financially he has arrived and is very successful. In anger, Marjorie retorts, “What a waste of money! Who cares what people think, especially those who judge a person by the car they drive.” Andrew answers, “You just don’t understand.”

Here is another example from the work environment. Both Angie and Kent have turned in spectacular performances this year but are both told there will be no raises because “Times are tough.” However, their boss has come up with an innovative idea. He will give them each a new, grander title. Kent is pleased and orders a new sign for his desk. Angie says, “Boss, how much food with my new title purchase at the grocery store?” Now the boss is angry at Angie’s lack of gratitude.

By far, the most infuriating difference between men and women is how each view “rules”. Women play by the rules; men play with the rules.

In the home, the rule is if you use out the toilet paper, you replace it with a new roll. A man will leave one square on the roll and, if asked about it, will say, “I didn’t use it out.” This starts early in life. If the mother tells her three year old son to wash his hands before dinner, he will wash one side only. She actually has to tell him to do both sides.

If you are a sports fan, you see this difference in an even more dramatic way. Women’s teams will rarely commit purposeful fouls. A men’s team player will happily commit a foul against an opposing team player if he thinks the referee isn’t looking. Then, when called for the foul, you see the “Who me???” face on the player.

Understanding the differences between the sexes and how each views the world can go a long way in reducing the stress and anger. Just remember the other side doesn’t see things the same way you do.

DeAnne Needs Your Help
If you would, the next time you go into your local book store, please ask them to purchase a copy or two and place it in their window where people might be enticed to look at it and purchase it.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and that you are learning good things from it. The purpose of the blog is to create interest in my book, From Rage to Resolution and to get book stores to place it on their shelves where people can purchase it and use it. Book stores today are having a tough time financially and are unwilling to purchase a publication unless they are assured of brisk sales. This book, From Rage to Resolution will give its readers three things:
●a life free of disrespect from others;
●a longer, healthier life (because the stress, anger and hostility of daily living will be considerably reduced);
●more energy (because the baggage of old hostilities will be gone).
Getting this book into the hands of people who can use its easy-to-learn skills is my goal but I need your help to do that. Will you help me?

Thursday’s Special

Last Week’s Scenarios
Scenario #1
A boss who tells you at 4:00 pm on Friday, “I don’t care what you have to do to get this done…….”

Unless you have a contract (in writing) that states otherwise, overtime is at your discretion. Even when an organization sugar-coats it with promises of time and one-half overtime, it is still at your discretion. (9:00am to 5:pm is theirs; 5:00pm to 9:00am is your time. In this case, since it is the boss and in today’s market, jobs are precious, you must say “No” carefully.
You: Boss I really would love to stay and finish this for you tonight but I have made a previous commitment which prevents me from doing so. How else do you think we can solve this problem.
Boss: Bla bla bla
You: Believe me, I understand the importance but unfortunately I have made a previous commitment which prevents me from doing so. How else do you think we can solve this problem?
Boss: Bla bla bla
You: Perhaps you can get an extension on the due date. However, I have made a previous commitment which prevents me from remaining here past 5:00pm. How else do you think we can solve this problem?
Boss: Bla bla bla
You: That’s a great idea! I’m sure Mary will do a fine job for you.

Scenario #2
Your best friend, Betty Whitmore, agrees to get together with you for dinner and a movie but she has a hidden agenda.

The next time Betty and you decide to go anywhere together, ask her up front if she has any other plans in mind. She will probably say, “No.” The day before you get together, ask her that same question again. About one hour before you meet, tell her what you expect (which is the plan you decided upon and nothing extra). Ask her for confirmation of that. She will get the message.

Scenario #3
You have made an appointment to see the doctor for 10:00 AM. You are still waiting at 12:30 PM.

Here is how I solved this problem. While waiting I figured out how much my waiting time was worth on a per hour basis based upon my salary. After my appointment, I sent the doctor a bill for my waiting time. I never received a bill for the visit and I was never again left to cool my heels in his office for longer than fifteen minutes.

All these examples represent other people misusing your time. This is very disrespectful. You may believe that the most precious item in your life is money but it is not. The most precious item you have is time. Never allow other people to waste it.

This Week’s Scenarios
Scenario #1
You work hard at your job and whatever you do is done with accuracy, and professionalism. You have a co-worker, Sugar Lee Jones who spends her day tweeting friends, doing her nails, shopping on line and spending extended break times in the engineering department which is mostly peopled with men.

