I remember my Mom telling me “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I struggle with the words being tossed around in the news today. Majority of what I hear is “he said, she said”. I like facts, but they seem hard to find. The ease to give opinions anonymously and the constant need to provide news 24 hours encourages the mudslinging. I see more anger openly expressed in our culture.
Anger has a negative impact on me – physically and mentally. Think road rage! Nothing good can come from that. Sometimes it can inspire action however if left unchecked, it depletes my health and robs me of energy. I strive for a positive enriching environment, at home and at work. To create this, I find words are important.
Here’s 3 rules I use to counteract the anger in my life.
- No name calling. Never call yourself or someone else stupid, they might start believing you.
- Don’t criticize the person, criticize the action. Their actions might not make sense to you, somehow it did to them.
- Ask for what you want, not what you don’t want. Change the focus, send yourself and others in a positive direction. Get out of the problem and into the solution.
These three rules helped me raise my two very strong-willed boys. I was fortunate that they were both very intelligent and I could reason with them. With them I took them aside after one of their hairbrained incident and discussed what other options they could have taken.
Remember the sandbox you played in when you were little – play nice.
By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA