Monthly Archives: January 2011

Anger Management, Part 1

The Deadly Sin of Anger - Jacques Callot

People often act as if there are only two ways to handle anger:

They explode when they “will no longer put up with this!”  They yell, threaten, force, demand, even destroy to prove they are right, not afraid, can win.


They swallow it, believing it critical not to appear too angry, not to let others know their outrage.  They “rise above it,” they “let it go.”

But here’s the thing:

You can BE, LOOK, FEEL angry, too angry, outraged, too outraged… any feeling at all.

But you appear stronger when you BEHAVE in measured fashion.  When you can decide if and when to express what you are feeling, why you are feeling it, what you will/won’t do, what you expect of others.  That gives the impression you are strong enough to contain your (very strong) feelings, and put them to optimal use: showing self-control and control of the situation.

That the feelings don’t run the show, you do: a person who has strong feelings, a strong intellect, and the capacity to determine the course of action taken – by herself/himself and (by extension) by others.

Copyright © 2011 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

How to Get Him to Listen: A Primer

Ever get the sense the person you are talking to may hear you, but is not listening?

Want to be heard, really heard, before you lose your cool?

Before you begin

(by – and for – yourself):

  1. Determine clear, specific objective for the conversation.
  2. Have your facts available, preferably in bullet-point form.
  3. Note alternatives if your objectives are not met (end the conversation, rethink your assumptions, time-out to cool down, enlist others, etc.).
  4. Your goal: to reach similar conclusion, redefining the problem as a common problem to be solved together.  (Assume you are on the same team, simply with different information, points of view, which when shared lead to mutually satisfying conclusion.  Your job: to get you there).
  5. Take a breath, collect yourself.

During the conversation:

  1. State your (joint) objective.  Make sure you have buy-in from listener.
  2. Ask listener to explain his point of view while you listen without reacting.(Repeat what you hear:  ensures you understand his position – and that he knows you take him seriously, are listening).
  3. Ask if he’s done and will now listen to your point of view.
  4. Keep it short.
  5. Stick to the subject.Spell out (new) points of agreement, next steps.

Always Remember:

  1. Respect.
  2. Your tone of voice: patient explaining, interested listening, patient explaining. No attitude, yelling, condescension, bullying, insulting.
  3. Facts, not personalities.  Contingencies, not threats. Best outcome for all, not who’s right and who’s wrong.
  4. Breathe.  Remember your objective and goal.
  5. If he stops listening, you stop talking (and start listening until he’s ready to listen again).
Copyright © 2011 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

Intimate Relationships Newly Defined.

So here they are.   My guys (I don’t think they’d mind knowing I think of them that way).  The one who’s in love with me.  The one who can’t live without me.  The one who doesn’t say a word but can’t stop staring and smiling at me.  The one who can’t really see or hear me but just has to talk for a few more minutes.  The one who doesn’t need to talk at all, just sit together…

We met in the square.  Actually, I entered the square not knowing it was their square.  But – after they’d circled me and clucked at me and asked one another what they thought –  they told me I was welcome.  In their square, have a seat. In the sun.

They’d been waiting together, waiting for one another and with one another, for years. And now, it seems, they decided they’d been waiting for me.  They couldn’t have been more gracious.  They invited me to sit, to visit, to tell them about myself and my world.  The invited me to get to know them, to take their picture, to remember them, to let them remember me and the day we all fell in love…

Because really, what could be more intimate than being welcomed, invited to sit on the sunny bench in their square?  What could be more intimate than waiting, together, me and my guys…

Relationships come in all manner of packages.  Intimate moments are just waiting for us to find them, or to let them find us…

Copyright © 2011 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.


Do all things come to those who wait?

What things would those be?  All good things? The things others leave behind?

The things worth waiting for?

Copyright © 2011 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.