Also Christians Must Learn
How To Fight Fair
Venting one's frustration? - Psychologist disagrees
Source: (German) Jesus.de, May 20, 2006
translated by Birgit B. Eichberger
Rage is part of our life - this is true also for Christians. But Christians have to learn how to fight in a fair way. Psychologist and autor Dr. Ulrich Giesekus (Freudenstadt/Germany) pointed that out in an exclusive interview with German Christian Counselling Magazine Neues Leben ("New Life", Berlin). The steam-boiler-model "Vent your anger, then you'll be feeling a lot better!" does not work, he said. "People who abreact their aggressions, usually get more and more aggressive", says Giesekus. Spouses "calling each other names, shouting at each other, are damaging themselves inside". In the long run, such a fighting style "bears a high risk of divorce". Aggressions only disappear if the trigger disappears. "Aggressive reactions are likely to cause relationship problems and heart attacks."
Rageous feelings are human
At the same time, Giesekus points out that rageous feelings "are human for starters". The ability to feel is given to us by God. Angry feelings show "that something is going wrong in your life". There is nothing wrong with rageous feelings. Yet they will get problematic if you don't try solving the problem that has triggert them. This could also be an exaggerated need of harmony "which does not allow to confront the counterpart with the wrong he/she was doing to me". Such problems have to be clarified. As to Giesekus' estimation, there are two main errors for Christians in association with rage - passivity, e.g. tolerating the wrongdoing of the counterpart and aggression, when treating the counterpart as an enemy whom you want to harm.
Alcohol has to be avoided; write a letter
Furthermore, Neues Leben presents numerous practical hints in association with rage: "Avoid alcohol." Alcohol can be relaxing in the short run, but it is completely inapty as calmative. Another recommendation is, "Search talking to a neutral person". It also is very helpful to write a letter to the person who causes the rage in you.
The solution begins in the mind, not in the gut
Neues Leben chief editor Rainer Schacke is convinced that rageous feelings are "not necessarily unjustified". However, to pause for a moment is eminent: "Once we have reacted childishly again going through the roof or pouting, instead of reacting in a mature and sovereign way, then the frustration because of the excrescences of the fight were often bigger than the trigger itself. The solution to the problem in such a rageous or angry situation begins in the mind and not in the gut. "