Posts Tagged With: expressing anger

Day 2121: Making noise

Is making noise making things better or worse? Today, I’m making noise about the fact that some news columnists are speculating that how the USA opposition party is making noise might be hurting their chances in the upcoming midterm election.

Lately, I’ve been making noise in my therapy groups, inviting people to be making noise when we do a mindfulness exercise that focuses on listening.  This is the noise I’m making when I introduce that exercise:

In this mindfulness exercise, we’re going to focus on the sense of hearing. After you hear the sound of the chime, do your best to listen to all the noises in the room. Feel free to make noise to make the exercise more interesting for other people.

That’s my attempt at making it safer for people to be making noise, since many of us can be self-conscious about the noises we’re making, especially when other people are listening.

I’ll be making noise soon with these Right & Wrong Buzzers:

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Even though I’m often making noise about letting go of  unhelpful concepts of wrong and right, I’ll be making noise to encourage people to change old habits of thinking (including the cognitive distortions described here).

It’s okay to be making noise or to be silent about the other images I captured yesterday.

Because the wind was making so much noise yesterday, I didn’t go for my usual walk. Instead, I was making noise by making ukulele chords for  my latest original song “I’m Mad About You.”

With that song, I’m making noise about anger (especially towards politicians).

It’s time for me to be making noise about gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this “Making noise” post and — of course! — to YOU, for all the noises you’re making.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 1964: To err is human

Yesterday,  a human I love had the courage to confront me about how I had erred in the past.  Because it’s human to have strong reactions when somebody you respect and care about lets you know they’ve been angry with you for a long time,  I experienced a lot of  feelings during this important discussion. After going through the human feelings of anger,  fear,  guilt, and sadness, we both gladly concluded with hugs, expressions of love, divine forgiveness, and a recommitment to how important we are to each other.

This blogging human wasn’t sure how she was going to write about that experience today.   I hope I’m not erring by sharing yesterday’s photos, here and now.

 

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To err is human and Nirvana may be out of reach, but we can all strive for peace.

Here are two humans singing about an important relationship, for good.

I look forward to the human comments on this post.

As always, I unerringly end with thanks to all, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1633: Tantrums

Rather than have a tantrum, let’s just define it:

tan·trum
noun
an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration, typically in a young child.
“he has temper tantrums if he can’t get his own way”
synonyms: fit of temper, fit of rage, fit, outburst, pet, paroxysm, frenzy, bad mood, mood, huff, scene; (informal) hissy fit
“how can you tolerate his tantrums?”

How can you tolerate his tantrums? Good question.  How can we tolerate anybody’s tantrums, including our own?

For example, I sometimes have tantrums when somebody uses the word “pet”  (as in the definition above) for anything other than this:

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I’ve also been having  tantrums because Oscar stepped on my computer this weekend and changed the way photos are displayed, making it harder for me to blog every morning.

Can anybody tell when I’m having tantrums? I’m not sure, but I told people at work yesterday that I woke up mad, mad, mad.  Was I having a tantrum when I did that? Actually, I think sharing my feelings prevented me from having a tantrum.

Was I having tantrums when I took these photos?

Okay, now I’m having a tantrum because AS USUAL, I FORGOT TO RESTART MY COMPUTER BEFORE WRITING THIS POST AND THAT’S THE ONLY WAY I CAN ACCESS MY FRIGGIN’ PHOTOS FROM YESTERDAY! AND WORDPRESS ISN’T SAVING MY POSTS AS I’M WRITING THEM THESE DAYS SO THIS IS SUCH A !!&$##!!??!#^&!! PAIN!!!!

Excuse me.  I’ll be right back.

Any tantrums here?

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My boyfriend Michael (whose meals are good antidotes for tantrums) has lots of stories about tantrums he’s witnessed in restaurant and hotel kitchens.

Are James Taylor and his son Ben having tantrums in “Angry Blues”?

Feel free to have tantrums in a comment below.

Outbursts of gratitude and fits of frenzied thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! —  to you.  Without my readers, I’d be having tantrums every day.

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1509: What pisses you off?

Last night, people in my therapy group (who do not piss me off) were pissed off about several things, including the weather, politics, useless meetings, insensitive people, pain, greed, and technology that doesn’t work right. As a result, we made lists of “What Pisses You Off?”

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What pisses you off?

It pisses me off when I don’t take photos of people I love, including my wonderful college roommate Marcia  (who met me for dinner last night after my group).

