Thursday, September 11, 2008

Question of the Week #28: Justifiable Anger

Dear Faithful Readers,

Many times people have told me about incidents involving a behavior that can be spectacularly harmful in relationships – justifiable anger.

The thinking usually goes something like this: “I’m hurt and I’m really ticked off. This person has messed up big-time and I have been treated horribly. I’m not going to stand for it.”

So the angry person unloads on them, hurling whatever nastiness comes to mind. And they know they are justified in doing so. It doesn’t matter how hurtful or spiteful the words are because the other person deserves it!! “How could they do that to me? Well they’re going to get what they deserve.”

I’ve heard of people in such a state hurling insults, using every nasty name in the book, uttering threats of physical violence, divorce, and just whatever springs to mind. It seems that when some people enter this state, all forms of reasonableness go out the window.

Then at some point the tide turns, the crisis is over, and the person calms down. Now what?

I’ve heard about crushing guilt for all the nastiness, along with promises they didn’t mean any of it and sobbing pleas for forgiveness.

I’ve also heard how the nastiness can elicit apologies from the person being attacked –anything to end the tirade – following which the attacker feels even more certain they were justified and no apology ever ensues.

In either case the threats and nastiness are still out there. The hurt can hide away in the soul and last days, months, even a lifetime, regardless of how many apologies follow the tirade.

Have you encountered this type of behavior? I believe it is incredibly common, so I won’t be surprised if many readers have been on one end or the other (perhaps both at the same time) of such an exchange. Do you think limitless anger can be justified? Does everyone do this to some extent on occasion? In what ways have you seen people affected by this? How would you suggest people could avoid this kind of scenario?

I’d love to hear about your opinions and experiences.

All the best,
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Saturday, September 06, 2008

A New Avatar

This image has been the "face" of TLHAD since this site began.

Well, I decided the site's image needed a make-over. I wanted the image to match the slightly irreverant tone of the side bar and the happy mood with which I try to approach the subject matter of my posts. I mean, the stories may be Dismaying but that doesn't mean we have to act all dismayed about life.

So I asked my friend Tom Matthews for help. Tom is a talented novelist, communications coach, and illustrator. Fans of the Stone Brewing Company may know his work best from the gargoyle images that have come to represent that regional brewery:

And here is the image of little old me that Tom came up with - the image that now represents To Love, Honor, and Dismay:

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