Archive for the ‘Unhealthy Anger’ Category

How To Deal With The Panic When Anger Management Doesn’t Work

February 16th, 2013 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

Do you panic when you can't control your anger despite going to anger management classes?

Do you hate yourself when you fly off the handle and act like someone from your past that you have tried so hard to avoid?

Is your explosive anger destroying your important relationships and items of expensive equipment that you value?

Is the anxiety about failing now bigger than the anger itself?

Are you ready to really deal with the anger rather than just bury it, whip it into shape or squish it?

Then watch this video and learn how I helped someone do just that after he had tried and failed at using the cognitive strategies taught at anger management classes which ignored his emotional traumas of the past.

Learn how to notice the hair line triggers that spark your intense anger and express it in a safe way that honors its origins, because if you don't it will simple grow into a bigger monster.

Take the stress out of trying to control your anger by using the successful techniques I taught my client that helped him link his past and present together to make his future calmer so that he could believe in himself again.

 

 

 

Copyright © Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

 

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Is anger the only way you can whip people into loving you?

January 28th, 2013 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles anger management psychotherapy

Are you wanting comfort and security with your loved ones but not able to get it by being good, quiet, patient and hopeful?

Do you get mad and envious when you see other fully grown adults get pampered and taken care of when they whine and complain?

Do you wish you could get away with that?

Perhaps you have been harboring a secret wish that your loved ones would just do their job and love you the way they should, so that you didn't have to work so hard at getting them to even notice you.

When being good doesn't work, and you can't bring yourself to whine and complain because you are disgusted with those who do it, you are left with a gnawing fear that you will always be on the sidelines, lost and alone.

That fear grows into a powerful force eating you alive.

You have to get connected and loved so you can feel secure and get on with life.

Anger becomes your whip. If you can make your loved ones respond to the wrath of your anger they can get a taste of the fear you have when you feel like you are out in the wilderness.

So you so your anger to whip them into shape – to frighten them into loving you – it's great for that moment, but do you want to be doing that for ever?

Do you want to sabotage yourself and never get the love you deserve?

Watch this video and learn

  • WHY you envy the whiners and complainers
  • How to get past the envy and shame
  • How to translate the anger into inviting, loving communications that get you loved back.

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Copyright © Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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Uncovering the emotions under the “anger” umbrella gets you unstuck

October 29th, 2012 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

anger management psychotherapy west los angeles, brentwood, westwood, santa monica,

 

What other emotions are you really feeling that aren't about anger?

When you are angry most of the time it's very wearing and tough to live with.

You just want to numb it out so you can get on with the day.

But when you go numb you get into a dark place. You get depressed and become isolated.

It's good not to feel all that anger and other stuff but it's lonely, empty and demotivating.

You want to come out of that dark place and connect with people but you don't want to bring all that anger that makes you so uncomfortable.

In that depressing place you can't tell the difference between anger, frustration, irritability or guilt.

Everything gets blurred and keeps you sealed up in listless depressing mood.

But what if you could discover all the underlying emotions that got mushed into anger and use them to be an active player in your life?

You can  do that if you start to identify all those other emotions that you feel which you have stuffed under the umbrella of anger just to make life easier – things like guilt and fear.

Learn how zooming in and labeling those other emotions, just like you do with the nice ones like joy and excitement and thrills.

Watch this video and get the information you need to get yourself out of your depressed state and manger your anger better by addressing the real emotions underneath.

Please let me know what you think about  this video in the comments box below.

What would you like more of?

 

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Five ways to use angry energy to empower yourself.


Copyright © Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. All rights reserved.



Manage the stress of family tensions that cause abdominal pain

October 12th, 2012 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles anger and stress managment for family problems

 

Looking Forward To Warm Moments

Preparing for her younger sister's visit put some pep into Faith's steps. Her sister was the one member of her family that she kept in touch with. She had long since given up on getting her mother and stepfather to approve of her life choices. Cutting herself off from their judgment and disapproval had been difficult, but it made for a more peaceful existence. She recalled Nancy's last visit when they had fun talking about boyfriends and clothes, going to movies and eating out. The thought of having that camaraderie again made Faith feel warm inside. Both had become career women since then. Nancy was now a well paid executive, Faith was a Nurse practitioner. There was a lot to catch up on.

