Easy access to all posts now available.

In order to make it easier for you, my readers, to access all of my previous posts, I have put together and published an index to all my posts.

Here is what you need to do…

  • You can access the index by scrolling up to the top of this page and clicking the index tap in the upper right corner.
  • This will open up to a page with the index.
  • Click on the index and you will see all of my previous posts with the month that post was printed.
  • Go to the right side of the home page where all of the posts are archived by month and click on that month.
  • This will take you to the page with the post you are seeking.
  • You may have to scroll down a bit but the post will be there.
  • Thank you for being a loyal reader.
  • Please let everyone you know who might be interested in the material I write about each week and let them know the index exists.

I will keep the index updated.

All the best,

Ed

Ed Daube, Ph.D.,  The Emotions Doctor

Jealousy and Envy: They are not the same.

Scenario #1

You and your significant other are out on a date or at an event and another person talks to, makes eye contact with, or otherwise engages your significant other and you have a very strong feeling.

Scenario #2

You observe that your friend, a co-worker, or even a stranger, owns something, has something, or even has options you don’t have and you experience a very strong feeling.

Scenario #1

In scenario #1, the issue is that you perceive a threat to your relationship with your significant other. At least two feelings are possible.

Or, some combination of both.

The goal regarding all emotions is to master them so that you can improve your life and your relationships.

Anger:

If you believe that the threat is to your view of right and wrong and the way things “should” be, or your sense of security, and you are ready to go to war to make things right, then the feeling you most likely are exclusively experiencing is anger.

Mastering Anger

I have discussed mastering anger in my book Beyond Anger Management: Master Your Anger as a Strategic Tool and in numerous posts on this blog. You can download the first two chapter of the book by scrolling up to the Welcome post.

Anger can also be experienced along with a second feeling.

Jealousy:

If you believe that your relationship with your significant other is threatened because your significant other is attracted to the person with whom they are interacting, then you most likely are experiencing jealousy. Jealousy always involves a third party and the message of jealousy is “I have something that I think you want, that I think you are coming after and that you might take from me”.

The other side of Jealousy is that your significant other may be interested in someone else because there is something wrong with you. So, along with jealousy, you might be experiencing, inadequacy, self-doubt, embarrassment, uncertainty and/or insecurity.

Mastering Jealousy

You master jealousy when you use the energy of your emotion to:

  • validate the feeling in yourself
  • understand that there may be some areas of your relationship with your significant other that you need to reexamine
  • engage in a conversation with your significant other about your feelings and their understanding of the nature of the relationship between the two of you and between them and the third party.

Scenario #2:

In scenario #2, the issue is that another person has something, or some ability, that you wish you had. There is no threat.

Envy:

The emotion you experience is envy.

The core message of envy is “I want what you have”.

Envy can be experienced as a painful emotion.  When this is the case, you have  taken the focus of your attention from the advantages enjoyed by another and focused it on yourself.

You have added feelings of inadequacy, self-contempt, shame, or inferiority. The message here is “I don’t measure up or have what he (or she) has  which means there is something wrong with me.

Mastering Envy

You master envy when you use the energy of your emotion to:

  • validate, or accept, the feeling in yourself,
  • take a comprehensive look at what it is you are envious about in that other person,
  • decide how important it is for you to emulate that person or obtain what they have,

and, if it is important,

  • make a plan to do what is required to acquire the skill, or obtain the desired item.

In this post, I have addressed the emotions of jealousy and envy.

I welcome your comments.

 

 

 

How can I control my words when I am angry?

This post is based on an answer I posted on Quora.com to this question. While the question addresses (angry) words, the same advice applies to unwanted or inappropriate (angry) actions.

In my answer to an earlier question, I noted that the message of anger is that you perceive a threat to some VITAL aspect of your life that you believe you can eliminate if you throw enough power at it.

I also noted that the body’s anger initial reaction to any perceived threat is to go on “red alert” and prepare for battle. In your case, your “angry words” are your battle plan.

As it turn out, there is a slight time delay between the message that goes to the amygdala which prepares you to react to the threat and the message to the cerebral cortex which allows you to decided what to do about the threat.

It is this time delay that you can learn to use to your advantage.

Regarding anger, most writers talk about anger management.  I believe that anger should be mastered (strategically applied to remedy the situation which elicits the anger) rather than managed as “management” implies primarily “control”.  While mastering anger does, initially, involve controlling one’s physical and psychological reactions to anger as the anger management approach teaches, anger mastery teaches you to validate the anger, assess the nature of the threat, and match your response to the level of that threat.

The angry words to which you refer are usually your first reaction to the threatening situation you perceive.  You want to defend yourself and lash out.

Anger mastery always recommends controlling this reaction as it may or may not be appropriate to the situation once you have assessed what is actually taking place.

If the best you are capable of doing for now is controlling your anger and your behavior, then “bite your tongue” (figuratively, not actually), force yourself to keep quiet or walk away.  This is better than cussing out your boss or getting yourself in trouble with friends and loved ones.

Anger mastery can be learned but it takes time.

With this in mind, there are three components to mastering your anger and the behavior you engage in when angry.

The first component involves the cerebral cortex (the thinking part of your brain)

In order to give yourself a few seconds to think about your situation and make a decision, you have to reduce your level of arousal and give yourself some space between you and the threat.

This is the basis of taking a physical step backwards, taking a deep breath, and counting to 10.

While this is easy advice to give (and it is accurate), it isn’t always easy to do in the heat of the moment.

So, it is important for you to prepare yourself to take a deep breath before you get angry.  You can do this by thinking about the situations  which “push your anger button” and imagining yourself taking a deep breath in that situation.

You can also think about where, in your body, you experience anger. Do your muscles tense up? Do you get a warm sensation somewhere, etc.

Knowing how your body alerts you to anger gives you some additional warning time.

If the above sounds strange to you, I understand.  Do the best you can.

With practice, you will be able to anticipate your anger and reduce your arousal just enough in the situation to stop yourself before you react.

The second component is to evaluate the nature of the threat.

If the threat is to a vital goal, a critical belief, to your family or your reputation, you will need to take action. But, you will learn to respond rather than react.

If the threat is to your ego, some less important aspect or your life, or is, in fact, not a threat at all, you may not have to take any action at all.

The third component involves deciding what  you will do about the threat.

Based on your evaluation of the nature of the threat, you can make a plan involving what you will do to resolve the threat.

Rarely, in the case of anger, does action have to be taken “right now”.  In the vast majority of cases, you can take a few moments, reduce your arousal (count to 100 if you have to or take a couple of deep breaths), and then choose how you will RESPOND to the situation.

In summary, to manage your anger rather than control it, remember the following”:

1. You always have some time to choose a response

2. The message of anger is that you perceive a threat you believe, on some level, that you have the ability to eliminate.

3. Think about what kinds of situations “push your anger button” and become aware of how your body alerts you to your anger.

4. Practice in your imagination, reducing your arousal in these situations.

5. Take a moment in the anger eliciting (not causing) situation to evaluate the nature of the threat.  Your first perception of the situation is not always accurate.

6. Based on your evaluation in the moment, choose how you will respond, and do what you decide.

7. Practice the above in your imagination as best you can and implement it as needed.

I welcome your comments.