The Value of The Vent

Dissolving the intensity of emotions (yours or others) so we can be heard and foster trust, harmony and respect in all our relationships.

Two facts about angry outbursts

You are likely to piss off or scare the hell out of others, especially little children and puppies.

You are creating neural pathways that say this is how we handled it this time and we got a “hit” from it, so let’s do it again, we know how to do it and the space in our brains is ready to expand with some more of the intensity we already know and made space for the last time we felt this rush of anger.

Anxiety, shame, guilt or blame without expressing it and getting to the need underneath, often builds up and comes out at a time we would rather have remained composed. The explosion of these emotions can diffuse the tension temporarily and get some action and that can feel good.

It would be misleading for me to say that the explosion a healthy way to continue.

Anyone know the Aussie icon hills hoist? This little beauty of a daily living aid was designed by Lance Hill of Adelaide after he returned from serving in World War 11.

The same as a well-worn path to the clothesline, habits are created then practised sometimes without us being aware of it. This is how our brains work. Keep treading the same path and the rut becomes deeper and it becomes hard to walk a different path.

Tread a different path and you have two ruts for a while. This is the hardest part, when not concentrating you can resort to the old path. Make sense?

“Nonviolent Communication is an awareness process masquerading as a communication tool” – Kit Miller

I would like to say it’s also a mindset tool masquerading as a conflict resolution tool.

You have probably heard that the first step is awareness. Congratulations that’s not the end of the story though. Awareness is great. No change occurs without it, unless you’re in the armed forces.

After awareness comes more anger that we didn’t realise before. There is a point where we are longing to be heard. This longing, together with the absence of empathy, is where bitterness can take over and we become less resilient and close off our hearts to many people and especially ourselves.

I suggest having a way to express the yucky stuff. I’m referring to the thoughts that bring shame and anger, you will have a chance to see it clearly and find the life serving need that is underneath.

Some of us are expected to be calm because if our jobs, emergency services, managers/directors, parents and adult children dealing with ageing parents.
There are other people that society expect to be regularly calm. Yoga practitioners for one.

What if you have a wild animal brewing inside? Using your breath is the first port of call and can keep you calm and lessen anxiety. I recommend heart math.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~Buddha

If we connect to the needs behind the anger we will transform anger into feelings with the same intensity and clearly connect ourselves with life serving (less scary reactions) needs.

The reasons others don’t like to witness our anger:

  • They are likely to hear blame or implication.
  • It’s scary.
  • They are likely to hear disrespect and this can leave us feeling uncomfortable and thinking about it later.
  • They may be alerted to components of you they hadn’t noticed before and may want to avoid future contact.

We do, however, seem to enjoy witnessing the “good” guys getting angry. In movies for example, we applaud the “good” guys because of the fairness factor and humans are tilting towards the “right” way. Sometimes killing in brutal ways under the banner of good vs evil seems ok if we judge the killer as “good” or fighting for justice. Yet it’s still killing brutally.

Habits are hard to break for many reasons. According to James Clear’s research, there are 8 basic categories that stymie our habit-changing intentions.

The one that I want to deal with is, We stop believing in our ability to change.

When we resort to yelling or repeating our requests over and over its hard for others to listen to us. Some of our friends and family will not want to hear it expressed in this way. Society has told us its not healthy to express it this way, so we can end up feeling guilty when we express it in a way that’s yelling and angry.

Yes if you are ranting and there is no one present with empathy skills to listen to you, you may not heal from expressing all that pent up emotion and your rant and the listener’s lack of skills may affect that relationship negatively. Then how do we release the stuff inside and get the healing to express stuff better on the outside? How do you get to be proud of the way you handled an intense situation?

Sympathy is agreeing with, or feeling what they feel. It’s tiring and keeps the speaker stuck right where they are; at the clothes line.

Empathy is imagining what they feel and getting it so much more. Reflecting to check if the listener has understood. It’s not giving empathy just because you think you “should”. If you don’t have time, please DON’T. For more information or to register for the next FREE call, please click here.

Savouring the awareness is the most important thing you will hear in your life. That sigh that means I can relax someone has heard me and it’s ok that all that I said was said. Savouring words can be liked to the first taste of a great red wine. You pay attention, you notice, you reflect on the stages, you savour and repeat. Keeping in mind the other person is telling you about the most important thing in their life at that moment. Empathy is not comparing. It’s not judging if your issue is big or small and then what level of anger is warranted.
Grammar warning: Empathy is “being gotten”.

Pop onto www.keystoneskills.com.au/how-it-works/ for a personal or organisational needs list.

If you want a bit more, there is an online program. You will receive personal attention and 2 x 1 on 1 sessions. If you registered for these two sessions alone it would be well over the price of the program and you get self reflections, reading material and empathy for each question and self-reflection. I am available to you for the entire 6 weeks via text, email, phone or zoom.

Go here for more information

I am proposing consciously disrupting the habitual flow of conversations. Instead of going along with the status quo of rolling your eyes or walking on eggshells which are not great ways to live, I want to support you to start creating openings for connection, collaboration and change with care.

Knowing what to say, and how to say it, can transform relationships and most importantly; fights. Being able to say what’s on your mind without being overawed or defensive is such a relief.

This is a case study from a Nurse

“Contraction was the general method I used to deal with the discomforts in life such as anger and grief, and I avoided confrontation as much as I possibly could. My life had spiralled into trying to be what I thought was required in that moment by others in order to be happy. This only lead to burnout, exhaustion, and depression.

I was triggered by words, actions and desperately wanted acknowledgement for my hard work. Finally realising I was not enough. Then the rage would come.
Then chronic illness was my daily existence, for never being enough. I believed I was getting what I deserved.

5 years ago, I joined an empathy circle. With out any idea what an empathy circle was, or even what empathy was – as a nurse I was taught that empathy was when you give someone sympathy without getting involved with the situation. This, I’ve since learned, is impossible.

This empathy circle turned things around in a really big way for me. I met Glyn, who introduced me to Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. It fitted so perfectly with my new found learning in Buddhism and mindfulness training”.

Next FREE call is where we discover the beautiful needs underneath money and tons of time for relationship questions and empathy -Wednesday March 28th @ 7:45am. For more information or to register please click here.

I would like to know more

For more information or to register please click here.

Lots of Love Glyn

How to make difficult conversations painless and productive.



Is it becoming difficult to talk to your boss, partner or family member?


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