The Rational Basis® of Happiness Podcast

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(starts at 6m 40s) My new anger is getting out of hand.

(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)



This is an email, a real quick one on anger also. This is from a father of quadruplets. For any of you who have had kids, two of them, can you imagine having four kids? At once?


Dr. Kenner:      Quadruplets, that’s what that means! I just hope he has a very loving extended family and some help. He says, “I am always angry. I yell at my kids too much and they are starting to fear me.” Good for you for writing. “In traffic, I fly off the handle and act out.” Okay, the road rage. “This isn’t me. I’m usually a nice guy, but the anger issue appears to be getting out of hand.” I would seek therapy ASAP. The worst thing you want is for your kids to fear you or to be on the front page because of a road rage incident. You want a much better view of yourself. Anger again, as I just talked about, is the feeling of injustice. If you feel like you are on mental overload with the kids and not just mental, but day-to-day living, functional overload, and you don’t have any private time for yourself, if that’s what you feel is unfair, or if you have some guilt, you have got to work this out with a therapist. Think of when you were last nice. Was it a genuine nice? And try to figure out what were the elements of being nice, assuming it’s a genuine nice, that you’re missing right now? Ask yourself a lot of questions. Who, what, when, where, why and how. And answer them uncensored to yourself, at least, or in therapy. I’m Dr. Ellen Kenner and my show is The Rational Basis of Happiness.


Movie clip:      

Female:           Pay me a compliment Melvin. I need one. Quick. You have no idea how much what you just said hurt my feelings. I compliment is something nice about somebody else. Now or never.

Male:               Okay.

Female:           And mean it.

Male:               Can we order first?


Dr. Kenner:      And that’s Jack Nicholson from As Good as it Gets. Notice you can’t force a mind. You can’t say, “I want an apology or a compliment right now.” I mean, what’s he going to say to her? Can he say, “You look lovely now.” It’s too trite. She’s going to say, “It’s not good enough. It’s too non-specific,” and so he’ll say, “You’re an easy person to get along with.” That’s not good enough, and it’s certainly not going to feel true at that moment. Or, “I love the tone of your voice.” That would be sarcasm. Or, “You look cute when you’re angry.” I don’t know if she would crack up at that one, but I doubt it. So you can’t force a person to give you a compliment.