Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Passive People . . .

. . . are the angriest people."

So says Cloud and Townsend, the authors of Boundaries, the book based course that I am co-facilitating. Passive people are often people who don't know how to say no and the fact that they "betray themselves" constantly makes them very, very upset. Passive people are angry; angry at the people imposing their will on them, angry at themselves for giving in to them, and angry at fate (or God) for being in this situation. Eventually these kind of people will snap and become extremely aggressive. They will lash out: against them self, the world, or their tormentor(s).

Ironically, the solution to being passive and angry is to begin to define one's boundaries with others. This is basically what assertiveness is. Assertive people respect and ask others to respect their boundaries. And if others won't respect those boundaries they do something about it. They are not ruled by others but give their time, resources, and friendship out of generous hearts (and not guilt or the inability to refuse). Assertive people also respect the "no's" of others. This is important. Do you respect and accept other people's "no's"? If not, you have a big problem! This is love really, to accept other people's "no," even when it hurts or inconveniences you. Accepting the free will of others is one of the ways we honor the commandment "do unto others what you have them do unto you." We want others to respect our freedom to choose our own destiny, thus we offer that freedom to others. Of course there are some limits to this (say with children and discipline) but I think it's an important life skill.

If you are deeply angry inside, I suggest you do something about it and stop blaming it all on other people. Do not sit on the sidelines and keep repeating the mantra "woe is me." You are not powerless but you will need to make some changes. Face your fears about yourself and your relationships. You can do something about it. Choose to get some support, some knowledge, and start today. A less angry future awaits you.

May Light increase!

1 comment:

Jay Boaz said...

Our Sunday School class has been watching a video series about building better relationships, and a key point they keep stressing is you control your emotions. That guy who cut you off in traffic doesn't make you angry, you choose to let his actions make you angry. I used to have a serious anger problem (long before we watched this DVD) and this approach to looking at things really does make a difference.