Unfortunately your boss, Reggie Gill, is not much of a manager. Instead of making sure Sugar Lee does her work, when she falls behind – which is often – your boss asks you to pick up her slack. To make matters worse, when raise time came around, both you and Sugar Lee received the same amount. Reggie told you that he thought it was important to treat everyone equally when it came to money.

To say you are feeling hostile and angry doesn’t fully describe your feelings. If jobs weren’t so hard to find, you would have left this one long ago. What do you think you can do to change this situation?

Scenario #2
Apparently everyone in your section of the company realizes that Reggie Gill is a problem. For one thing, Reggie has difficulty making decisions. In addition, he really doesn’t understand the business. So, whenever critical things need a decision or must get handled quickly, other supervisors and managers work around Reggie. Sometimes, they just hold meetings and “forget” to invite him.

Reggie’s boss, Bret Baylor, the director of the marketing division, dropped by your desk yesterday and asked you to give him some feedback on Reggie’s performance as a manager. “Oh boy!” You thought. “This is dangerous. If I tell Bret what I really think, it could come back to bite me in the rear. If I don’t say anything, Bret will think I am being uncooperative. If I lie and say Reggie is a good boss, Bret will know I’m lying. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.”

In order to buy some time, you asked Bret to give you a day or two to think about it. He agreed and you two will meet day after tomorrow at 3:00pm. What do you think you should say?

Scenario #3
Reggie Gill is generally well liked by those in the company with whom he does not work. He is very sociable and friendly. Reggie is the guy who always organizes the Christmas party, the football pool and the July family picnic. If an employee is hospitalized, or there is a death in an employee’s family, you can bet that Reggie will pass the hat for flowers.

Today, while eating in the cafeteria, you overheard two staff members from human resources discussing Reggie Gill.
Fran: How in heavens name did Reggie Gill ever get to be a manager?
Gert: Didn’t you know? He’s the son-in-law of the company’s CFO.
How will this knowledge affect what you say to Bret Baylor?


Blog # 18 Anger and Time Management

No one ever has enough time.  Yet we already have all the time there is – 24 hours per day.  The quantity of time is not the problem, however, but rather how that inelastic resource Is used.  What time management is really all about is managing yourself and your energy.

Time and energy, are often squandered or poorly utilized because you have not designed an overall strategy.  As a result, your control over tasks at work and the tasks at home fall into the hands of others creating anger and a depressing feeling of helplessness.

This blog will present you with a few (seven techniques) strategies that can double your personal productivity by expanding your energy so that you get more done in the time available.

Everything you do is evaluated in time by annoying questions such as:

●How long will that take?

●When will it be done?

●When will dinner be ready?

●Why can’t you do it now?

●How come it’s taking you so long?

●Well how long will that take?

Such questions produce in you valid rage.

Your management of this restrictive resource is the decisive element in your professional success or failure and, more importantly, your sanity.

You may make a time commitment for completion of a project at home or at work.  You may have carefully considered such things as interruptions and emergencies, in your estimate. Then other things which you cannot control happen, such as interruptions, and there goes your estimate down the drain.

The hardest thing of all is to direct your attention, energy and initiative throughout the day so that you can minimize how long it takes you to accomplish each and every task you take on. It takes a very determined person to maintain such a focus in the face all the distractions that impact on you from everyone and everywhere.

Setting Up A Cost/Benefit Analysis

In order to manage your time and energy more effectively, you must first get an accurate picture of how you are currently utilizing your time right now.  To do this, you should first keep a daily log of your activities for about two weeks.  This is not rocket science and it doesn’t have to be exact.  An estimate will do just fine.

When you have collected sufficient data, redo your list with the most important tasks and responsibilities at the top going down to those least important.  Your next step is to record the number of hours you spent working on each of the listed activities.  Then calculate what percentage each is against the 40 hour week time frame.

If you were to add up all the percentages in that second column, you will probably go over 100%.  This is because you probably spend more than 40 hours a week on the job and certainly more than 40 hours doing tasks at home.  Your  cost/benefit analysis however, is not designed to show how many hours you spend on particular tasks but rather to show what tasks and activities take up most of your time.

What you may find is the most important tasks take 20% of your time while the unimportant, low priority tasks take 80% of your time.  Now you have some idea of what is wasting your time and how much time it is wasting.

his is a good illustration of the fact that time management is a process of choice:  either you use the time for high priority tasks or you use it on nonsense activities.

