How to handle people with anger issues?

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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby reddust » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:46 pm

Simon E. wrote:
reddust wrote:Have you noticed how the men address this thread and us women? I totally agree with the guys saying you cannot change another person. But you can help your mate with their confusion and they can help you. Being helpful, caring, patient and not controlling opens up a whole new world of relationships. I really feel better when I can talk about how I am feeling without feeling threatened or controlled. I read in another thread that monks and nuns go through the same kind of relationship issues as us married folk. Food for thought :popcorn:

And how would you feel if you discovered that your partner/husband/wife was posting on a website their intention to 'make you more peaceful' and 'change you ' ?
Or if you read that your occasional scratchiness was an indicator of incipient upheavals in your 'unconscious ' caused by 'ideas of gender equality ' ?


So many post hit on this one area, I am assuming he is posting without his wife knowing this, but you never know. That is why I never brought this up. Some really good posts abut this issue too! Gender equality I do bring up from time to time, its kind of obvious most men run the big Buddhist administrative divisions. That's how all really big powerful institutions seem to have worked since we have developed institutional systems.

I really enjoy being a woman, the cooking, caring for the kids and family and all the traditional baggage that goes with it. I get tired being hit with the feminist stuff, be like a man….I am not a man or being told I should be barefoot and pregos per my cultural redneck baggage, so much conflicting data, like society saying I should not get upset when I want to take care of my family and the social economic realities are forcing me outside of that biological niche women have evolved within for, well it seems forever. On one end of this deal I am told be like a man, go to work, ignore you biological needs and fears and on the other end of the deal I am being told you are a woman don't go there you don't belong. And it's samsara so deal with it! Well I am trying to deal with it, that's why I talk about it.

I hope the OP can get some good stuff off this thread that will help him sort through his relationships. :anjali:

EDIT….The gender difference I brought up here had to do with how men and women handle stress, it may be heavily influenced by our biological differences. I didn't mean to put anyone down.
Last edited by reddust on Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:53 pm

Lindama wrote:That's the beauty of it.... we notice diff things. I was noticing this morning that I didn't pick up on the trying to change part of it... took the backdoor in. :smile: If you guys hadn't of brought it up, might not have noticed. We all know what we do best. I wouldn't feel too good about being discussed without my knowledge on a forum either.... unless the points brought up led to a mutual resolution.

this morning, it started seeping in.... my ex once told me near the end: "I don't know who I am, if I can't take care of you". still a trace of sadness that we didn't/couldn't get on that boat to have a look.

Yes..and of course I noticed it because I have had the same male conditioning..that somehow I must change others by controlling. While telling myself that it is for the other persons good.
A series of events showed me that I did not know what was the others person's good..
And that the best I could do was be as centred and as open as I could to whatever arose.
That what was important was positive regard through thick and thin..which is not easy. And is probably even harder for those who have to put up with me... :|
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:45 am

reddust wrote:Have you noticed how the men address this thread and us women? I totally agree with the guys saying you cannot change another person. But you can help your mate with their confusion and they can help you. Being helpful, caring, patient and not controlling opens up a whole new world of relationships. I really feel better when I can talk about how I am feeling without feeling threatened or controlled. I read in another thread that monks and nuns go through the same kind of relationship issues as us married folk. Food for thought :popcorn:



I think It really has less to do with gender relations, and more to do with not trying to use Dharma practice to fulfill Samsaric aims like changing your partner into someone you like better.

I would argue that as far as Mahayana goes, there is a definite subtext underlying the whole deal when it comes to interacting with others, our spouses included..and the "secret" is that you take the responsibility on yourself to let all your nonsense about them go and simply accept them, try to help them. All the normal BS of trying to figure out who is right, whether they are justified in their behavior..none of that applies - that kind of stuff is practically the definition of samsaric activity.

