17 February, 2012

And In This Corner... Part I

Family on Friday!!!

Back in early December, Brian had made a good comment regarding confrontation within the family unit.  To paraphrase for those too lazy or busy to click on the hyperlink, he noticed that confrontations with his son improved when he didn't fan the flames with his own anger.

One blog post would not adequately cover the issue of familial conflicts.  So, I will attempt to make a sensible series of the matter starting here.  For now, I want to just make it perfectly clear that anger, frustration, and even loss of control come from love (continuing on this whole Valentine week and segueing into Presidents' Day).

Confused by the source of their own emotions and excusably out of practice, kids will yell that they hate their parents when they become angry, frustrated, and lose control.  Ya always hurt the ones ya love, right?  Our parental brains need to be able to translate this proclamation of hatred as "I love you, but what you have done/asked/refused goes against what I want and upsets me."

Allowing for a few exceptions, if we didn't care deeply for someone, we wouldn't exhibit any strong reactions to them.  They would be practically invisible to us.  When we become upset with our family we should take at least one breath to recognize that we feel this way because we love them.

Recognizing the love we have should begin to help us with the most important next step that Brian touched upon - being angry and frustrated, but not losing control.  However, that will be the topic of next week's President's Day analogy...


Anonymous said...

I would like to interject that family quarrels touch us more because they affront us more personally. We are more angry at others doing what we allow and indulge in ourselves but don't want to admit. Remembering this helps me personally to stay focused on self improvements while realizing that anger is destructive not constructive. Hope my input is constructive.

Raymond Henri said...

I hear you, anon. And I do find your input constructive. I would still categorize the type of anger you're talking about as stemming from love. If we feel that something we allow and indulge in ourselves is harmful or destructive, we would try to prevent our loved ones from going there. It's said that parents who get drunk and/or do drugs are much more likely to have kids who get drunk and/or do drugs. As Melvin Udall said to Verdell after watching him avoid stepping on cracks, "Don't be like me." You are right. Anger is destructive. But so is trying to ignore or avoid it. This series will hopefully offer some tools for feeling angry without succumbing to anger and more effective confrontations.