Tasks and activities relating to the job or in the home can be categorized into three groups:

1.  Routine work                                30%                            low energy time of day

2.  Regular work                                50% – 60%                 high energy time of day

3.  Special Project work                   10% – 20%                 requires set-aside specific time

Routine work involves tasks that are low priority but must be handled daily.  These are items that can be done when you have time.  They should take no more than 30% of your day or week.  The best way to handle these tasks is to confine the doing of them to a specific time frame.  When that time is up, you stop doing those things.  Many folks have found it helpful to associate doing routine tasks with their low energy time of day.  That way, they have their best energy available for more important things.

Regular work involves the important tasks that are the heart and soul of what you wish to accomplish this week (or day).  These tasks would be considered top priority.  These items should take up 50%-60% of your time.  Because you can make very good estimates as to how long each item will take to accomplish, the best way to manage the items in this category is with the use of a to do list.

The to do list should indicate an estimated time for completion for each task.  This makes it easier for you to get your boss’s concurrence to your work priorities.

Special project work involves high priority but infrequent tasks that take your attention completely away from everything else.  Special project work should probably take up no more than 10%-20% of your time.  Often these tasks have no recommended way of attacking them.  You have to find the way.  It is impossible, therefore, to make an accurate time estimate for the tasks in the special project category.  However, the items in this category usually require a certain amount of uninterrupted time to accomplish them.  You need to estimate how much time you will need to accomplish such a task and set aside the time uninterrupted time you need to do it.  One useful strategy is known as planned unavailability“.  You and your boss or family agree to a specific amount of time when, even though you are there,  everyone will pretend that you are not there.  Doing the dreaded taxes  might be a great candidate for using planned unavailability. so that you can have the time you need to work on them without interruption.

The Secret to Multiplying Your Energy

Time is a liner measurement that goes on in the background at the same steady pace.  Human energy is not liner.  It can expand dramatically, allowing you to get more accomplished in one day than you ever thought possible.  The key to unlocking all that power is the sense of completion or accomplishment.

Think of a day when you suffered with a tremendous number of interruptions.  At the end of the day you felt as if you had wasted the entire day.  If someone had asked you how your day went, you would have answered, “I was busy every minute but I got nothing done”.  Your motivation had died because you were prevented from bringing anything to completion. The key to expanding your energy is to organize your work so that you can experience as many completions as possible every day.  For example, every time you are starting a project, break it up into pieces that can be accomplished within a 20 minute time frame.  That way, if you are interrupted, you can at least being one section of that task to conclusion.

When you break up a project into pieces, label each piece and put each as a separate entry on your To Do List.  When you complete a piece, cross it off with a red marker and watch your energy jump.
The Strategy of Using the To Do List to its Best Advantage

Every evening, before you go to bed (or at work before you leave for the day), make up a To Do List for the following day.  Both at work and at home, put your To Do List in some prominent location where you and other people can easily see it at any time.  This has some interesting benefits.  First of all, it keeps you focused on the tasks you have planned to accomplish.  Secondly, when other people ask you to interrupt you efforts to do something for them, you can point to your list and say, “I can help you after I finish with the doodlefrotz stuff. “  With your kids, you can say, “Is fixing your toy more important than mommy finishing cooking dinner right now?”

Setting Priorities

Priority is the order of importance or sequence in which various things should take precedence in terms of your time and attention.  For example, if you were a secretary in a sales and marketing department, the overall priorities might be:  (1) customer issues, (2) field personnel and (3) departmental and company issues. If you were an office manager in a large medical practice or HMO, your overall priorities might be: (1) Doctor requests, (2) insurance and medical forms, and (3) general correspondence and billings.  If you were a home maker with a large family to look after, your overall priorities might be: (1) spouse’s needs, (2) kids needs and (3) housework responsibilities.  Because priorities change, several times each year, you should reevaluate your priorities often to be certain that your current strategy is still working effectively.

Setting Priorities

There are many strategies for setting priorities and each method has merit.  Each method also has its problems.  Here is a list of the most popular methods.

Set priorities according to:

●the due date;

●who is making the most noise at the time;

●the rank or importance of the person for whom the work is being done;

●what you think needs to be done;

●the importance of the various tasks;

●how you feel and what you feel like doing; and

●what will give you the most results for your expenditure of time and energy.

Most enthusiastically, I recommend that you use the last one on the list because this will give you the most opportunities for completions which are the secret to motivation.