The OP (while I fully understand where he's coming from) posted basically asking what kind of Dharma practice would help change is significant other into something more acceptable..I think that's at odds with a basic sense of how we are supposed to deal with others in the Mahayana. I'm no scholar or expert in anything, but any time you read Lojong slogans, something like The Wheel of Sharp Weapons, or whatever, there is a very strong message there that gets beaten in over and over: Worry about your own afflictions, not other people's. Does it always work? no, but it's a good default setting.

Of course it's a lofty ideal, and it's incredibly difficult to fulfill, but at least trying is IMO a much better idea than trying to alter your partner through Dharma.

it's possible for sure that Rakhsasas motivation is a lot more altruistic than i'm giving him credit for, in which case my bad! I'm not trying to get preachy, i'm certainly no example of anything, just going by the OP.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby reddust » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:11 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
reddust wrote:Have you noticed how the men address this thread and us women? I totally agree with the guys saying you cannot change another person. But you can help your mate with their confusion and they can help you. Being helpful, caring, patient and not controlling opens up a whole new world of relationships. I really feel better when I can talk about how I am feeling without feeling threatened or controlled. I read in another thread that monks and nuns go through the same kind of relationship issues as us married folk. Food for thought :popcorn:



I think It really has less to do with gender relations, and more to do with not trying to use Dharma practice to fulfill Samsaric aims like changing your partner into someone you like better.

I would argue that as far as Mahayana goes, there is a definite subtext underlying the whole deal when it comes to interacting with others, our spouses included..and the "secret" is that you take the responsibility on yourself to let all your nonsense about them go and simply accept them, try to help them. All the normal BS of trying to figure out who is right, whether they are justified in their behavior..none of that applies - that kind of stuff is practically the definition of samsaric activity.

The OP (while I fully understand where he's coming from) posted basically asking what kind of Dharma practice would help change is significant other into something more acceptable..I think that's at odds with a basic sense of how we are supposed to deal with others in the Mahayana. I'm no scholar or expert in anything, but any time you read Lojong slogans, something like The Wheel of Sharp Weapons, or whatever, there is a very strong message there that gets beaten in over and over: Worry about your own afflictions, not other people's. Does it always work? no, but it's a good default setting.

Of course it's a lofty ideal, and it's incredibly difficult to fulfill, but at least trying is IMO a much better idea than trying to alter your partner through Dharma.

it's possible for sure that Rakhsasas motivation is a lot more altruistic than i'm giving him credit for, in which case my bad! I'm not trying to get preachy, i'm certainly no example of anything, just going by the OP.


Maybe the message has come through loud and clear regarding the only person you can change is yourself? I know with my partner we support each other with our personal goals regarding self improvement. I have had so many people help me on the Path besides my husband. We often point out we are slacking too, so annoying but very helpful. In my Theravada practice one can only control oneself and well as with my Mahayana practices, both preach loving kindness, wisdom, compassion, and patience. As with the philosophy of other, that gets really complicated, I am not a scholar. Thank you for the wonderful post, you are awesome :namaste:
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby dimeo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:03 am

If it's an ongoing struggle you can find a good marriage counselling who can help you as a couple to work through the issues. I know it's not easy at all. And it's hard to be reasonable with someone who seems unreasonable.

When the OP says "However, i dont think she will admit she has any mental problems."
oushi says:
"This is often the last thing a person with a mental problem will admit, so never say that to her."
IMHO telling the person you think their issue is a "mental problem" goes from bad to worse really quick. I think oushi's got some good advice for you there. At some point a person who is struggling with emotional /mental health may at some point may wish to seek therapy, but keep private about it.

Instead of trying to diagnose your wife's 'problem', how about just trying to be kind & gentle & understanding to her when she's not her usual happy self?
:good:
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:26 am

dimeo wrote:If it's an ongoing struggle you can find a good marriage counselling who can help you as a couple to work through the issues. I know it's not easy at all. And it's hard to be reasonable with someone who seems unreasonable.

