Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

It’s Summer! Are you Hot Under the Collar?

I think we can all agree that the weather has been a bit unusual in many parts of the country this year. It’s July, and some people are wondering if they will ever be able to put away their sweaters and winter coats. But many others are experiencing the summer heat with higher than average temperatures.

Extremes in the weather can have an effect on your physical and mental health, your attitude and your temper. This can lead to a greater level of stress, fatigue and irritability. Some of the factors to consider as you endure the hot days are:

Changes in your daily routine

For a lot of people, having the children out of school can be a lot of fun, but it can also add a lot of stress when you have them home all day (often accompanied by boredom and bickering) or when you have to arrange and pay for child care. If possible, coordinate with other parents to take turns supervising, transporting and entertaining the kids this summer. Many churches have vacation Bible school, the...

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Free Yourself from Anger

Did you know that, on average, a man will lose his temper six times a week, and a woman will lose her temper three times per week? That’s a lot of conflict! But within certain boundaries, it is not always a bad thing. While it is never good to resort to violence or deliberately hurtful words, expressing strong feelings can be a healthy outlet for emotions.

Even though many people seem to freely express their anger, others are so averse to conflict that they drive their anger underground, resulting in serious problems.

Unresolved anger can lead to serious physical, psychological, relational and emotional problems. In fact, unresolved anger is believed to be the number one contributing factor that propels couples towards divorce. Even small irritations, left unaddressed, can eventually turn into serious anger. Something as simple as one person not putting their dirty clothes in the hamper or someone habitually not checking the amount of gas in the tank can be blown into major...

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Dealing with Disagreement

Do you ever wish we could all agree on everything? Wouldn’t that stop all the arguing and fighting? Maybe, but it would also stop a lot of progress and prevent important changes from being made. While disagreement can be uncomfortable, it can also be beneficial if it’s handled the right way. Here are some keys to making it work for everyone involved.

Clarify the Issue – I’ve seen couples, work teams, business partners and family members get embroiled in arguments that escalate into hostility, only to find out they’re not even fighting for the same reason. Begin your discussion by making sure you all have the opportunity to say what your concerns are and what you think the “win” will be once the conversation is over.

Respect – No conversation works well if one or more individuals speaks or behaves in a disrespectful manner. It’s critical to acknowledge that everyone has a legitimate right to their own opinion and that...

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Is It Anger or Unresolved Grief?

He was one of the angriest men I had ever counseled. Jim struggled with what he called a “bad temper” for the last three years, and it was costing him his relationships and possibly his job. He said he tried everything to control his angry outbursts, but as soon as he encountered a disagreement, delay or even a minor inconvenience like an incorrect restaurant order he blew his top. He was convinced it was a character flaw or just an unchangeable part of who he was.

As Jim and I talked about how he had grown up and some of the events he remembered most vividly, it didn’t take long for me to realize that most of his anger wasn’t caused by the normal frustrations of life, and it wasn’t something wrong with his character, but rather it was the result of his inability to express the grief and sorrow related to several significant hurts and losses in his life. He was a man who was living every day with pain, and weighed down by a sense that real men just...

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