November 17, 2010

Time Wasters: Anger and Hate

Buon giorno. Today's lesson in time wasters focuses on the evil twins of anger and hate. When you think about it, they trade places and even overlap sometimes. I'm not going to say, "Don't do that!" because hate and anger happen and are not dismissed in a simplistic manner. But education and awareness can help alleviate the problems. So, get comfortable and become educated now.

When you're angry, you tend to lose focus. Calm down, for crying out loud! Your enemies are more than happy for you to make a mistake and then take advantage of the situation. (So is Satan; he just loves it when you get crazy and curse out the bellhop or even get into a physical altercation, giving him more control over you.) For that matter, loss of self control is simply bad psychology because you'll keep giving in to it and have an increasingly shorter fuse.

Have you ever hated anyone? I'll admit to it, but it's rare. No, I'm not talking about someone you simply dislike and want to escape her presence as soon as humanly possible, or a writer that continually lies about you. I'm talking about real, consuming hate. And hate is consuming, because the object of your hatred occupies your thoughts; you want to destroy him, don't you?

I've been on the receiving end of hatred, too. People are crazy out there, because I'm just a harmless, lovable little fuzzball that never bothered anyone. Oh, wait. That's Rush Limbaugh. Anyway, I'm a heckuva guy. Just ask me. But anyway, I've had people hate things about me, irrationally, even the little things. Almost nothing I do is "right" by him or her. It's a fascinating psychological study to watch the other person doing their hate thing. Sometimes, when I'm aware of it, I antagonize them, but never mind about that now.

When you have great dislike or outright hatred for someone, you cannot be objective. How can you be productive and efficient if you lose your objectivity? You find that you hate everything about that person: Who they are, what they believe in, their politics and religion, their name, their site, their sight, the sound of their voice and so on, ad nauseum

A while back, I was talking about how Neil had a problem with his wife's adult daughter. She had, and caused, many problems for his wife and him. He was angry many times. But he was able to be objective enough to admit when that girl was "in the right".

Have you ever found yourself doing something differently just because that person is doing it? You used to like the Moody Blues, but since Whatzisname likes them a great deal, so you've lost your own fondness for their tunes. Are you nuts? (Actually, yes you are! You are letting that person have an influence over you, and they do not even know it.) Then you feed the hate, taking much of what they do as an excuse to hate them. 

Eventually, you feel like you know their thoughts and motives; wow, you understand the very soul of the object of your hate. Aren't you special? You say, "She did that because..." No, you really do not know someone's reason, or what is happening in the heart. In addition, you deliberately misunderstand things, misrepresent facts, and even lie to yourself. Oh, boy, does it ever grind your gears when that person gets praise, a promotion, social acceptance or other positive affirmations.

Here's a news flash for you, Yuri: Hating someone else does not hurt them, it only consumes you. Read that again, it's important. Capice? If you do something to physically hurt them, then you can sit quietly in jail, contemplating your hatred while Big Bubba in the next cell is contemplating you.

Check your pulse. When you're feeling that way, you are quite probably not relaxed. Unless you're a psychotic sociopath. See the connection between anger and hate?

"What do I do when I'm hating someone, Cowboy Bob?"

Do you have to be in his or her presence? Do not seek more contact until you get this under control. Then, examine yourself. Realize that you are causing yourself harm, even if it's just a little bit. If you deliberately and unnecessarily put yourself into a position where those feelings rise up, reconsider whether or not you need to be there in the first place.

Christians, we have an unpleasant task. It's only unpleasant, however, because we want to wallow in the hate and the unpleasant emotions. We're supposed to please God, remember? But even so, this is good psychology:
  • Confess it to God, because he equates hatred with murder, and repent of it.
  • Forgive them of the wrong they have done you. Prayerfully ask God for help.
  • Ask him to give you love for that person.
  • Be friendly. No, not fake chatterbox friendly, but say "Hello", make an occasional comment in passing &c.
  • Look for an opportunity to do a bit of good for that person, some small favor. Even if they do not know it, God knows and it is also good for your own spirit.
  • Pray for them.
  • Take your time. You may never become great pals, but you could become friendly acquaintances.
OK, so the bulk of this was about hatred rather than anger. Anger messes with your productivity because it clouds your thinking. Slow down (or stop, when possible) and think. Blind hate is a great friend of anger, and that clouds your judgment even more. You're not doing yourself any good, and you're not bringing harm to the other person.

Still love me?

"Whaddya mean, still?"


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