When the OP says "However, i dont think she will admit she has any mental problems."
oushi says:
"This is often the last thing a person with a mental problem will admit, so never say that to her."
IMHO telling the person you think their issue is a "mental problem" goes from bad to worse really quick. I think oushi's got some good advice for you there. At some point a person who is struggling with emotional /mental health may at some point may wish to seek therapy, but keep private about it.

Instead of trying to diagnose your wife's 'problem', how about just trying to be kind & gentle & understanding to her when she's not her usual happy self?
:good:
When a big part of our practice is to cultivate compassion, why not start at home with loved ones?

Again with the 'mental health issues ' ! Jeez.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:41 pm

A good rule of thumb when dealing with issues like these in relationships is to take on exactly half of the responsibility for what is happening. It is as much of a mistake to be over-accommodating as to be under-accommodating. Attempting to take on too much yourself, while the saintly option, may just prolong the tension and allow any power imbalance to remain unresolved. Meet these episodes head on, but do whatever is required to prevent an escalation. Be strong, but kind and fair.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby mandala » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:05 pm

Simon E. wrote:
reddust wrote:Have you noticed how the men address this thread and us women? I totally agree with the guys saying you cannot change another person. But you can help your mate with their confusion and they can help you. Being helpful, caring, patient and not controlling opens up a whole new world of relationships. I really feel better when I can talk about how I am feeling without feeling threatened or controlled. I read in another thread that monks and nuns go through the same kind of relationship issues as us married folk. Food for thought :popcorn:


And how would you feel if you discovered that your partner/husband/wife was posting on a website their intention to 'make you more peaceful' and 'change you ' ?
Or if you read that your occasional scratchiness was an indicator of incipient upheavals in your 'unconscious ' caused by 'ideas of gender equality ' ?


This did happen to me, years ago.. my ex (Buddhist) partner posted on a forum about how hard it was for him living with a b*tchy/angry/crying woman & how could he make me change. I'd recently lost a baby during emergency surgery.
While i grieved, he took the 'Buddhist intellectual' route & would say things like 'if you were a real Buddhist, you wouldn't be suffering right now'. "It's all an illusion.. blah blah". Oh yes. Instead of trying to offer the comfort i obviously needed, he'd try to back up his cold /superior position by saying my feelings were invalid because my emotional state made me mentally incapacitated. He wanted me to 'get over it' because it was unpleasant for him.

The betrayal I felt in seeing his online post - and the fact that it wasn't framed as "how can i help my partner?" but more of a 'how can i deal with a crazy b*tch?' ..yea, it was a punch in the face. Really, i was dumbfounded that anyone claiming to be Buddhist could be so lacking in compassion & caring. I kicked him out & grieved alone but at least there was noone telling me I was "not allowed to be angry" because I'm Buddhist.

And I'm afraid that's what the OPs situation looks like to me. It's one thing to consider yourself a Buddhist scholar and think you understand karma & emptiness but frankly, if you did, then you wouldn't be dismissive of your partner's feelings or even contemplate trying to change them so that you don't have to experience any discomfort or dissatisfaction.

And why are you on a forum complaining about your wife, or trying to garner support for your view that she has 'mental issues', when you could be sitting down with her to ask what the problem really is?

:shrug:
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:29 pm

Hi Rakshasa,

IMHO if a couple is having differences it's extremely unlikely that the "fault" is entirely with one of the partners. I think you should try to get feedback from somebody neutral who sees both of you. Maybe a handful of sessions of couple's therapy would be a good idea, especially now, at the beginning of your marriage, before the differences grow and become a huge problem.