Here Is a List of The Greatest Time-Wasters

doing things that don’t make any real difference

●doing things that don’t need to be done right now

●doing things that someone else should be doing

●letting yourself get physically exhausted or run-down

●not allowing sufficient time for travel to appointments

●working without a clear plan or strategy

●doing in case activities

●allowing needless interruptions

●failing to listen

●allowing phone calls from friends to go on too long

●playing with unnecessary details

●wasting time on Twitter and other social media

●texting needless and useless information

●working without clear priorities or sequence for accomplishment

●not making use of the time you spend waiting for others

●unwillingness to say NO


●starting but not finishing tasks

●worrying over things that probably will not happen

●mentally re-living old mistakes and choices

●second-guessing previously made decisions

●lack of punctually


●disorganization of paperwork, tools, etc.

●looking for things that weren’t put away properly

●thinking about personal issues while trying to work at something

●making inaccurate estimates of task time requirements

●analysis paralysis

Some Final Thoughts Regarding Time Management


If you mind is not on what you are currently doing, you are fighting against yourself and you cannot win that battle.  Put your mind on what you are doing so you can get it done quickly and accurately.

Do you often feel you are facing too many problems?  Look at it this way: you don’t have problems. You have decisions to make.  Make them and move on.

Always consider Pareto’s time principle, also called the 80% – 20% principle which states that 80% of what you do (trivial stuff) will result in 20% of your results while 20% of your efforts on important stuff will give you 80% of your results.  This ratio is so true it is frightening.  In a business, 20% of your customers will give you 80% of your problems.  In school, 20% of the kids will give a teacher 80% of the  aggravation.  In a garden 20% of what you plant will give you 80% of your successful flowers.  In your wardrobe, 20% of your clothing will be worn 80% of the time.  What you have to do in life, therefore is decide what your 20% of anything is so you can concentrate on that and get the most bang for your time.

DeAnne’s Anger Tips       


Rage and hostile defensiveness can sometimes be used by people whose entire ego is wrapped up in and inseparable from their closely held beliefs.  Should you say something that might possibly be interpreted as opposing those closely held beliefs, they attack.  They become enraged and hostile because they mistakenly assume that any disagreement is directed at them personally. Such people are unable to separate their ideas and beliefs from their identity. If you have ever tried to discuss a point with a religious or political zealot, you have experienced this reaction.  You really cannot hold a conversation with such individuals because any casual remark might set them off.


Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Francis and Tyler Johnson….Tyler took to drinking and he was a mean drunk.  Francis soon came to believe that her life was in danger

Here is how Francis solved her problem.  With the help of nearby girlfriends, she secretly packed up all her clothes, important keepsakes, jewelry, linens and household items and stored them at the homes of her friends.  Then she told Tyler she was going to visit her sister in Oregon for a week.  During her week away, she established herself outside Chicago.  She opened a bank account, rented an apartment, arranged for her things to be shipped from the homes of her friends to the Chicago location.  When she returned home, while Tyler was out drinking, she packed up her car with her remaining things and drove herself to Chicago.  When Tyler returned home late that night, he found an empty house and a note from Francis explaining that in fear of her life, she was leaving him.

Subsequently, Francis hired a voice coach and today is a successful professional jazz singer in the Chicago area.  What do you think of how Frances handled her problem?

Scenario #2

Justine Walters whose husband, Pete and their five boys treated her disrespectfully.

Here is what Justine did.  She wrote a note to Pete and pinned it to his pillow. It read, “I cannot live with the disrespect.  Good bye and good luck.  Justine.”  Since Pete took the boys out for ice cream and then played ball with them in the back yard until dark, Justine had sufficient time to pack up a few things.  She then drove into town, emptied the bank accounts and drove away.

When I met her years later, she was living in California.  She had completed a degree in computer science and was employed in one of the state’s largest hospital complexes. Justine explained that her guilt over abandoning her children was still overwhelming.  However, Justine insisted she had made the right decision.  What do you think?  Was this a right decision?

Scenario #3

Holly Andrew loved being pregnant and looking after babies.

Louis quit his job the very next day and disappeared.  Subsequently, Holly began to receive money on a regular basis via Western Union.  It wasn’t very much but it helped support her family.  When the new baby was out of diapers, Holly got a job and enlisted her mother to look after the kids.

Years later, when I met him, Louis said leaving Holly and his kids was the best decision he had ever made.  His hostility and anger at Holly had become unbearable.  He believed the financial burden he was living under would have killed him in short order.  What do you think about Louis’s decision?

All three of these stories illustrate how some individuals choose to run away from their problems rather than stay and attempt to solve them.  This may be a good solution for them but what about those they leave behind – the kids?  Is this a selfish solution?  What do you think?