Anticipating Shared Sister Pride

Faith did everything she could to make Nancy feel at home. She and Bruno did the cooking and the cleaning and took Nancy out on the town. Faith wanted to show Nancy how different she was to their mother who never put herself out for her children or their families. Faith was proud of Nancy's rise to the elite classes, with company cars and lavish expense accounts. Now she wanted Nancy to be proud of how far she had come in finding a good man as a partner and a respectable profession to belong to.

 

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The Disappointments Come Thick and Fast

The first disappointment came when Nancy didn't want to go with Faith to planned social events. It was as if Nancy was ashamed to be associated with her. The second let down was harder to swallow. Nancy never asked about Faith's job, her relationship with Bruno, or their future plans. Nancy used Faith's house as a hotel and didn't bother with even the most basic of social graces. Any efforts on Faith's part to confide in Nancy met with the same critical hostility and dismissal that her mother doled out. There was no togetherness, no reminiscing, no sisterhood.

Faith's Blood Boils at Nancy's Thoughtlessness

Nancy took the hospitality for granted, and Faith saw red. Her blood began to boil each time Nancy left her dirty dishes on the table, threw her clothes on the floor and tuned the dial to her favorite programs without asking if it suited her hosts. She never offered to take them out or pay for anything during family outings. Nancy couldn't get over the fact that her well heeled sister would be so selfish, thoughtless and ungrateful. Her buttons were pushed a million times a day during that long weekend. But she never said a word.

Faith Takes Her Anger Out on Her Partner

After Nancy left, Faith sniped at Bruno just for being in the same room. All the things she had wanted to tell Nancy, she said to Bruno. "Wash the dishes before bed!" she commanded. "You can do your own laundry, I'm busy," she pronounced as he got undressed for bed." I paid for the groceries this weekend, so you better pay for the rest of the week," she vented at him.

Bruno sniped right back. " Don't take your anger at your sister out on me! I am not your servant. You acted as if you were Nancy's slave, so what are you so upset about? If you didn't treat her like some queen whose blessings you were trying to earn, you wouldn't be in this state!"

 

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Stomach Cramps Keep Faith Awake

Getting through the nights so full of disappointment and anger was no easy thing. Faith began to have excruciating abdominal cramps that kept her awake for the next week. She didn't want to reach out to Bruno, imagining that he would think she deserved it. Pain medication didn't ease her agony, nor did herbal remedies, soothing baths, heating pads, massages or cleansing diets.

" My night cramps have come back with a vengeance," Faith told me during our next psychotherapy session. I thought it was too good to be true when they eased up over the last six months. I am so frustrated. I can't get a good night's rest. Why does this pain torment me?"

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Digesting the Anger and Easing the Pain

Faith and I had worked for some months with her pain symptoms for which no medical cause had been found despite exhaustive investigations. As we talked about the awful family life she had experienced and her fears that she would somehow make the same mistakes with a family of her own, the pains subsided. Nancy's visit stirred up all the unhealed wounds, and dashed hopes for loving family connections. Nancy's behavior had put salt in the wounds. Faith had kept quiet during Nancy's visit. All her pent up anger and resentment was lodged in her abdomen.

Talking about the pain her sister inflicted on her wasn't comfortable. A lot of tears were shed as Faith digested her hurt. She learned how to make herself less vulnerable in the future. The next day I got a message thanking me for helping her to sleep through the night, something she hadn't done in a while!

Take the relationship quiz and discover your relationship security profile. Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.



Four ways to manage anger when you are taken for granted

October 10th, 2012 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

west los angeles anger management for being taken for granted

Needing Approval

Preparing for her younger sister's visit put some pep into Shelly's steps. She recalled Natalie's last visit when they had fun at the beach, going to movies and eating out. The thought of having those precious moments again made Shelly feel warm inside. She wanted to show Natalie the home she and Devon had made together. She wanted her sister to recognize her determination to make something of herself as she made her way through Acupuncture school. She wanted her sister's approval. Shelly wanted to play the generous host. She also expected something in return.

Her buttons were pushed, but she never said a word.

Natalie left her dirty dishes on the table, threw her clothes on the floor, and went out without inviting her hosts. She never offered to take them out or pay for anything during family outings. Natalie treated Shelly''s place as a free hotel, with a maid thrown in!