Is there anything that pisses you off in my other photos from yesterday?

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For some reason, this song pisses me off:

It pisses me off when people don’t express gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to my readers — of course! — who never piss me off.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1118: The Daily B*tch

Terry, a co-worker of mine, has The Daily Bitch calendar.   That calendar has shown up in this blog before, but I’m  too much of a  b*tch  to spend time, right now, looking for those previous posts.

Yesterday, Terry showed me the daily batch of The Daily Bitch:

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One of those Daily Bitches made this b*tch laugh out loud. Which one, from that bitching batch, is your favorite?

Some more b*tchy thoughts from me, your daily blogging bitch:

  • At a meeting last week, I was a b*tch to somebody who said something I experienced as intrusive, ill-timed, and sexist.
  • I’m fine that I am what I am and that I bitched what I bitched to that person.
  • Like the daily bitch cartoon, above, we agreed to disagree and we resolved the conflict before the bitching hour of the meeting’s end.
  • Why is it — this bitch wonders — that an angry woman is called a “bitch,” daily, but an angry man is just called “angry”?
  • I don’t like my recent haircut, so I’m going to b*tch about that to my fabulous haircutter, Mia.
  • Mia has given me such a wonderful batch of haircuts over the years and is so much NOT a b*tch, I’m sure she’ll help me feel less b*tchy about my hair, very soon.
  • For you bitches who were wondering about this, nobody bitched about my presentation yesterday — everybody there seemed to love it.
  • As you can see from the first photo this bitch took yesterday, many people in this bitching country have something to b*tch about:

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That Storm Jonas sure is a bitch of a blizzard, threatening 29 million b*tches. By the way,  this bitch is glad that storms are now named after female bitches and male bastards (like Jonas), as opposed to just getting bitch names, the way it was when I was a little bitch.

This  older b*tch is hoping for a big batch of bitchy comments from her bitchy readers.

And, I don’t meant to be such a bitch, but WordPress is being such a bitch as I’m writing this bitchy post that it won’t let me use more than one asterisk in a paragraph without becoming totally b*tchy.

What do you have to bitch about in your life today, my b*tches?

B*tchin’ thanks to Terry and everybody else that helped me create this bitching post. Thanks to you — of course! — no matter what you have to bitch about, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 71 Comments

Day 714: Let’s Go Bongos

Eleven days ago, I wrote a post called “Go Ham,” wherein I defined and riffed on an expressive term used by the fabulous Danise

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from Mount Auburn Hospital Cardiac Rehab. I am now coining my own term

Go Bongos

which is similar to “Go Ham,” “Go Crazy,” and “Go Bonkers” (the latter defined on Wiktionary.com as

go bonkers (third-person singular simple present goes bonkers, present participle going bonkers, simple past went bonkers, past participle gone bonkers)

(informal) To lose one’s sanity.
We all knew he’d gone bonkers after he started speaking only gibberish.
(informal) To have a good time.
Everyone should just go bonkers at my next birthday party.

Synonyms
(go insane): go nuts, lose one’s marbles
(have fun): cut loose, go bananas, have a blast, have fun, let loose.)

Why “go bongos” today?

I thought you’d never ask.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been suggesting to my boyfriend Michael that we get his twin brother a pair of bongos for Christmas. Despite Michael telling me this was not a great idea, I kept going bongos over what a terrific present I thought that would be.

Also, I’m seeing a new cardiologist today and my current cardiologist(s) on Wednesday. I might go bongos when talking to them, as we try to figure out what the &*#!!@#!!  is going on with my bongoin’ heart and cardiac pacemaker.

Before I go bongos any more in this post, I think it’s time for some music, don’t you? I shall not go bongos today by using “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince,  because I already bongo’d out with that in the aforementioned  post 11 days ago.

I just searched YouTube for “bongos” and went bongos over this:

I wonder if that guy playing bongos to Santana‘s version of “Oye Como Va” is going bongos because he has OVER 232,000 VIEWS on YouTube. I wonder if my singing along to Pat Metheny’s “Third Wind” will ever get views like that!?

I’d definitely be going bongos if I believed that.

Here are some photos I took yesterday, as I was going bongos over my son playing the lead in a play in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA  and during my walk around that town looking for bongos (among other things) before the play started):

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That’s Alan Tauber, from Drum Connection, going bongos on an African drum and helping me go bongos too, literally, after we had a long and interesting conversation about cardiologists, general practitioners, psychotherapists, drums, the therapy groups I do, and several people we knew in common. How does one literally go bongos?  By buying some bitchin’ bongos,* that’s how.