This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1


You have a boss who tells you at 4:00 pm on Friday, “I don’t care what you have to do to get this done but I want it completed and on my desk by 8:30 AM on Monday morning.”  You estimate that his last minute request will take four hours to complete.

You have a family and some good friends who, months ago, planned a little weekend-getaway.  Reservations have been made and paid for.  Your spouse plans to pick you up at 5:00 PM.  The car will be packed with kids and everything for a beach weekend.  What will you tell your boss?

Scenario #2

Your best friend, Betty Whitmore, agrees to get together with you for dinner and a movie one Wednesday evening.  When you get to Betty’s apartment, she explains that she has just taken up a new hobby – beading and making jewelry.  Before going to dinner, she wants to stop at the bead store and pick up a few more supplies.  You agree.  Four hours later, you and Betty are still at the bead store.  You are starving. The owner of the bead store wants to close up.  It is already too late to see any movie.  Since Betty is still examining beads and findings, you decide to call it a night.

Two weeks ago, you had tickets to a local amateur theatre group’s performance.  You and Betty had planned to go for a quick bite before attending the play.  However, when you arrived at Betty’s apartment, Betty had a huge bag of old towels and sheets which she wanted to drop off at the local animal shelter and a stack of old clothes to drop off at the Salvation Army collection site before you went to eat.  You agreed to drive her over to both places.  There was not sufficient time to eat so you went directly to the play.  It was such a boring performance that you slept through most of it.  Starving and tired, you once again decided to call it a night.

It seems to you that whenever you and Betty decide to get together, Betty has some secret agenda other than what the two of you planned.  You feel used.  What do you think you should say to Betty about how she uses your time?

Scenario #3

You have made an appointment to see the doctor for 10:00 AM.  The doctor’s office is about one hour from your home.  You arrive at the doctor’s office at 9:45 AM.  The receptionist-nurse tells you that the doctor has had an unexpected emergency and will be a little late in seeing you.  You ask for an estimate.  The receptionist-nurse says, “About 30 minutes.”  Since you have your kindle with you, you don’t mind waiting.  At 11:30 AM, you once again ask the nurse for a time estimate.  This time she says, “I’m sure it won’t be much longer, maybe another 10 or 15 minutes.”

It is now 12:30 PM.  What do you think you should do?


#16 (Not) Listening and Anger

Listening is a form of recognition and respect.  Not listening is, therefore, a form of disrespect.  This form of disrespect generates a great deal of hostility from the person who believes he or she is not being listened to.  Let’s take a look at the following examples.

Many years ago there was a very large soft drink manufacturing and bottling plant in the Midwestern United States which underwent a complete retooling. This totally mechanized all the plant’s operations and enabled the company to significantly expand its output.  More buildings were added.  The plant was now triple the size it had been.  While no one lost his or her job, the employees were now very spread out.  All that was necessary was for one employee to stand at each of the quality control stations to make sure that nothing went wrong with that section of operation.  Those quality control stations were about one quarter of a mile from one another.

Several months into the new expanded, mechanized operation, a group of employees went to management and complained that:

●their jobs now held no challenge or variety;

●they missed working in teams which had been the hallmark of the operation prior to the retooling; and

●they were lonely

Management’s response was to laugh at the employees’ complaints.  “Look, you guys, you’re getting the same pay for doing significantly less; your jobs are so easy even a trained monkey could do them; and lonely?  You are here to do a job, not to involve yourselves in social activities.”

To have their concerns so trivialized angered the employees who then, meeting in secret in the break room, decided to plan a wholesale coordinated attack on the operation.  One week, the bottling section discovered a sticky substance covering the entire bottling conveyer belt.  The scientists in charge of product quality of the drink substance came into the bottling area with their eye droppers and pipettes and reagents.  They tested the sticky substance.  It turned out to be honey.

Scientists:      Honey?  Where the devil did that come from?

Employees:    Must be bees.

The next week, somehow all the caps and tops on the drink cans and bottles were missing when they came out of the operation.  However, the cans and bottles were boxed up for shipment anyway.  What followed was a colossal mess inside the delivery trucks.  An entire week’s product was lost.  Customers did not receive their shipments and the trucks had to be steam cleaned.

Management:            How the devil did this happen?

Employees:                Don’t know.  Must be a machine mal-function

The employees were excited by their success and the more successful they became at savaging the company’s operations, the happier they became.  The employees even voted a monetary prize to the person who came up with the best idea for disrupting the operation.  Soon work became all about savaging the company’s operations.  Employees were even able to put olive oil and shampoo into the drink mixing machines.