Natalie took the hospitality for granted, and Shelly saw red. How could Natalie be so blind, insensitive and callous? Couldn't she tell how much she was hurting Shelly? Didn't Natalie know how much Shelly had put her life on hold to organize the visit? Wasn't it obvious how much money she had to borrow from Devon, and all the activities with friends and colleagues she had turned down? Shelly couldn't get over the fact that her well heeled sister would be so selfish, thoughtless and ungrateful. Her buttons were pushed a million times a day during that long weekend. But she never said a word.

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Anger Explodes on the Wrong Person

After Natalie left, Shelly sniped at Devon just for breathing! All the things she had wanted to tell Natalie, she said to Devon. " Wash the dishes before bed!" she commanded. "You can do your own laundry, I'm busy," she pronounced as he got undressed for bed. " I paid for the groceries this weekend, so you better pay for the rest of the week," she vented at him. Her sister had abused her, so now she was going to abuse Devon.

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Four steps to managing Shelly's anger

1. Self-honesty

Shelly needs to be honest and clear with herself about what she expects for her troubles. A conscious awareness of what her hidden agenda is, means that she communicate her needs clearly, avoiding future hurt and anger when she isn't recognized.

This preventive first step reduces the triggers for anger,by putting Shelly more in control.

2. Communicate her Expectations

Once Shelly knows what you expect in return for her generosity, she should  spell it out to the those who receive her largesse.

Putting it out there means there are no misunderstandings. That is preventive step number two. Shelly are reducing the risk of being disappointed, used and abused.

3. Don't expect grown up behavior from someone Shelly treats like a child

Allowing someone to get away with insensitive and abusive behavior means Shelly gives out a huge message that they are too infantile to be expected to be equal players in the game. Shelly is giving them permission to act in a totally selfish way. To avoid getting angry when they do so means taking preventive step number three – speak up when they violate your personal boundaries, rules and space.

Shelly shouldn't be a doormat! Waiting for someone to see and treat her like an equal human being, means she has to have feet firmly planted on the ground, that can take her where she needs to go and help her be a player rather than a place for others to wipe their feet.

4. Express her feelings as they come up

As soon as she feels that gut wrenching anger rise,  she should get in touch with it and use it as a sign that she needs to stick up for herself and be an equal.

Shelly should speak her feelings as clearly as she can. It helps the other person know what she is feeling and why, so they can adapt right away.

Shelly should avoid stuffing her anger because she thinks it will cause bad feeling. Wouldn't she rather know how to please someone and do it right, rather than have long term resentment and explosive anger that ruins relationships for ever?



Six way to manage anger when you feel ignored

October 1st, 2012 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

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MORDI HAS HAD ENOUGH!

Dinner was over. Now came the awkward time. Making small talk, being effusive with praise for the hosts, and having to be entertaining for the crowd. Mordi hated it. He also hated to watch his wife sing songs and play the piano with her friends. He stuffed his irritation, told himself it wouldn't be for ever, and tried to pass the time in a tolerable way. They had agreed before the party that when he was ready to go, he would signal her and she would bow out of the group.

IMPATIENCE AND FRUSTRATION FUEL THE ANGER

Mordi inspected every book title his hosts owned, every CD they stacked near the stereo and read a stray magazine. He looked at his wife engrossed in the choral group. He felt excluded, forgotten and invisible. Mordi made faces at her, pointing to his watch and making head movements suggesting it was time to leave. Long sighs, and pacing up and down, Mordi's discomfort and annoyance was evident to everyone.

MORDI GIVES AN ULTIMATUM

"One more song" his wife pleaded. Mordi was inflamed. Who was more important to Lola, her friends or her husband? That was the burning question that pushed and prodded at his hot buttons. He threatened to leave without her if she didn't chose him there and then!

Embarrassed, Lola excused herself and left with Mordi. On the way home she asked

" Why do you always have to spoil my fun?"

 "You promised we would go when I gave you the signal. You broke your promise. You made me mad. It's your fault." Mordi blamed him wife.

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WHAT IS MORDI'S ANGER ABOUT?

Getting Lola's full attention is desperately important for Mordi to feel worthwhile. If he doesn't feel worthwhile he gets agitated. The agitation grows into extreme distress, and he has to do something to get Lola to see how much he needs her to make him feel better. He has to protest her absence in such a way that she will realize how crucial it is that she return her entire focus on him. The only way Mordi could do that was to create a scene, embarrassing Lola so she would withdraw from her group and return to him.

Even if Lola protests in return – even if Lola isn't pleasant with him – he still succeeded in pulling her away from the group, and has retrieved her all for himself. An absolute necessity for managing his internal turmoil.