After I went bongos in these different ways, I went to the third showing of the absurdist play “Being Borrowed” that Aaron, among other talented teenagers, has been going bongos in all weekend. I hope it didn’t drive Aaron bongos that I was sitting up on stage — very close to his starring performance — this time.

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Those last two photos don’t show my son (he’s the one going bongos with the red beard and no pants). That’s Aaron’s cousin Victoria as The King and Aaron’s friend Dan, who (1) bongo’d around the stage during a “Time Race” celebration, (2) played a box in the play, and (3) was going bongos when he, Aaron, and I went to see comedian Norm MacDonald Friday night.

A couple more things to go bongos over before I go bongos today with Danise, people at work, the new cardiologist, and a sleep specialist.

First, here’s a bumper sticker of somebody who is most definitely NOT going bongos:

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Here’s some things Michael and I went bongos over, yesterday evening, at our local supermarket:

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I think my mother would have gone bongos if she had lived to see the day there would be THAT MANY VARIETIES OF PAM (a cooking spray she really liked).

In conclusion, here’s Harley

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our cat who goes bongos over most loud noises, like the doorbell. However, when I went bongos on these last night

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Harley didn’t go bongos, at all.

Therefore, I’m keeping those bitchin’ bongos* FOR MYSELF.  End of story.

Thanks to anybody who has ever gone bongos, in any way, at any point in their lives (including you,  of course, since anybody who visits here makes me go bongos in the best sense of that made-up phrase).


* I’m calling these my bitchin’ bongos because sometimes I have trouble expressing anger and I’ve already found it VERY helpful and healing to accompany myself on the bongos while I’m bitching about (1) mixed messages from doctors, (2) not enough sleep, (3) tasks I don’t want to do, and (4) things I cannot control in the moment, like computer interface changes that are supposed to be “improvements” but actually make things  more difficult for me.**

** All of which tend to make me go bongos.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 529: Closer (with feeling)

On my way to and from work yesterday, I saw things that revealed more, when I looked closer.

For example …

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and then closer:

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and then closer:

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and then closer:

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and then closer:

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At work,  I encountered some other surprises.  For example, the hospital was giving out little bags of Cracker Jack.  And there was a surprise inside.

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I didn’t try to guess what the surprise was; I just opened it:

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I had no expectations about what the surprise should be, but I recognized this was NOT a great prize, for my location.  Wrong baseball team AND wrong side of the country!

I had some other disappointments during the day.   For example, one person told me that another person had said “ungracious” things behind my back.

What might you do, in that situation?

Here’s what I did.

  1. I felt hurt. Then I looked closer.
  2. Based on past experiences, I was not surprised. Then I looked closer.
  3. I felt anger. Then I looked closer.
  4. I considered options of action. Then I looked closer.
  5. I realized the situation and the person involved could NOT really hurt me, in any way.

I still held some hurt and anger, though.

As I was walking away from work, this song came on:

(here, on YouTube)

And, as I discovered earlier during this blogging journey, when I direct strong feelings into an expression of music:

  • I express — rather than repress– the emotion more fully, letting it flow through me, and
  • I sing the sh*t out of a song.

I love giving loud, proud voice to my feelings, these days.  And nobody seems to mind, especially those who are close.

That includes this guy, yesterday, on my walking-and-singing way:

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Thanks to that interested and non-flinching bunny, to Idina Menzel*, to those who look closer, to people who do their best expressing (or receiving) emotions effectively, to everybody who sings out, and to you — OF COURSE! — for getting this close, today.


* Idina Menzel sings “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” from Wicked  John Travolta wasn’t even close, when he said her name at the Oscars this year.

** If you look closer at the links today, you might find some treasures.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 399: What I wanted for my birthday

Good morning, WordPressers (and people who read this blog without that much awareness of their surroundings)!

It’s time for the Post-Birthday Wrap-up Blog!

It’s going to be short one, so let’s look at the highlights, shall we?

As I wrote a couple of days ago (in this post), I knew there might be disappointments during the anniversary of my birth. Here’s a quote from that post:

As much as I love and look forward to my birthday, I’ve been disappointed, during some birthdays past. I’ve expected too much, and gotten too little. So, perhaps, I’m afraid of a repeat of those disappointments, this year.