Management tried every strategy they knew to correct the situation.  Nothing worked.  In frustration, the company closed the facility.  All the employees were laid off.  When the company reopened the facility six months later, a new group of employees were hired.  People were assigned to work in teams at the various quality control stations but at a much lower salary than the previous staff received.  In addition, an ombudsman was hired whose sole purpose was to listen to the concerns of the employees.


Mason Adelphi was a brilliant but docile high school student.  He was also somewhat funny looking.  He became the target of some serious bullying.  Not only did his classmates tease him, they physically beat him, stole his lunch money, urinated on his book bag and broke his thick eye glasses.

His mother and father were busy with their own problems of working and looking after their younger children and didn’t want to hear about Mason’s problems.  Their quick off-handed advice was:

Dad:    Just fight back.  Don’t sit there and take it.  Be a man, not a wimp.

Mom:  Just ignore them.  Concentrate on getting good grades.  Once you get to college, no one will bother you that way. You’ll be appreciated for your intelligence.

College was three years away – an eternity for Mason so he approached his school principal who told him, “Being bullied is just part of life in a city school.  You’ll just have to learn to deal with it.”

Mason became more and more of a recluse and a loner.  His anger, hostility and fear level swallowed up his whole personality.  He purchased an assault weapon from a neighborhood tough.  On a beautiful day in March, Mason brought his weapon to school and shot and killed four of his tormentors and the school principal.

Now Mason is in jail.  All his potential wasted because no one would listen to his concerns.


Jim and Pete were assigned to work together on a project, splitting the workload equally. Jim is a smoker; Pete is not. Jim takes a 20 minute smoking break once every hour.  This results in Pete doing most of the work. Pete has asked Jim to limit his smoking to the legitimate lunch and coffee breaks. Jim explains he cannot do that because he is addicted to cigarettes. Furious, Pete angrily demands his boss, Charlie, resolve the problem.  Charlie reacts badly to Pete’s rage and tells him to solve the problem himself. In frustration, Pete files a discrimination complaint.

Those in the Personnel department recognize that Pete’s discrimination complaint is not a valid legal issue but they do not know how to make this legal challenge go away. Personnel’s solution is to pay Pete a monetary nuisance award. of $10,000.00.  Obviously, this solves nothing because the smoking problem continues.

In frustration, Pete makes plans to destroy both Jim’s and Charlie’s career.  Pete, because of the nature of his work, has access to everyone’s computer passwords.  Whenever Jim was out having a smoke or Charlie was at a meeting, Pete logged into their computers and corrupted their information.  He also changed the numbers in all of their reports.  The result was that whatever piece of Charlie’s and Jim’s work was forwarded on to other departments, the data was always incorrect or incomplete.  Pete also deleted any important E-mail they received.  It took several months but finally Jim was let go for poor performance while Charlie was transferred out of management and into another area.

These stories illustrate that when someone brings you a concern or problem and you are the person who can help them resolve the issue:

●recognize that if they could have resolved the issue on their own they would have already done so;

●the fact that they have brought the problem to you means they cannot resolve the problem on their own;

●if you trivialize or marginalize their concern, you are letting yourself in fora very hostile reaction.

If you are a boss or a parent, listen to the person’s concern and together plan a strategy for addressing that concern.  This lets the other person know that you respect them.

DeAnne’s Anger Tips

Rage is often a response to vulnerability.  This is what happens when a person feels marginalized because their concerns have not been appropriately dealt with.  Children are vulnerable with regard to their parents.  Employees are vulnerable with regard to their bosses.  Rage over being  treated as if they were insignificant and irrelevant  then becomes a valid and expected response.  Such rage can also be a demand for boundaries to be reset so that a person’s importance (to the parent or to the boss – the people in charge) be acknowledged and recognized.


Thursday Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

You have purchased some interesting gizmo over the internet.  The advertised price was $35.95 but your credit card was charged $78.95.

Your first step is to call the company. Their phone number should be on your credit card bill.  Get an explanation from them.  If you are not satisfied, then call the credit card company and see if they will step in and put a “stop payment” on the charge and then deal with the company for you.  Usually they will.

Scenario #2

Your car needs some repair work.  The estimate was $1,000 but the charge was

$2,875.00 with no prior phone call of explanation.

