My hope is you enjoyed that last session and we're going to start here in our second session looking at what we call the undiscussables.  So it's called a Foursquare component of anger management.  And there are four things that are going to help you become successful.

All four have the potential to lead to your success. And the potential to success is what we're describing here.  It does not just happen, it's something that you have to really work on.  Now, I'd like to share something with you, as you're looking at this slide.

On page four of your handout, there is dialogue that you can use to share this with others.  And I'm going to read from it very specifically here.  This means you must be intentional about your habits, all habits become routine.  And if you guard your habits, and make different choices, when you need to change them, you will get different outcomes. 

And what we're going to say here is that it's important for you to put this in your own words but these are words that you can use as a descriptor.  That is the purpose of recognizing something works for you and some things do not work for you.

That dialogue goes on to explain to you and explain to others that habits are there because the habits that we have are rewarding us.  And when we are wanting this kind of reward and we're operating with this kind of habit, that habit may not be all that it should or needs to be.  So if we can change the habit and still get the same reward that we've been getting, what it means is we're changing our routines. 

And this is important for us to remember that habits are based on behaviors, attitudes, choices, and decisions.  So you have that right there in your handout and as you look at it, and you realize that's the Foursquare component, that helps you become more effective.  And if you think about all of the things in your life that are beliefs, values, all of those pieces, they form your habits.  That's what they really do. 

According to a Harvard study, we are able to, to take in information at a rate of 7 +/- 2.  On a good day, we're able to take in nine things at a time, and on a bad day five things at a time.  And that 7 +/- 2 means that we're using these filters of behavior, attitudes, the choices we've made, the choices we want to make, what's the difference in the two, and the decisions that all of that leads to.  And all of that is important as we look at and manage our anger and do this more effectively. 

So if we take a look at this next slide and we look at the exhibited behavior of this next slide, and we looked at this in the last session, you may recall what it looks like. It's this one right here.  And you use this, and we had you fill that out and complete that, and then we come from there, to the four square that we just described to you, and now you're looking at reciprocal self-protective strategies.

And these self-protective strategies, for an example, the self-protective strategies, blaming, making excuses, expressing cynicism (e.g. yeah, right, I got a big picture of that - that would be an example of what cynicism looks like and sounds like), creating us-and-them distinctions (e.g. Well, I would never do that.  And they do it. And they're, I'm sure, not doing the right thing,) so we're making a value judgment that's there as well.  We're restricting the flow of information. 

 Let's suppose that we tell someone something.  We don't tell them everything, and there are times when we shouldn't.  But let's suppose they need more information to accomplish a task.  If we're withholding information, that is a protective measure that we use; a self-protective measure that we use.  

And if we take a look at understanding or sabotaging others efforts, that's another example of, ‘well, I'll just leave this out of my conversation, or I'll just leave this out as the direction that I'm trying to offer this person,’ and then they fail, and then we can say, “well, you did it wrong”.

Restrictive participation in important discussions.  If you leave someone out of a discussion that's important to them and it's going to have an impact on them, that’s not helpful.  And you want to be very cautious of being more inclusive and deciding to be inclusive as opposed to leaving them out of a discussion.

Reinforcing mandated structures.  Authority.  “Well, I'm in charge here”.  It would be a way to reinforce certain authority, and disregarding others’ competence and willingness to take responsibility.  

“Yeah, well, you know, she always does that; well, you know, you know, him.”  And we're making these comments, we're making these subtle little things that make, sadly, unfortunate differences. 

So let's take a look at this slide and in doing so, get an idea of the symptoms of fear.  Because we looked at fear in the first session, we talked about it a little bit, we said fear causes guilt, we said fear was healthy, but we also said that we have to guard against the fear that overwhelms us.  

So if we look at the symptoms of fear, frustration, anxiety due to the inability to control circumstances, that's part of it.  And we also see in the workplace turf battles over resources and assignments, and we fight over money; and all of those things come into play as well.  And so as we're doing this, we see complaining after a meeting is over rather than in the meeting itself.  

Have you ever been in a meeting, and you're sitting around a table, and everybody's having a conversation, and we're talking about some challenges that all of us may be facing.  And we have our own perceptions and our own ideas about that, but what we do is we decide not to say anything in the meeting.  Then we go outside the meeting, and we get into a little huddle with this person or that person and we complain, and we gripe.  We start offering opinions, “Well, they should have said this, or they should have said that”.  That's complaining after a meeting as opposed to bringing it up in a very respectful way in the meeting itself. 

