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Thread: Bad guy I've identified, but don't know how to deal with...

  1. #1

    Bad guy I've identified, but don't know how to deal with...

    Or really how best to name, define, describe. The way I experience it is that little things that people do sometimes cause me serious aggravation, distress, anger... And I find myself paralyzed by it. Because what they're doing isn't actually hurting me, and it isn't a big deal, and it isn't something that makes any -sense- that I'm aggravated, anger, frustrated by. And in my state, I don't know any way to say anything without it coming out ... well... angry. Unreasonably so, over nothing, or not much of anything. I find myself feeling like my only options are 1) say nothing, and have the situation persist, and continue to feel upset, or 2) say something...while aggravated, upset, frustrated, angry, and have it come out way more intense than the situation calls for.

    I have tried counting 2 10, deep breaths, etc... They work a little, but they don't seem to help me explain why I am upset without it coming across as an attack...

  2. #2

    I have an idea.

    Tell the person that you are angry with, that you feel angry. Just putting it on the table might defuse it.
    Don't tell the person about the little thing that triggerd the anger, because it sounds like it onely is a trigger and not the reason for the anger, and therefor not relevant.

    But what do i know?

  3. #3

    Maybe you need to work out what is really causing the anger? If it's not really what they said/did, maybe it's something deeper. If you have a therapist, perhaps that's something they can help you figure out? And then it would be easier to fight the Bad Guy.

    And in the mean time, you might find the Mind Master power pack useful (if you haven't tried that one yet). It's got some mindfulness stuff in it that I've found pretty helpful.

  4. #4
    New to the hero world anndelise's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    WA USA

    Maybe start by labeling the bad guy He Who Cannot Be Named, or Unnamed Anger. His weakness is that once he is named, his powers weaken.

    Wins might include recognizing his presence before he's worked you up to such an angry state that you cannot respond without being angry.

    Anger is said to be part of the fight-or-flight response (which also includes freeze, and appease).
    Anger is a signal that something is wrong, that something in the environment needs to be changed.

    Maybe one of the Wins could be figuring out what you feel needs to change in those situations. This will also help you figure out what values and/or beliefs are in conflict with what the person is doing or saying. For example, their behavior may not be hurting you, but the attitude they are showing might be harmful to others. Or maybe part of your mind is interpreting their behavior as something you would avoid doing yourself, and that you would be angry with yourself for doing. Why would you avoid doing it yourself? How would you change your behavior if you were the one doing it? Once you figure out what you would change, or how you would change it, you may then find it easier to figure out why you would change it. This names the Bad Guy, and he begins losing his power over you.

    Perhaps it's the tone of voice. Perhaps the topic. Perhaps you would have worded it differently. Perhaps you would have refrained from speaking about it at all. Perhaps you would have spent more time listening and questioning so you could understand more fully rather than jumping into expressing your thoughts on it. Etc.

    If you are still having a difficult time figuring out what/how you would change something the person is saying/doing, then maybe try describing on paper what was being said, done, and the situation surrounding the moment it was being said/done, what led up to that moment, ...for both you and the other person who is doing what's angering you. This is where mindfulness exercises might be helpful.
    Your actions and attitudes help create a World in which people do those actions and hold those attitudes. What kind of World are You helping to create?

  5. #5
    New to the hero world liana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Raleigh, NC - USA

    I thought I was the only one with this issue! I have been battling it for years and have, I think, calmed it down enough for me to really get into banishing it forever. I know that some of it was physiological but a lot was psychological at its source.

    Everyone's ideas are really good, but I think (if you're at all like me) what your options are will also depend on the person. For some, I just got into the habit of laying it on the table, for others, I said nothing and spoke to them later in a calm context (which, for me, is extremely difficult because I hate hanging ends). I think Anndelise's personification is pretty great and recognizing when you're having this reaction is extremely important first and foremost.