Speak to the owner of the repair shop and show him your written estimate.  Explain there was no phone call telling you of the extra charges.  Ask him to negotiate the charges down to approximately what was estimated.  You will probably have to agree on a sum between the two figures – maybe $1, 900.00.  You have a good legal standing here because you have a written estimate.  The shop will tell you that “Once the guys got into it they found your wispy doodle had rotted out and your twiddle dee needed replacing so they just did it because you would not pass inspection unless….”  You have to stick to your guns and say, “But they never called me first to get an okay for the additional work.  Therefore I want to negotiate the charges down to approximately what was estimated.”

Scenario #3

You have hired a renovation outfit to up-date your kitchen.

Write out a list of what you want redone and why.  In addition, make a list of the materials that were used which do not meet specifications (hopefully, these are all visible and not behind a wall just waiting to fall apart).  Give the lists to the contractor and tell him that the remaining half of his payment will not be paid until what was done meets your quality expectation and contract specifications.

Do not raise your voice or call him names.  Just state what you want in plain objective language.  By repeating what you want several times, if necessary, he will understand that unless he fixes things, he will not be paid.

These stories illustrate that when it is your money, stand up and fight for what you intended to purchase.  Times are tough right now.  It is all too common for others to try and squeeze a little more of your hard earned cash out of you.  It is not right but it is happening.

This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

You and your spouse are having dinner at the home of some very close friends. During the hors d’oeuvres, the other couple begins to take pot shots at one another. By the time the main course is on the table, your hosts are into a full blown argument. You and your spouse are extremely uncomfortable, especially when you are invited to side with one or the other. You inhale the meal and depart as quickly as possible. On the way home, you ask each other if you should have done something other than run away. Perhaps you should have said something – but what?  The situation has left you and your spouse feeling used, angry and deficient in some way because you could not figure out what to say and do at the moment.   What are your ideas for handling this all too common situation?

Scenario #2

You are a highly educated scientist at a high-tech company.  You work on very difficult technical problems requiring long hours of intense concentration and many time-sensitive, complicated tests. Your goals are about making scientific advances and keeping the company well ahead of its competitors.

The dumb broad who works in Human Resources, Janet Dupree, often interrupts your critical work at the worst possible time to interview scientific candidates.  This is part of her job, not yours.  In her three years as a Human Resources Analyst, Janet has never bothered to learn what the company does.  She doesn’t understand the science or the terminology.  Moreover, she appears to have no respect for your time or that of the other scientists.  Janet simply demands that you drop what you are doing to conduct employment interviews for her.

Your boss has asked that you assist Human Resources when you can but things are getting ridiculous.  Janet says she is only supposed to handle the basic areas of the interview leaving the technical and scientific questions to the scientific staff.  You and the scientific staff have a great deal of rage toward Janet.  What do you think you should do?

Scenario #3

You have an employee, Mark Destin, who thinks he is a fantastic performer when he actually is, by all measures, only mediocre.  One of his most annoying habits is his predilection for spewing out esoteric computer terminology indiscriminately.

Mark has just turned in a technical report which is supposed to convey some very complicated information to a non-technical audience.  What Mark has given you is a report that only a very knowledgeable technical person would understand.  Unfortunately, Mark has given you this report at the very last minute.  It is due to be printed up and distributed for a conference in less than two hours.  You are furious with yourself for giving Mark this responsibility and angry at him for not following your instructions (for a non-technical audience).  What should you do now?   


Anger and Health Issues

I want to write about the three scenarios from last week’s blog posting.  Each of the three stories (all true stories) resulted in health problems for the people involved.  I believe it is critical to understand how anger – when held inside – causes physical harm.


In the Dan Cooper story, we have a young man who followed his father’s road map for his life instead of following his own.  This decision to please his father took a terrible toll on him health-wise.  Dan hated himself for not standing up for himself.  He also felt enormous hostility toward his father for forcing him into the business when he knew full well that his son wanted a career in music. That is a lot of baggage to carry around:


●hate of one’s parent

It is not possible to serve two Gods and remain healthy and sane.


Dan remained working in his father’s business for twenty-two (wasted) years.  Early in his 23rd year, his father had a massive heart attack and died.  Dan immediately put the company up for sale.  He then moved toNew York so that he could attend the Julliard School of Music.  He had a grand piano installed in his little apartment and started taking both piano lessons and violin lessons.  He worked hard at learning all he could about his chosen craft.  Over the next few years, his dragging limp disappeared along with his slurring speech.  The change happened slowly but it did happen.


Four years later, he accepted a position with Disney’s Imagineering Group where he is today, creating music for all of the cartoon movies that Disney creates.  Dan is finally a happy man.