WHAT'S IN IT FOR MORDI TO GET SO ANGRY

Mordi's anger comes from a very basic human fear – that of not existing. When Lola ignores him by choosing other people, Mordi feels as if he has ceased to exist for her. Imagine how scary it is to feel wiped out, insignificant and lost. The sense of helplessness is monumental. Anger is his only way of building himself up, feeling alive, experiencing power and strength. It worked! His ultimatum was successful. His wife left her group and gave him her whole being.

 

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MANAGING HIS ANGER

Mordi's anger is his antidote to fear and helplessness. So managing it involves developing a personal sense of power and strength that stays with him regardless of Lola's focus of attention.

A. EXPRESS NEEDS PRIOR TO EVENT

Sharing and negotiating his wishes before they go out into company will be the first step in exerting his sense of power.

1. It will make Lola more inclined to follow through

2. It will eliminate the need for the angry protest

3. It will calm the part of Mordi that is scared of being invisible

B. FILL UP WITH LOLA'S ATTENTION BEFORE THE EVENT

One reason why Mordi's feels bereft of Lola's attention when they are out in company is that he doesn't fill himself up before hand. Hungry bears growl and get mad. That's what happens to Mordi when he sees Lola take her attention away from him. Mordi can

1. Do joint activities with Lola before they go out with friends

2. Share affection, talk to and about one another – get the attention that fills the hole.

3. If the anger still comes up, Mordi should recall those moments before when they shared activities, affection and loving talk. He can bring her back to him in that way, so as to manage the anger.

 



Manage your anger when your kids drive you nuts!

September 28th, 2012 1 Comment

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles anger management therapy for parents

Teenage Son Makes Mother Furious

Josephine's heart sank. Yesterday morning her son had thanked her for the ride to school. Now that flash of gratitude and respect she received seemed like a mirage. Her hopes were dashed when she heard his abusive voice demanding a new cell phone after she had just bought him skiing lessons and the necessary equipment. Disappointment turned to rage as Josephine realized that her sixteen year old son Morgan had successfully manipulated her. He was intimately acquainted with her weak spot, and went for it with impunity.

Mother Left The Door Open and Got Robbed

For a brief moment Josephine had allowed herself to believe that all the talks and explanations she had given her sixteen year old son were paying off. Her hard work on setting limits was bearing fruit. It had taken her a long time to say "no" and stick to her guns. Now it all seemed worthwhile. Morgan had changed. Her wish came true and she dared to believe it was going to last. That's when she left the door open, and got robbed.

Seduced by his politeness, Josephine asked if he'd like to have friends over for his favorite dinner. He saw the green light and lurched forward insisting on a new cell phone.

Mother Wants To Give Up

Frustrated and angry that her efforts had not brought lasting results, Josephine didn't want to bother to try anymore. It was exhausting. It seemed as if it would take forever to get Morgan to change on a permanent basis. She felt like a bad mother who had failed her son.

 

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How Did Josephine Get Into This Mess?

Morgan had always been a demanding kid. He created an almighty fuss if he didn't get his way. She reasoned with him, cajoled him, bribed him and made deals with him. He paid lip service to her pleas and conditions. Josephine got more and more desperate.Her friends and family threw their hands up in horror leaving her alone with this greedy insatiable monster. Josephine felt vulnerable and fearful of how her son might show her up next. Her fear was so great that she was blind to the fact that she was feeding the monster. Inadvertently Josephine made him grow larger and more powerful. The larger he got the more hungry he became. Josephine was trapped in a vicious cycle of shame, appeasement and guilt.

Morgan's outbursts were like a million spotlights all beaming down on her, showing the world how badly she had failed. It was so shameful that Josephine had given into Morgan most of the time. It pacified him for a while, and took her off the hook. This business of one step forward and two steps backwards was too unrewarding a prospect to have to live through for goodness knows how long. Better to just swallow Morgan's attitude of entitlement and get some instant peace.

Why did Josephine Let Her Guard Down?

Josephine was relieved and joyful that Morgan was acting like a well brought up thoughtful son, making her look good and feel good. She wanted to reward him. In that soft place she took her eye off the ball, didn't protect herself and got taken advantage of. She made the mistake of believing that one instance of politeness meant her son had turned into an angel.