And, yes, there was a point during the day when it looked like I was NOT going to get the attention, fuss, excitement, awareness of my birthday that I expected, wanted, yearned for.

So what happened?

I got mad, and I started to talk to myself, as follows:

Arrrghh!  This sucks!  Why do I even get excited about my birthday, anyway? People think I’m doing all sorts of exciting things, but I’m doing NOTHING!  And I’m all ALONE right now!  Where are the people who are SUPPOSED to be here?!?  Geesh! Maybe people are planning a successful surprise party for me, for the first time in my friggin’ six decades?!! AS IF!!! No sirree, people who know me are all just living their lives, assuming that I’m getting what I want on this day … AND I’M NOT!!

Well, sports fans (or observers, in general), what would you say was going on, during that portion of yesterday’s game?

Here’s my analysis:

I was having a  tantrum.

That is, I was focusing on assumptions and expectations of what the day should be like, plus memories of old disappointments, and the result was this: anger, in a child-like way.

Now, I didn’t scream, hit,  break anything, or hold my breath until I turned blue. I didn’t even yell (although that would have been okay). I just allowed myself to feel the feelings. And I did speak my thoughts out loud, including this one:

This is what I want for my birthday. Just to feel my anger and express it, without judgment.

And I felt better.

Soon after that, I was able to contact my son’s father, and arrange to pick up my son.  Since spending time with my son was one of the gifts I was expecting on my birthday, I felt better.

On my way driving there, I still allowed myself to feel all my feelings, including my disappointment and annoyance. And while I didn’t want to be late, I allowed myself to stop and take this photo:

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And  thought, “So what if this makes me a little bit late?!!  Screw them!”

And I felt better.

When I got to my son’s father’s girlfriend’s home, and I was waiting for my son to get ready to go, my ex said something to me that …. pissed me off. I got annoyed and defensive. So I said to him, “You know what?  Today is my birthday, and this is what I want for my birthday: I want to be able to get mad at people and not worry about the result. And I’m mad right now!”

So I said more about that, to my ex. And I had a “tone” — an angry tone (which I’ve caught hell for using, in the past).  But my ex actually seemed okay with that. He just listened.

And I kept going. As a matter of fact, I kind of had a little tantrum — but in an adult way.  What do I mean by that?  Well, I followed some rules, for interpersonal effectiveness, even while I was expressing my anger.

I DID:

  • Use “I” statements whenever possible, describe my personal experience of thoughts and feelings.
  • Explain the context of my reaction.
  • Use adult skills, including logic and self-awareness.

I DID NOT:

  • Call names, make threats of any kind, or appear unduly frightening.
  • Use “You” statements, which put other people on the defensive.

Because I was following these rules, and my ex was just listening, this  actually became a little bit …

…. fun.

So when my ex’s girlfriend came into the room, soon after followed by my son, I informed them what was going on, like so:

It’s my birthday today, and I’ve decided what I want. I want that to be a day when I’m allowed to get angry at anybody I want to. Like now!

And everybody was okay with it, amazingly.

As a result, I felt much better. And there were even smiles and some laughing, in the room.

And from then on, my birthday was great.  Really and truly, one of the best birthdays, ever. Because, not only did I get these gifts:

  • Having my own anger, without consequence, and
  • Spending time with my son and my inamorato 1.

… I got these great gifts, too:

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carol card

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And the last (but not least) gift I’m going to show here ….

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Blogging Slippers!!!!

Thanks to my family, my friends, all those people who can express and/or hear anger in an effective way, and to you — of course!! — for reading today.


  1. Thanks to fellow blogger, babsje, who suggested this title for my boyfriend/studmuffin/honey/sweetheart/whatever-you-want-to-call-him, Michael.
Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 318: Other people’s mistakes

I’ve written several times, this year, about perfectionism. (For example, herehere, and here.)

Nobody is perfect — including the writer and the readers of this post.  As humans, we all make mistakes, every day. (Probably, we all make mistakes every hour.)

I react differently to the Making of Mistakes, though, depending upon who is doing the mistake-making.

When I realize that I have made a mistake, this is my usual response:

I feel awful.

Here are some typical, automatic thoughts I have:

Oh, no!  I made a mistake!  I should have paid better attention. This is really going to be a problem for other people, too.  What’s the matter with me?

It’s a different story, though, when somebody else makes a mistake. Often, I forgive other people their mistakes.

It’s much easier to remember that everybody makes mistakes, when it’s everybody else.

