August 10

Would You Like a Pacifier?

August 10, 2016

Anger Management

Mark told me he was angry at his partner, Salina. He had quite a list of complaints, in fact.

I got up from my chair and found a remnant from past visits from grandchildren, a pacifier—that plastic-rubber object called a dummy or soother in Canada or England—which is placed in the mouth of a child who is fussing. Taking it back to the room where we’d been talking, I offered it to Mark.

“This is for me?”

“Yeah, you seemed like you needed to cry a little, and I thought this might make you feel better.”

“Other than being mildly insulted, I don’t understand your point.”

“Anger is valuable information. It means you’re in pain and usually afraid. At that point you have a choice: you can briefly diminish your pain by complaining about other people—like Salina—or you can actually address your pain, which is infinitely more effective.”

We all use behaviors or substances that decrease our pain instead of addressing it in a meaningful way. In other words, mostly we choose to suck on a pacifier instead of doing what we really need. Are you satisfied with a pacifier?

Learn more about eliminating your anger!

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