AVL NVC Consciousness Gathering – Transforming Our Anger (pt2 – workshop)

  • Location: Kairos – 742 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, May 3rd from 7pm-9pm.
  • Co-host: Sasha Tsyupka

Our last gathering (Transforming Our Anger) turned out to be a wonderful discussion around the process of identifying and transforming our anger. Part two will be the hands-on experiential workshop component of this process. I’m delighted that Sasha Tsyupka will be co-hosting this event again with me.

In this gathering we will review what we discussed in the last meeting, then Sasha and I will demonstrate the process of transforming our anger, and then we will break into pairs to practice the process. Please try to bring with you 2 specific examples of a time when you felt angry and be able to identify a specific trigger person/scenario around this anger.

Please note that pairs will be matched by relative sensitivity to anger. For example, if you have a high sensitivity to anger, you will be paired with someone who shares a high sensitivity and who will likely be mindful of this sensitivity.

I look forward to seeing you there!

“For teaching purposes, I sometimes refer to anger as similar to the warning light on the dashboard of a car – it’s giving you useful information about what the engine needs. You wouldn’t want to hide or disconnect or ignore it. You’d want to slow down the car and figure out what the light’s trying to tell you.” (Marshall B. Rosenberg)

*This event is free.

AVL NVC Consciousness Gathering – Transforming Our Anger workshop

Transforming Our Anger

  • Location: Kairos – 742 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, April 5th from 7pm-9pm.
  • Co-host: Sasha Tsyupka

For our next Asheville NVC Consciousness gathering we will be meeting at Kairos West Community Center. I’m delighted to share that Sasha Tsyupka will be co-hosting this event with me where we will be talking about and working with Transforming Our Anger.

“For teaching purposes, I sometimes refer to anger as similar to the warning light on the dashboard of a car – it’s giving you useful information about what the engine needs. You wouldn’t want to hide or disconnect or ignore it. You’d want to slow down the car and figure out what the light’s trying to tell you.” (Marshall B. Rosenberg)

Together we will discuss steps to transform our anger, see a demonstration of the process, and then break into pairs to practice these steps. Please bring a specific example of a time when you felt angry and be able to identify a specific trigger person around this anger.

Please note that pairs will be matched by relative sensitivity to anger. For example, if you have a high sensitivity to anger, you will be paired with someone who shares a high sensitivity and who will likely be mindful of this sensitivity.

*This event is free.

Remaining compassionate in trying situations

I hold the belief “Behind all anger is sadness.” As I find some one else’s sadness much easier to connect with than anger, this belief helps pique my curiosity as to what needs someone might be in touch with when they are angry. It helps me remember that this is a human being who is suffering.

A phrase that I go to often when I find myself annoyed/frustrated/angry with others is “This is a human being with needs and feelings.” For example, when on the freeway and someone merges in front of me closer than I would prefer and I start to feel angry and in touch with my need for safety, I remind myself “This is a human being with needs and feelings.” This helps break habitual patterns and re-humanize the Other. This person might be speeding and making frequent lane changes because they are trying to get to work on time – i.e. feeling anxious and tired and in touch with their needs of ease and security (don’t want to get yelled at by their boss and fear being late might negatively impact their job situation).

At the same time, I take time to recognize that anger is valid. My anger is valid. Your anger is valid. Anger is a clear red flag and indicator that our needs are not being spoken to. It’s okay to be angry. Conflict arises when the strategies we use to express our anger are not in harmony with the needs of those around us.

These two phrases, “Behind all anger is sadness” and “This is a human being with needs and feelings” really help me to remain compassionate in trying situations. I hope reading this has contributed to your well-being and ability to remain compassionate in trying situations.

Anger and sadness to Widespread Fulfillment

There is a lot of anger, frustration, sadness, and unfulfillment around us. We are trained to believe that in order for me to win (have my needs spoken to), others must lose (not have their needs spoken to). When we realize that strategies are distinct from needs we see that there are many different strategies that can speak to our needs, and we can thus find strategies that work for us as well as those around us, to meet our needs harmoniously. When we look past our enemy images of one another and learn that we can modify win-lose strategies to win-win strategies, we open the door to amazing potential and widespread fulfillment.

Fostering Relationships, Acknowledging Past Pains

When I think about of how to foster relationships, I want to go straight to the flowery stuff, the inspiring stuff. Though I cannot just yet; I know that the first step is to muster the courage to acknowledge past pains. As I’m writing these words, “acknowledge past pains,” I begin to weep. It is the frustration, the anger in relation to my hurt that creates a wall between myself and others and hinders fostering authentic relationships. Beneath all anger is pain, is hurt. When we allow ourselves to acknowledge that pain, to mourn, we open the door to celebration, to self acceptance, and to possibility.