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I would like to know how to deal with all of this anger I sometimes feel? I often feel unappreciated and that adds to my anger.


Dr. Vicki Panaccione Replied: Anger tends to build up from frustrations we experience each and every day. And feeling unappreciated is one of the main reasons parents tend to blow their stack. Unfortunately, the people we try to do for and try to please the most are the ones who most often take us for granted. We do special little things because we love them, and then are angry that they didn't notice, care or express gratitude. One thing I have learned is that when I do things for others, I really am doing them for myself. Because I enjoy making the day a bit easier, a bit more fun or special for them. And, I enjoy watching them enjoy, even if they don't recognize what I have done. Now, that doesn't mean we should not teach or expect gratitude. I'm only saying that if you are doing something in order to feel appreciated, you are probably doing it for the wrong reason. Many parents are just plumb worn out. They have so many responsibilities and wear so many hats in the course of a day that they do not experience pleasure, and are certainly not getting any from ungrateful family members. When you experience that kind of anger, it's a signal that you need to take care of yourself. More than likely, you are not doing anything to help yourself regroup, revitalize and renourish. Parents are famous for this. Do, do, do for others; and don't ever take time for self. Well, if you don't take care of yourself, then you truly have nothing left to give your family. Use your "sometime anger" as a signal to take a hot bath, go to lunch with a friend, sit down with a cup of tea and a magazine or go get your hair done. The anger is your empty engine crying out for fuel. Doing something for yourself will help reset the fuel gauge to full (or prices lately, at least half-full!) and you will find the anger has abated and you are ready to do yet another nice something for your family members that they most likely won't notice. But you will. Enjoy!
Posted On 2008-02-24 21:44:22
Christine Hierlmaier Nelson Replied: It's normal to feel unappreciated for all we do for our families. What matters is how we respond to those feelings. First, check in with your health. Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to negative emotions as I learned after beginning a regular exercise routine and taking a pharmaceutical grade multi-vitamin. Now when I miss a workout or my vitamins, I can see how it affects my mood and ability to care for my busy children! This ties into taking time for yourself. Carve out some quiet time at night, escape to a coffee shop, take up a relaxing hobby or plan a night (in or out) with friends or your significant other. Regular breaks and fun will improve your life balance. Finally, become aware of how you respond to your angry feelings. Do you react by yelling? Do you retreat like Houdini? Do you throw things and slam doors? Once you are aware of the reaction and realize that it is a short-term fix that doesn't communicate your true feelings and models bad behavior to your children, you can choose alternatives...count to 10, breathe and choose to stay in the moment and focus on the true cause of your anger. As I said, it could be your health, your need for alone time or the realization that people don't know what you need or feel unless you communicate to them in a calm and loving way. Make your happiness a team effort that everyone can support enthusiastically!
Posted On 2008-01-30 14:32:56
Amy Sherman Replied: It sounds like the anger is directed towards your family and that you feel taken for granted. It's very common, especially for moms, to feel unappreciated. After all, you sacrifice to keep your family happy and safe and no one seems to recognize that. Depending on the age of the children, let everyone know that you have feelings, too, and that you need some leisure and alone time just for yourself. Be sure they understand that when something nice is done for them, a "thank you" or hug would be an appropriate response and that you will also reciprocate. This needs to be frequently reinforced. As for your anger, try to redirect the negative energy into some project for yourself -something that will give you satisfaction and fulfillment.
Posted On 2008-01-26 08:26:11
Ellen Gibran-Hesse Replied: I'm not sure I can answer this adequately without a few more facts. Your age and the situation in which you have been angry in such as work, home life, or in general would be really important to know. Has there been a recent trigger to the anger or has this always been a problem? Both anger and feeling unappreciated are very much affected by our perception. We can choose to be angry over things that another person wouldn't be and as to your not being appreciated, it is possible you are not adequately conveying your need for appreciation. All of these would benefit from a good therapist or life coach who helps you to see things from other points of view, sort out the sources for these feelings, and help you start to have a less angry responses to stimulus. There could be physical issues such as if you are a person in your teens or early adult years, hormones are still adjusting. For women in middle age, changing hormones again affect how we feel. Keep in mind that anger generates a number of stress hormones and these aren't good for your health. It is great that you are wanting to change. Find a doctor and therapist who can begin to get you on the road to balance!
Posted On 2008-01-25 12:29:48
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