Don Miguel Ruiz, author “The Four Agreements”
My client is has been having challenges with his 23 year old son, and thought they were over a few humps. When the young man wasn’t joining Mom and Dad at the dinner table for a meal cooked with love- Dad went upstairs, knocked on the door- and walked in (without waiting for an “OK “ or who is it?”).
He was seated on the floor, crosslegged eating from his plate. Dad, historically known to have a quick temper, simply said (in a “normal” voice, according to him) “you don’t have to eat dinner like that – come down and join us”. Son screamed out “Stop being angry and yelling Dad”. Dad left, finding Mom eavesdropping in the hall. They went downstairs and she agreed with son and said he was angry and yelling. They didn’t discuss it further.
Upon relating this to me the next day at our session, Dad was very upset and we explored deeper. Firstly, no waiting for knock response may have gotten Son angry – even though he may have over reacted. Dad says he always enters this way…
Several additional issues here:
Dad was extremely upset that he was “accused” of losing his temper, screaming and angry when he didn’t think that he was behaving that way and his voice was within a good range.
How come son “over reacted”?
Mom eavesdropping – over protectiveness is another dynamic.
If all three of them had gone with “Don’t take anything personally, it would have played out differently.
I then asked Dad client if Son had a history of being bullied or ordered around, given unpleasant directives (not at home)…perhaps triggering his response. Maybe on the playground 3rd grade or?. . This got Dad thinking about how Son had 2 great semesters at college and then was miserable and had to be picked up. There seemed to be an issue about his roomates – which he wouldn’t discuss, and wouldn’t allow parents in his room…
No answers – yet a really prime example of things may not be as you perceive them – so it’s best not to take anything personally – and often there may be deep rooted problems impacting current behavior that need to be addressed for optimal resilience and thriving.
FREE phone consult: Eileen Lichtenstein, Certified Anger Management Specialist
516 623 4353 www.balanceandpower.com