Josephine's joy cut her off from the memories of anger, fear and dread she felt whenever her son acted in a selfish manner. She forgot all those millions of times he had tortured her with his tongue lashes and shamed her in public. She lost touch with those innumerable episodes of feeling like his puppet just to get a minute of peace. Disconnected from those memories meant that she didn't anticipate danger, and allowed the Trojan horse to enter her unguarded sanctuary.

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Josephine's Wires Got Disconnected

When Josephine rewarded Morgan spontaneously, her emotional brain acted unilaterally. It didn't stop to consult with her logical and rational brain. The wires were cut and she suffered the consequences.

1.She didn't give herself the opportunity to consider her motivation for making an extra offer to her son when she had already given him so much in the last few days.

2.That robbed her of a chance to predict the outcome given what she already knew about her son.

3.It also deprived her of the room she needed to reflect on whether she needed to spend more time and energy to 'buy' her son's responsible behavior.

How Can Josephine Be a Good Parent and Enjoy it?

A.Josephine's most important job is to take care of herself. She must make herself a priority.

  • Giving herself good things instead of buying her son's obedience will send a message of self-worth that can't be trampled on.
  • Increased self-esteem will elicit respectful encounters with her son. Morgan will not be able to manipulate her so easily because she has beefed up that once weak spot. She will send a message loud and clear that she deserves to be loved and cared for because she is a caring parent, not because she gives into his increasingly outrageous demands.

B. Josephine's second task is to set up a conference call with all parts of herself so she gets the maximum benefit of her brain power.

  • That includes her intelligence, her fears, doubts, hopes, logic and predictive skills. All her bases will be covered.
  • Instead of being hijacked by 'feel good' moments, she will act from a place that uses past experiences to protect her, and future expectations that guide her in a measured way. With practice Joseph solid and available at all times.
  • Being consistent and saying "no" will seem like a piece of cake.

 

 

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Reducing anger when your partner misunderstands your motives

September 27th, 2012 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

west los angeles anger management therapy when you feel misunderstood

Kodi put his legs up and switched on the television. Checking out of his life by jumping into a hilarious reality show was just what the doctor ordered. Two minutes later Cianna sat by him and asked how he fared in his Engineering seminar.

" It was fine." Kodi replied to shut it down.

" Did you ask about working on the new software programs for the hospital ?" Cianna said trying to engage her partner.

Kodi is enraged by his wife's questions

" Why are you checking up on me? You must think I'm an idiot! You just don't believe I can handle this do you?" Kodi responded, irritated and upset at her insinuations.

" You never tell me anything unless I pry it out of you. I want to know what goes on in your life, because I'm your partner." Cianna reacted with indignation.

" You treat me like a child, always asking me if I did something or how I did it. I don't have to be accountable to you. You're not my mother!" Kodi roared as he tried to retain a modicum of ownership over his own life.

 

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Cianna feels shut out and deprived

Each time Kodi denied access to his thoughts and feeling Cianna felt another nail being hammered into the coffin of their marriage. She wanted to know when he was upset so she could comfort him. She needed to discover what he longed for so she could satisfy his desires. It was vital that she knew what was bothering him so she could help solve his problems. If she could make him happy then she could be secure in the relationship.

Hope that she would ever be privy to his inner world wore thin. She experienced the same dismay that flooded her when she had tried and failed to get inside her father's head. Her desperate need to know was met with an inscrutable demeanor. She was repeatedly deprived of ever reaching the promised land. Now she was faced with a husband who did the same thing, only more forcefully. Heartbroken and hopeless, Cianna wondered whether it was all worth it.

Kodi feels spied upon and judged

Cianna's questions reached Kodi like unwelcome intrusions. He wasn't in the mood to answer and didn't see why he should justify his actions or prove that he was making the right moves. Her questions felt like the critical judgements his mother used to greet him with when he came home from school. She always expected him to make the wrong decision, to act selfishly, to fail at everything and above all to let her down.

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Good Intentions are Interpreted as Evil Motives

Kodi was primed to hear judgement, put downs and a lack of belief in his good intentions or ability to carry them out. Kodi became so good at anticipating a blow that he made pre-emptive strikes, taking out the good in case it was bad! Cianna's enquiries pulled the trigger the switch and he fired the shot.