However, when somebody makes a mistake that has a direct, negative impact on me,  that’s a different story, too.

Then, this is my usual response:

I feel awful.

Here are some typical, automatic thoughts I have:

Oh, no! This other person made a mistake!  And that really caused me some discomfort. What do I do now?  How do I tell them about it? They’ll probably think it’s MY fault, too!  How can I prove it’s NOT? Maybe it IS my fault, somehow! And what if it’s NOT my fault and they don’t own up to that? THEN what do I do?   Also, if I mattered and was important enough to them, they would have been more careful!  Now I’m angry!  NOW what do I do? If I express my anger, I’ll probably alienate them!  I don’t want to lose them!  But I don’t want to pretend that it’s all okay with me, either, because it’s NOT!

This is what I notice about THAT, now.

When somebody else makes a mistake, I tend to have MORE thoughts.

Why?

Well, I’m really used to my own mistakes. I KNOW (by living with myself) how imperfect I am: I’ve got lots of proof about that. At times in the past, I’ve thought of myself as a screw-up — somebody who constantly make mistakes.

So THAT’s familiar.

But, somehow, I’ve never gotten used to other people’s mistakes.

Why is that?

This is my best guess, right now: When I was a little kid, I needed important people — upon whom I depended —  to NOT make major mistakes.  (And they made mistakes, of course. They were human.)

I know I’m not alone, in that.

Here’s a personal example of that: I  needed the doctors keeping me alive —  through surgeries and new technologies — to NOT make major mistakes. Big time.

So, my wish —  even as an adult — is that people NOT make mistakes. But they do, of course, every day.

Also, if somebody makes a mistake that has a negative effect on me and doesn’t own it, I can feel some anger about that (naturally). And as I wrote, two days ago, I can be a little clueless about anger, once I have it.

So there you have it: My reactions to other people’s mistakes.

It’s easy for me to write this post today, dear readers, because somebody — whom I’ve yet to meet —  made a mistake last night which did have a negative impact on me.  At this writing, the person is not owning the mistake, which may or may not change.

This is what I’ve done, so far, this morning, to deal with this:

  1. I wrote an e-mail to the person, pointing out the facts.
  2. By focusing on the facts, I let go of any wish to affect the other person’s feelings about this in any way.
  3. I worked on this blog post.

All those things helped.

What’s missing, for me, right now?

A cool image, for this post!

My next step: consult my iPhone for recent photos.

Oh!  Here’s one:

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Recently, I saw this hand-written message on a sign, regarding a overdue repair to a machine.

So there you have it, my dear readers:  Another way to respond to other people’s mistakes.

Thanks to everybody who makes and responds to mistakes and to you — of course! — for visiting here today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 255: If you suspect somebody is not doing good enough work for you

If you suspect somebody is not doing good enough work for you (e.g., a lawyer, a contractor, anybody you are paying), what do you do?

I confess, I find that a challenging question.

Here’s how I tend to react to that kind of situation:

  1. I feel some anger. This makes sense, since anger is the human reaction to not getting needs met (especially expressed wishes).
  2. Because I don’t feel that comfortable with anger, I feel confusion.
  3. I ask myself many questions, such as: Am I really understanding what is going on here?  Was I actually clear about my needs and wishes? Did I contribute to the current situation?
  4. I fantasize about firing the person and working with somebody else.
  5. I fantasize about yelling at the person, in some way.
  6. I tell myself that #4 and #5, while attractive,  are not appropriate at this point.
  7. I work towards getting clarification and/or resolution.
  8. If I don’t succeed, repeat 4 – 7.
  9. I work on crafting an  I-Statement which includes (a) my wishes and (b) some consequence to my wishes not being met.
  10. I send that message.

That’s where I am, this morning.

I’m realizing, right now, that the above is not a bad process, even though I’m not thrilled with it. Here’s how I would like to improve that process, moving forward:.

  • Let go of fears that come up during the process.
  • Move off of Step 8 more quickly.
  • Move off of Step 9 more quickly.
  • Actually, move off of every friggin’ step more quickly.

Hmmmm.  If I let go of fears that come up during the process, the rest may take care of itself.

The written part of this post feels finished to me.  How about an image?

Here’s a sample of how Google Images responds to “let go of fears”:

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Okay!

Thanks to Gandhi, polar bears, penguins, courageous creatures everywhere (including bloggers, lawyers, and contractors), and you — of course! — for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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