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8/14 Interactive Board: Accepting Reality - Or Not

2/9 Interactive Board: What Do I Do?

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

 6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com


 

I'll Never Be Happy...

Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you.
- Frank Tyger

by Dr. Irene

When I was ready to retire from the Army, I had to undergo a retirement physical.  When I was finished, the doctor pulled me into his office and asked me where I'd been.  I said, "I don't know what you mean, but, I've been here at Fort Hood, for the past several years".  Well, he then informed me that I'd contracted a disease which is not only terminal, but contagious as well.  I told him, "Whoa doc, you can't say terminal and contagious in the same sentence.  What have I got?"  He said, "You've contracted a disease called OPTICRECTUMITIS".  I looked at him and had to ask, "What the heck is that?"  He said, "Somehow the nerve cells from your eyeballs have crossed with the nerve cells from your rear end and are giving you a crappy outlook on life..."    -Hans Hartung

 

Angry people often complain that they are not happy. Everything seems to go wrong. The world is an opponent, and life is an uphill battle. Much of this unhappy reality is symptomatic of choices angry people automatically yet actively make - without thought, and without awareness of an underlying mind-set. Happiness is kept at bay because less important things get in the way.

Consider an argument with a loved one. An angry person is likely to blame, contradict, or ridicule their partner or loved one, insisting their point of view is the "right" one. You'd rather be right and "win" the argument than help to create your own happiness! 

What's the advantage of winning? Well, for one, winning offers a short-lived ego boost. Unless you are in strong denial, you will realize that the cheap booby prize is attached to a price: the bitter resentment and anger of the individual you just beat down. What did you expect? "By gosh, you're right! Thanks for spending the last 30 minutes knocking me down - now I see the light!"

Feeling strong and powerful? How strong and powerful are you when your loved ones walk on eggshells around you, careful of what they say? You've just managed to lock yourself out of the information loop. Your husband or wife will talk to his or her mother or buddy or neighbor instead of you. Your kid will shut down or act out, or do both. Also, don't count on your power lasting. Children grow up to have the last laugh; partners eventually get fed up and get out.

So, once you think about the consequences, why continue to do this "no-win win" over and over and over? Sometimes you do it just because you are plain ol' angry and don't know how to stop yourself. Sometimes you do it to show them who is boss, especially if you're secretly feeling insecure and angry. But most of the time, especially when you don't feel angry, you are probably engaging in this stuff because you assume that somehow it is your responsibility to protect and care for those you love. You may even end up feeling frustrated that they "won't listen," - especially since (you think) you know how to care for them best!   

Well, guess what? You don't know how to care for them best. It is not your responsibility to care for them at this level. When you make it your responsibility, you have exceeded your boundaries and have become controlling. In the process, by focusing on them, you've also managed to stop taking care of yourself - the only one you really have any control over!

Most arguments are pointless, meaningless, and conducted over small matters which have little or no real meaning in life. By choosing to argue and control, you are creating your own unhappiness. 

The next time you're considering whether to nit-pick, or to correct someone's misstatement or fact which may be slightly out of place, or correct someone's opinion or plan of action, reconsider what you have to gain and lose. You may offer your opinion, once, twice. Then drop it. You will be happier if you choose not to engage in that argument. It is a choice, and you have the power to make it.

Start today... Choose happiness, for a change.

See How To Be Unhappy...

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