Cianna was primed to knock loudly on the door of her loved one's mind and be ignored. Years of having the door shut in her face made Cianna read Kodi's protective shield as a stubborn refusal to let her share his experiences. Years of being put down made Kodi read Cianna's questions as implied criticism. They fell into the trap of making one of the biggest mistakes in couple communication. Both heard what they expected, not what was actually said or the intent behind it. Both imposed a malevolent outcome on a benign reality. They risk growing apart and missing out on mutual comfort and support.

But I've Tried Everything!

Kodi and Cianna came to couples therapy to save their marriage. We discussed the difference between hearing and listening. Kodi claimed that he listened intently. He insisted that Cianna meant to find fault and make him feel bad. He was adamant he had begged, asked nicely and demanded to be respected, without being heard. Cianna was positive that she listened and heard with exquisite accuracy. She knew all too well that the doors to Kodi's mind were sealed shut. She had tried banging, knocking politely and prying the lock open to no avail.

The solution – rely on the evidence rather than their internal history books

I invited Kodi to tune into Cianna's tone of voice, facial expression and body posture when she addressed him. He discovered that it didn't match the critical voice screaming inside his head. Cianna was invited to express an interest in Kodi's thoughts and let him decide when and how he chose to share them. They were astonished at the results. The trick was to rely less on their internal history books and more on the evidence of the moment. Kodi now feels like sharing and Cianna enjoys accepting his invitations. Cianna is reassured about the fact that she does have a place inside Kodi's head, and tries not to infiltrate his space.

There are times when Kodi feels the threat of put downs and raises his guard. Cianna relives moments when she feels banished from her husband's heart. But they are more likely to check out their experiences of one another rather than assume the intent was evil. Now that they have alternative sources of evidence to consult, they are much more likely to smell the rose without fearing the prick of the thorn in their partner's response.

 



Dealing with anger when you feel emotionally blackmailed

September 27th, 2012 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles anger managment therapy for feeling emotionally blackmailed

You Mean I can Have What I Want?

Fabienne drooled over that gorgeous pair of shoes in the store window. Just for once she wanted to indulge herself by splurging on something personal that wasn't an absolute necessity. She had spoken to Larry about it and he gave her the go ahead. This weekend she was going to treat herself without doubts or guilt.

Saturday morning Larry twisted the knife. " I really need to go to that conference next weekend. Networking with the contacts will help launch my business. It's been so tough lately to market my ideas. This is a once in a life time opportunity. I need to reserve a place by Monday, but I don't have the cash. My credit card is maxed out. If I don't go to the conference all my efforts so far will be wasted. I might as well call it a day."

Emotional Blackmail

Fabienne's heart flew out of her chest. Her jaw tightened, her teeth ground together and her body went rigid. Gasps of indignation and disbelief gathered in her throat.

" What! YOU agreed that I could have them. YOU told me to buy the shoes this weekend.. YOU said it was fine with you! Now, just before I go out to get them you throw me this line! You really know how to put me on the spot!" blasted Fabienne who reeled with outrage.

" Do you want me to fail?" Larry continued with his emotionally blackmailing guilt trip.

Why is Larry Engaging in Blackmail?

When Larry initially encouraged Fabienne to buy the shoes, he was in a good place, feeling secure and connected to his wife. As the time came for Fabienne to spend money on herself, Larry was in a very different place. He was feeling envious that Fabienne was going to get what she wanted and he wasn't. He was desperate to 'get' something too. But there was only one money pot from which to feed. He couldn't come out and ask for the money because that would seem selfish. Touching a nerve that sparked guilt in Fabienne meant that he could get her to feel selfish and turn over the money. She would give and he could take without feeling bad about it.

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Fabienne is left hanging

Should Fabienne Give into the Blackmail?

It had been so wonderful to get Larry's permission to get those designer shoes. For once he was putting her first. Then like a bolt from the blue he switched his position, making snide threats. Her self-esteem was crushed. Larry put her in a catch-22 situation. If she bought the shoes she would feel guilty and never wear the shoes with joy. She would never hear the end of it every time he saw the shoes in her closet. If she gave into Larry, he would get the upper hand and try this tactic again. She would resent him and want to take revenge.

Why Does It Have To Be Either Larry or Fabienne?

When Larry saw his wife having something enjoyable he felt left out and deprived. It was just like the times his father would eat all of his mother's home made pizza so that there was none left for him. It triggered the spot when his mother stopped reading bedtime stories to her son, giving precedence to the greedy demands of her husband. It was either Larry or his Dad, and more often than not it was Dad.

