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Positive Talk

By Bill Hodges
Nov 13, 2008 - 11:13:22 AM

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We’re constantly bombarded with commercials for medications aimed at preventing stomach acid. One even suggests surgery to cure the problem of heartburn forever. I found it interesting that they showed people after the surgery getting into heated arguments with other people and not losing their cool or that fine feeling of contentment in their bellies. Just what we need—surgery that will give us calm stomachs during road rage. Every day, we swallow millions of tablets and choke down uncounted gallons of whitewash-like swill to ward off the ravages of excess stomach acid caused by stress. However, the “relief” is temporary, because it attacks the symptoms of stress rather than the cause.

Stress has many causes.  The approaches we use to cure or at least control it are varied. In this column, I will suggest ways to minimize stress as it relates to conflicts with other individuals.

Whenever possible, do not deal with another individual when you are angry. Thomas Jefferson said, “When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, to one hundred.” This means do not go off half cocked. Anger is like a forest fire; it feeds upon itself, and is fanned by the winds of conflict. If you feel the heat of anger bubbling within you, break off the discussion as soon as possible; then busy yourself in some type of physical activity. The more intense the physical activity, the more quickly the anger will burn away and you will be able to handle the problem more rationally.

If the person with whom you have a conflict cannot seem to understand what you are saying, it may not be his or her fault. You may be so close to the problem that you are not explaining it well. Take time to discuss the problem with a disinterested party. Pick someone you trust and respect and explain your views in detail. A person who is not emotionally involved may be better able to see ways to reduce the conflict—and might even provide a solution. In any case, whenever we’re called upon to explain a problem to someone else, we tend to have a better understanding of the problem by the time we finish the explanation.

Be sure you have a grasp of what the conflict is about. If it is divisible into parts, look at those parts one at a time. Rather than trying to solve the problem as a whole, solve it part by part. If you can solve any part of the conflict, it will give you and your antagonist some sense of progress. This will generally result in a lessening of tension and a willingness—by both parties—to work in a more harmonious atmosphere toward the solution of the entire conflict.

Finally, if defeat is inevitable, give in and move on rather than prolong the agony. Goldsmith once said, “For he who fights and runs away may live to fight another day; but he who is in battle slain can never rise and fight again.” The mantle of martyrdom does not fit most of us.

Keep in mind that you have a right to be angry at times, but be very clear about what and with whom you are angry. Most importantly, be sure that you set a limit to the length of your anger and that you set it down before it consumes you.
If you practice these skills, it can mean fewer tablets and less whitewash for the tummy, not to mention a happier, healthier life.

Bill Hodges Hosts “Spotlight on Tampa Bay
Bill Hodges also hosts an interview-format television program, “Spotlight On Tampa Bay.” It airs Mondays at 8 p.m., Bright House cable channel 950 and Verizon ­cable channel 30. His guest for November 24 and December 8 will be Florida State House Representative Rep. Rich Glorioso from District 62. He is a Republican member of the legislature and will share with us his perceptions of what Florida and the nation will be facing in this time of leadership change and financial tumult. This program will be repeated on November 26 and December 10 (Wednesdays), at 7:30 p.m. on channel 949.

Appearing on Monday, November 17, December 1 and 15, is Florida House Senate District 18 Senator Arthenia Joyner. Senator Joyner, a Democrat, will give us her views on how the state will change as the result of the election. The program will be repeated on November 19, December 3 and 17 (Wednesdays), at 7:30 p.m. on channel 949.

Bright House subscribers who cannot get the higher channels can get—at no installation fee and a monthly $1 fee—a box to allow access to the upper level government and educational channels. Call Bright House for rental details. If you are unhappy about paying extra to see your government in action, complain to your state representatives and the Hillsborough BOCC which have either caused this situation or been complicit in allowing it to continue.

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

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Copyright 2008 Hodges Seminars International

© Copyright 2008 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

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