Us versus them.  Talking, and talk leading to complaints. 

Gossip.  It's another way of saying gossip.  “Did you hear about so-and-so?  I would have done that.  And they did.  Boy, I wouldn't do that.  I wouldn't make that choice.”  And what we're doing is we're holding ourselves up and saying that we're more important or better.

People exhibiting a scarcity rather than an abundance mentality.  What does that look like? 

Well, as you're looking at this in your notes, and you see these are symptoms of anger, have you ever done that?  Have you ever felt like you had to hoard something because you were afraid there wasn't enough of it?  And that's thinking in a scarcity as opposed to an abundance mentality.  

If God is taking care of us every single day, we have to be grateful for what we receive.  And when we say to ourselves, “Lord, you provide and it is abundance to me, and I know that I have this need, and if I have this need, I know you're going to take care of it.  Thank you, Lord in advance,” what you're doing, you're really managing that a lot more effectively than you otherwise would.  

So when we look at these, these pieces of what we're trying to accomplish, we want to make certain that what we're doing is all we can do. 

I want to go back and tell you a couple of little stories where I had a scarcity mentality when I should have had an abundance mentality.

I went to work when I was very young, and I got a job because I'd asked my father for an allowance and he said, Well, I'll allow you to get a job.  And that wasn't the answer I expected from him.  But I did; I went out and found a job as a delivery boy.  I worked in a grocery store.  

It was a long time ago.  I made $8 a week.  I was paid on a Friday, all with brand new $1 bills, because my boss would go to the bank on Friday afternoon and get brand new $1 bills, and he would lay them on the counter, and that's how I was paid.  I always thought money came in numerical sequence, in fact.

So I remember the very first time I was paid, I limped home because I put the brand new bills in my pocket and I didn't want to fold them.  When I got home, I said to my dad, I said, “Well, I got my first pay”. He said, “Yeah, how much did you make”?   I said, “I made $8”.  He said, “Well, good for you,”. He said, “Now, what are you going to do”?

And I said, “Well, I'm going to celebrate”.  He said, “Good.  That's a good idea. You should.”    He said, “But before you celebrate”, he said, “we're going to put $4 in the bank”.  Well, that surprised me because I thought I was going to be able to spend $8.  But his thought was, you always need to set something aside. 

He said, “That's the way you pay yourself first”.  So we did.  We opened a bank account, and I spent, no, I saved $4.  But it felt like I was spending it because it was no longer in my hands.  It was in a bank account.

He said, “How much do you have left now”?  I said, “Well, I've got $4”.  He said, “Give me two”.  And I said, “why”?  He said “Well, you owe us room and board”.  And I said “room and board”?  I said, “I don't want to give you room and board”.  He said, “move”.  Oh!

He said, “Look, your mom washes your clothes, cleans the house, puts food on the table, you eat that food, you owe us room and board”.  And so I gave him $2 a week room and board.  He said, “Now what do you have left”? And I said, “Well, $2”.  And he said, “All right.  When we go to church Sunday, you put $1 in the plate”.  “What?”  He said, “You put $1 in the plate.  You always give back.”

So my $8 that I had earned, went to $4 of savings, $2 of room and board, $1 back to the community through my church, and now I can spend the other dollar any way I wanted.  And I could.  I could go to a movie; I’ve got to have a box of popcorn.  And I could still pay for it with that dollar.

Those times taught me very valuable lessons that have helped me.  But if you can imagine that each time my father said something to me about that money, I got anxious, I got concerned, I got worried, because scarcity was beginning to take hold of me.  I didn't have the $8 in my hand to do with what I wanted.  But yet, it taught me very valuable lessons.  

And so when we look at what we're trying to accomplish in this anger management: first session, we talked a little bit about it.  We talked about how we're going to be teaching it to others by teaching it to ourselves; by learning about it ourselves.

In this session two, we talked about that four components -  behavior, attitude, choices, and decision.  And we've talked about how important it is for us to be effective at managing and dealing with the symptoms of a fear.

And that scarcity mentality, when it comes and rears its ugly head, we have to remember that all abundance comes from above.  And we have to count on that and we do count on it when we really practice our faith.  You put your faith in the right place, and all things work together. 

I’ll see you in Session three.

Last modified: Monday, August 7, 2023, 7:25 AM