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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Anger Expression: Helpful or Hurtful in Relationships?

posted by Linda Mintle

Back in the 80s, marital therapists used to give angry couples nerf-like bats and tell them to go at each other. We also used to advise angry teens to hit their pillows or even purchase a punching bag and wail on that. While there was no physical danger to engaging people in these exercises, we now know that this is the opposite of what people should do. In fact, after reviews of numerous studies, the conclusion is that the expression of anger leads the angry person (and others) to feel more angry. In other words, catharsis doesn’t work. Letting out your angry actually increases anger in a relationship and is hurtful.

Anger expression can be helpful when it is done in a constructive manner. And one healthy way to approach your angry feelings in a relationship is to have a gentle start up. This keeps defensiveness down and allows the other person to hear you and respond.

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So rather than venting those angry feelings by acting out the aggression and addressing a conflict in a harsh and angry manner, follow Proverbs 29:11–don’t give full vent to your anger. God knows this doesn’t work and so do relationship experts!

Control your tongue. Make the beginning of the confrontation, gentle and soft. “I have been feeling angry about something and want to talk it through with you,” for example. Pause, think and avoid reacting immediately. Exercise the fruit of the Spirit–self-control.

When anger is confronted with a soft start up, it is more likely the problem can be discussed and resolved.

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Encountering Life Storms: Lessons from Pilots

posted by Linda Mintle

Are you going through a difficult time, what we might call a storm in your life? It could be a health diagnosis, a failing relationship, difficulty at work, parenting problems, etc. We all have problems and issues that pop up in life. This is unavoidable. But what isn’t unavoidable is handling the storms with confidence and calm.

Storms are inevitable when you fly as a pilot of an aircraft. My neighbor is a pilot for a major airline. He has been trained specifically on what to do when he encounters storms. Pilots learn the 5 Cs of how to deal with storms. The application to our lives is so helpful that I wanted to share this. A visiting pastor in our church shared this powerful metaphor.

When you encounter a life storm:

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1) Calm down–don’t panic or allow fear to drive your decisions or reactions. Staying calm is key to thinking and reacting properly.

2) Check your instruments--you can’t go by feelings. Pilots deal with a condition in which their feeling of up and down isn’t always correct. Thus, they have to rely on their instruments to give them correct information. The same is true for us. Our feelings aren’t the best indicator of how to proceed when storms come. We must check our instruments–prayer and the Word of God.

3) Communicate with the tower--when storms hit, it is imperative to communicate with the tower. The tower can see you on radar and has a better picture of your circumstance than you do. In our case, the tower is God. Stay connected, don’t pull away.

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4) Comply with what you are told- Because the tower has a better view of the weather and your aircraft, do what they tell you to do. Don’t go rogue. Listen to instructions and comply. The same is true for the Christian. Instead of listening to all the voices around us, comply with the Word and what God tells you to do.

5) Climb higher–When a storm is really difficult to fly through, the best thing is to climb higher and get above the storm. Worship is our way to go higher. The more we immerse ourselves in the presence of God, the more we can get above the storm and be in a place of peace.

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The Positive Side of Social Media and Teens

posted by Linda Mintle

Parenting concerns about the role of social media in the lives of teens are real. We are all too familiar with the dark side of 0n-line problems –cyberbullying, stalking, invasion of privacy, child predators, etc.

But are there any positive sides to teens and social media use? World Vision is one organization that will tell you YES!

Harris Interactive conducted an on-line survey for World Vision, the International Christian Relief organization. A total of 535 young people between the ages of 13 and 17 participated.  The results of that survey found that 55% of those teens felt social media sites like Facebook and Twitter brought more awareness to the needs of others. Another finding was that teens felt that local volunteering was important (91%).

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So if you want to encourage your teen to use social media in a positive way, you might want to point him or her to this Facebook Page.

One of the ways World Vision involves teens via social media is its 30 Hour Famine Event held February 24-25. If you missed it this time around, you can also participate on April 27-28.  On those dates, teens agree to go without food for 30 hours, drinking only water and juice, and engage in community service projects in their local communities. The idea is to give the teens a small taste of what it feels like to go without food, to experience what children all over the world experience who go hungry. Prior to the beginning of the 30 hour fast, teens raise money for World Vision by talking about the impact a dollar a day can do to feed the hungry. Last year’s event raised 9.5 million. This year’s goal is ten million.

What a great use of the technology–creating more compassionate teens who care about others and will do something to meet their needs.

 

 

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Do Opposites Really Attract?

posted by Linda Mintle

Are you emotionally expressive but attracted to someone who seems to be very reluctant to share his emotional feelings?

It may be the intrigue that has captured your attention. Or perhaps it is the challenge of opening up someone who seems emotional closed. This opposite style of dealing with feelings may seem interesting at first, but over time, can create problems in a relationship.

So why do we seem initially attracted to someone who might be opposite to us? What drives an extrovert to be attracted to the quiet reserved introvert? The answer has to do with finding someone who complements you and helps you grow. But the truth is, when you get into that opposite attraction relationship, problems arise. We really want people who are similar to us in many ways.

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Attraction literature tells us that we are attracted to people who are similar on physical attraction, earning potential, desire for children, religion, class and education. And when we talk about values, similarities win big.

If you spend enough time around someone, you can begin to feel attraction. Proximity is a strong attraction feature. But the more you spend time with that person, the more you get to know him or her, the less likely it is that opposition will lead to a lasting relationship. Bottom line, similarities attract, not opposites. But you still need some differences to make the relationship interesting!

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