    Mind Master is a really useful powerpack, as I think would either of the stress/anxiety related ones -- Stress Buster helped me the most with this particular issue because there is a lot about stress reduction, slowing your reactions, and increasing mindfulness (the last is shared by the "Better than a Chill Pill" one). I also found that a lot of my snap reactions stemmed from the fact that their beliefs and mine were in direct conflict on things such as how to clean certain things or what is rude and what isn't -- things that we learned growing up and have so instilled in us that it's hard to understand how anyone can logically do anything differently.

    But that's me. What I will repeat is that it's so important to recognize it first and foremost and ask for a second if you need to to process what's going on. You need to find the Big Bad's henchmen (the sources of underlying anxiety/stress/anger) and work on those to weaken the overall reaction. This is also something really hard to get through and takes a lot of real work, but you can do it.

  6. #6

    Thanks all... Definitely stuff to think on. I think I'll check out Mind Master at least, already have Stress Buster. I think a lot of it has to do with what Liana is saying, conflict with what I think is rude, etc... it seems to come most when I feel someone is being inconsiderate or rude and doesn't know it or feel that way. Often has to do with a feeling of being trapped in a circumstance that I have limited control of or ability to escape.

    I like the whole Enemy Without a Name idea...

  7. #7
    New to the hero world nic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    A very nice cubical somewhere in the east.

    I once flipped out... because someone put the bananas on top of the fridge. I could have moved them. I could have told someone that I preferred they be put somewhere else. But no, I felt irrational rage over this poor banana placement and went psycho on my roommates. My response did not at all match the magnitude of the deed which triggered it.

    For me, this is often the baddie I call Low-on-Potions*. It's when all my social energy is depleted and even the tiniest things annoy me. I've found two good ways to combat this:

    1. Remove myself. If I'm getting annoyed at stupid little things, I'm probably fully tapped and in need of serious recharging. For a while, this involved me stomping off and hiding in my room like a brat. I've since learned how to excuse myself more gracefully. Take a day or two to recharge before trying to be social again.

    2. Be honest about it. With closer friends and family, part of excusing myself gracefully has been admitting to people that I'm just beat. Sometimes, being honest about my irritation includes laughing about it. Finding humor in my mental illness helps me deal with it. If I'd realized how crazy I was being about the bananas, we would have all had a good laugh. (Which, admittedly, we did afterward, once I'd cooled off.)

    * Low-on-Potions Notification Light:
    Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
    Benjamin Disraeli

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Blog Entries

    I have a few ideas. The immediacy reminds me of panic. My personal problem with panic is that it is so HUGE so FAST that I can't cope. Counting, etc. slows that down, as recommended above, but it doesn't stop things. The lack of control thing feels right too. What has someone done to take control away from you? What is the attendent fear? Why might you be victimized?

    For me the most powerful thing I've learned here is that for all the bad guys I need a corresponding power-up, or two. What would a win "feel" like for you? What's different between that and what you have now?

    For me with the panic, my answer to that question was seeing the panic, checking to see if I thought the situation warranted it. If not, not letting it stop me. I don't think I can stop the panic, it's related to my PTSD and abuse, but I CAN slow down my reaction to it and how much I act on it.

    I don't have the exact problem, but I get the panic attacks, and this is what I do. I hope this is helpful!


  9. #9
    New to the hero world Maestro Sartori's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Bordeaux, France

    I had just identified this bad guy and was wondering how to battle this bother out of my brain. I've decided to name him "The Yet Unnamed Hijacker" because it seems to take control of my brain and drive me in a spiral of pain and anger.

    I don't know if it will prove useful in your particular case but I've realized just talking to person, not necessarily about how you feel, could be helpful in seeing them as friendly visits and not as "annoying intruders" which seems to be the problem for me.

  10. #10

    My children have Reactive Attachment Disorder from their abusive birthfamily. I feel they both have this Bad Guy and it runs their lives! I'm no longer in my son's life (safer for me that way so I'm okay with it) but my daughter is still with us. I wish she's take SuperBetter (and working on her life in general) for seriously. She gets unreasonably angry any time she doesn't get what she wants when she wants it. She can lash out viciously.

    Did you have an abusive or traumatic childhood?

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