Health & Well-Being

More Personal Baggage

So, while we might think that problems are caused by specific situations, sometimes it’s who we are that’s at the root of conflicts. Events may serve as triggers, but it’s how we think and act in response to events — our underlying emotions, attitudes, and behaviors — rather than the events themselves that might be the real problem.

But the good news is we can change the way we present ourselves. We can learn to be more open-minded and flexible in our thinking. We can learn to put negative thoughts aside so that we can interpret events more realistically and alter the ways we express our emotions. If we respond with anger every time we’re frustrated, we can learn to monitor our anger, change our thinking about frustration, and express ourselves more appropriately.

Excusing bad behaviors because that’s “who you are” is nonsense. Screaming and yelling is a behavior, an expression of your anger, and that can be changed. So, don’t let yourself or others use innate nature or childhood experiences as an excuse for not learning to act in more appropriate ways.

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