Regaining Control Was The Name of The Game

Larry grew up envious, feeling like a 'have not,' and it bothered him. He never figured out why his father always got priority over him. As an adult he was determined to get what he deserved, and make up for all the times he didn't get his fair share.

He managed his fury by using emotional blackmail. It gave him control in an acceptable way. It was as if he was getting that pizza and mother's attention without having to fight his dad for it.

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Why Does Fabienne allow the Emotional Blackmail?

It was hard for Fabienne to feel deserving of nice things that weren't essential for her survival. She needed a good reason to justify the purchase of anything other than the basics of life. As a child, if she wanted a new book her mother would talk about her younger sister needing medication for her asthma. Fabienne grew up feeling selfish just for wanting something of her own.

Without permission and encouragement Fabienne never treated herself to anything she wanted. Larry's consent to get the shoes was the green light she needed to get those shoes. When he put the guilt trip on her, she relived those moments when her mother made her feel bad for apparently depriving her sick sister. Larry hooked her in that place. That made the emotional blackmail succeed, and he knew it.

Challenging the Blackmail

Fabienne and Larry are both caught in the invidious place that there are only enough goodies for one and that the 'neediest' one claims it. A weekly meeting putting their joint assets on the table and then sharing their needs and desires can create the foundation for a partnership where they agree on mutual priorities, and allocate the resources accordingly. When they see that they are both wanting and giving, not grabbing and depriving, they will find compromises that feel less painful. Making agreements together that fulfill needs in both of them mean that they both become 'haves' instead of 'have nots.'



Managing anger that comes from feeling unwanted and insecure

September 26th, 2012 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

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Does Tom really want Roxy or is he being polite?

Watching Tom rapt in conversation with their guests made Roxy feel left out and unimportant. Almost as if he heard her wish, Tom asked her for her opinion of the movie they were all talking about. She could hardly speak. She didn't want to be brought in out of pity or courtesy. She wanted Tom to feel her absence and truly desire her opinion, not just act politely.

Tom had tried to invite her into the conversation and if she chose not to join, he assumed she didn't really want to. He wasn't going to second guess her motives.

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Roxy wants to be the important one

The only trouble was that Roxie did want him to take another stab at  reading her with her help. She didn't want to be just one voice among many but the center of Tom's attention.

"Why were you so quiet tonight? I know you have a lot to say about the movie. What happened?" Tom enquired.

" I saw you guys yapping away. It didn't seem like you needed my opinion. So I didn't bother" replied Roxy in a defeated tone.

" Why can't you be part of the discussion? Does it have to be you or them? We would have loved to hear from you!" Tom hit back.

"I don't feel like you take me seriously when there are other people around. It feels like I don't have your full attention because you respond to the others more than to me." Roxy bared her soul.

"Tomorrow I'm all yours Roxy. We can do anything you want. Just you and me," consoled Tom.

The tables are turned

The next day Tom followed Roxy's agenda. But 't there. Now it was his turn to feel left out and useless.

How come Roxy ignores Tom when she's got his attention?

When Tom is with her Roxy doesn't have to share him with anyone else. She doesn't have to fight to get the top spot in his focus. She can sip and dip at the bowl of his attention when ever it pleases her. The security of knowing that his attention is fully on her, means she is free to get on with her life.

Having carved out a whole day for Roxy and put everything else aside, Tom was angry and resentful that he wasn't the top priority in Roxy's mind. What was the point of trying to please her if this was the result?

What's going on with Roxy?

If Tom is thinking about something else or with others Roxy feels thrown out in an ocean without a life jacket. So she has to put all her energies into her end game, reclaiming her spot in his mind.

What's going on with Tom?

He holds Roxy in his heart and mind no matter what he is doing. It makes him sad that he has to get off the world in order to make Roxy feel his love.

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Connection and security can go together

Tom can help Roxy feel more secure during her vulnerable moments with these simple gestures:

1. Put his arm around her when they are in company.

2. Smile at her and squeeze her hand when they are amongst others.

3. Tell everyone else that Roxy has great ideas and then invite her to speak.

Roxy can connect with Tom when she is feeling safe and secure using these strategies:

1. Acknowledge that he is around and talk to him about what she is thinking and feeling.

2. Ask him to tell her about what he is thinking and feeling.

3. Do an activity with him involving both their ideas and preferences.

Following these steps will help both Tom and Roxy feel closer and more connected irrespective of whether they are in the same place or their minds are focused on other things.