Quite frankly I have the impression you're complaining about a speck of sawdust in your wife's eye while being completely unaware of the plank in your own eye.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:50 pm

mandala wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
reddust wrote:Have you noticed how the men address this thread and us women? I totally agree with the guys saying you cannot change another person. But you can help your mate with their confusion and they can help you. Being helpful, caring, patient and not controlling opens up a whole new world of relationships. I really feel better when I can talk about how I am feeling without feeling threatened or controlled. I read in another thread that monks and nuns go through the same kind of relationship issues as us married folk. Food for thought :popcorn:


And how would you feel if you discovered that your partner/husband/wife was posting on a website their intention to 'make you more peaceful' and 'change you ' ?
Or if you read that your occasional scratchiness was an indicator of incipient upheavals in your 'unconscious ' caused by 'ideas of gender equality ' ?


This did happen to me, years ago.. my ex (Buddhist) partner posted on a forum about how hard it was for him living with a b*tchy/angry/crying woman & how could he make me change. I'd recently lost a baby during emergency surgery.
While i grieved, he took the 'Buddhist intellectual' route & would say things like 'if you were a real Buddhist, you wouldn't be suffering right now'. "It's all an illusion.. blah blah". Oh yes. Instead of trying to offer the comfort i obviously needed, he'd try to back up his cold /superior position by saying my feelings were invalid because my emotional state made me mentally incapacitated. He wanted me to 'get over it' because it was unpleasant for him.

The betrayal I felt in seeing his online post - and the fact that it wasn't framed as "how can i help my partner?" but more of a 'how can i deal with a crazy b*tch?' ..yea, it was a punch in the face. Really, i was dumbfounded that anyone claiming to be Buddhist could be so lacking in compassion & caring. I kicked him out & grieved alone but at least there was noone telling me I was "not allowed to be angry" because I'm Buddhist.

And I'm afraid that's what the OPs situation looks like to me. It's one thing to consider yourself a Buddhist scholar and think you understand karma & emptiness but frankly, if you did, then you wouldn't be dismissive of your partner's feelings or even contemplate trying to change them so that you don't have to experience any discomfort or dissatisfaction.

And why are you on a forum complaining about your wife, or trying to garner support for your view that she has 'mental issues', when you could be sitting down with her to ask what the problem really is?

:shrug:



That's really appalling, on so many levels:(

There's a running theme that women aren't allowed to express anger without being called crazy..or at least, in some cases there is a definite double standard about what constitutes "crazy" behavior.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:08 pm

Yup its pretty scary to find such attitudes so prevalent in 2013. And the general paternalism.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby theanarchist » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:53 am

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:Hi Rakshasa,

IMHO if a couple is having differences it's extremely unlikely that the "fault" is entirely with one of the partners. I think you should try to get feedback from somebody neutral who sees both of you. Maybe a handful of sessions of couple's therapy would be a good idea, especially now, at the beginning of your marriage, before the differences grow and become a huge problem. .



Frankly, this is the only sound advice I found in this whole thread.

Of course a person who suffers because the partner has anger management issues has the right to politely ask on an internet forum for good ways to deal with the problem. This is not betrayal at all.
And of course he doesn't have to tolerate abusive behaviour if it happens on a regular basis, and certainly not "because he is a buddhist and buddhists are supposed to be good door mats and victims for any kind of crap."
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby Lindama » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:33 am

well, no. we just don't know after all this.
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Re: How to handle people with anger issues?

Postby padma norbu » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:22 pm

Take this online personality test.
http://www.ipersonic.com/test.html

It might surprise you how accurate it is. It described 6 people I know to a T. The point of taking it and comparing is you see how different people really are. I think we tend to go around sort of thinking people see all the same stuff we do and get miffed at them when they do something that doesn't make rational sense to us.

One problem I notice with my wife is how often I will ask her a question and she will just answer a completely different question than what I actually asked. It is obvious she is interpreting something she thinks she hears, like the motive behind the question, and answers that instead. I have been going over this issue for the last several years, so I absolutely know for a fact that it is not how I am saying something, the tone of voice, etc. Any time of day I can give you a recent example. My wife and I have gone over it a million times, but it does not change anything. She actually has a problem hearing the actual words. They are instantly interpreted into something different. I am convinced she is a great dakini teaching me patience.
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