A person can pay a dreadful price by not following his or her own aspirations, goals and ambitions, especially when those are a strong force within.  If you know intestinally what you should be doing in life, but you are doing what someone else thinks you should be doing, it will cost you in health and happiness.


With the Sally and Jay story, it is Jay who has the problem.  Somewhere during his childhood, something dreadful happened between him and his mother, Greta.  If he could have talked about whatever happened to a professional and gotten some closure, perhaps the issue of his spike in blood pressure when Greta was around could have been addressed.  Either Jay didn’t want to discuss it or he could not discuss it because it was buried somewhere deep in his subconscious.


This story illustrates what can happen health-wise when we do not deal with anger-causing issues but instead hold on to them.  We think we are hiding the problem but our bodies react to the issue anyway.


The mechanism is interesting.  Whatever happened, even though it was years ago, whenever we remember that situation, our hostility rises and our anger gets hot – just as hot as it was when the situation originally occurred.  Our bodies think, “My God, it’s happening again!”


As human beings we are pretty resilient when it comes to stress that is tied to a specific incident like someone cutting you off in traffic and almost causing an accident.  But that episodic stress passes and we easily recover.  However, it is the stress that doesn’t go away which eventually causes health damage.  This is the stress, anxiety, hostility and anger that bubbles up in our minds whenever we recall some aggravating incident.  That is why you should never tell yourself, “Oh it’s just a little thing; I shouldn’t get so upset.”  Instead, acknowledge that you are upset.    (Look, if something upsets you, there’s a good reason.   Do not belittle your feelings.  Your feelings are valid.)  Go talk to the person and put that hostility to rest once and for all.


In the Way-lin Yan story we have an example of a person dealing with the type of stress that does not go away.  In Way-lin’s situation, there was no respite – she had to face that aggravating situation every single day.  The caring nurse in the office of Way-lin’s doctor was right –leave that job before it kills you.


Way-lin had convinced herself that because she lacked experience, it was okay for her to be brutalized by a mean and bullying boss.  Now, however, she did have experience.  She was no longer a novice.  Way-lin was counseled to tell the boss that the current recruit was more than satisfactory and that Way-lin’s last day would be this coming Friday.


Way-lin returned to her job on Monday, prepared to make her departure announcement to the boss.  Mid-morning, an astonishing interaction occurred between the new recruit and this bullying boss which left Way-lin flabbergasted.


Boss:  (screaming) You are one dumb broad, sister.  Why in the hell did you staple the report together when you were clearly told not to?

Newbe: (standing up at her desk, facing the boss, head held high, hands at her

side, strong but calm voice)  Listen here.  You will not ever scream at me

again.  No one has ever done that to me in my life and you are certainly

not going to be the first.  I demand an immediate apology and a promise

that you will not ever again address me in such a disrespectful manner.

Boss:  (dumbfounded look, mumbling in low tones) Well, I was upset that you did

not follow directions.

Newbe: That’s not an apology.  I want an apology loud enough so that the entire

office will hear it just as they heard your criticism.

Boss:  (grumbling) I’ll get you some flowers.  Now get back to work.


Newbe: I don’t want flowers.  I want a loud apology and a promise that you will

not scream at me again.

Boss:  (somewhat loud voice) Okay, I apologize.  I’ll try not to raise my

voice when I’m upset over what you do.  Happy, now?

Newbe: Thank you.  That will do for a start.


Way-lin later reported that she was so surprised her mouth guard fell right out of her open mouth.  She was speechless.  “I realized”, she said, “That all I needed to do was stand up to Mr. Andrews once and his abuse would have stopped.”


The great lessons here for Way-lin were:

●speak up immediately when you have been disrespected

●facing up to a bully once usually stops that hostile behavior permanently

●speaking up immediately changes the dynamic of the relationship

●speaking up confirms you will not lay the victim role in the bully’s game


Hating yourself for allowing such a situation to continue is a killer because the stress never goes away.  Conventional wisdom might tell you that learning to deal with stress is a necessary fact of life.  Conventional wisdom is wrong.  How about learning to live without the kind of stress put on you by other people.  You shouldn’t stand for it.  Speak up.  Free your life.

DeAnne’s Anger Tips

Rage can be used as an attempt to mask low self-esteem or to conceal personal failures. Sometimes anger toward others is merely a projection of the rage a person feels toward themselves because of unmet expectations.  Should those unmet expectations suddenly come to light, the rage that is generated can be over-powering.  This is why you must never let yourself become entangled in someone else’s rage.  Their rage is their problem.  Don’t let it become yours by reacting inappropriately (responding with rage or responding by playing the victim role).