October 18, 2006
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Letting Go of Anger – Learning Forgiveness
At times some of us feel like our anger or frustrations with a person or situation starts to become overwhelming. In order to address these feelings and move forward with helping ourselves we have to clear out the old and let go of things that are ruling us from the past. Often, we refuse to forgive and refuse to let go of anger and resentments because of a need to be right. Many of us hang onto our hurt and angry feelings far too long because we believe that if we forgive and let go, the other person(s) wins or will hurt us again. In reality though it does not feel good to stay angry, and it does not feel good to hold on to the hurts, so we end up losing as well.
The act of forgiveness needs to start with forgiving yourself first. At times some of us get frustrated with ourselves and “beat ourselves up” when we believe we ate too much or did not exercise enough. Our thoughts say that being mad at ourselves will make the situation better the next time, because we will “learn a lesson” from this behavior. But in reality the opposite occurs. What actually happens is that we end up reinforcing a negative self image that makes if even more difficult to stick to our original goals and plans for improvement.
Going forward, strive to be positive with yourself when you have done something you believe you should not have. At first this may feel awkward because we are used to the negative messages we have sent and reinforced to ourselves, but over time, you will see and experience better results. Instead of saying “I lost my temper at someone again”, acknowledge what happened by stating “I got angry. Yelling or acting on that anger is taking me further away from my goals. I choose to be emotionally more positive and take care of myself”.
Positive self-talk can be a big help, and benefit every aspect of one’s life.
Remember the following quote when your feelings of anger have been triggered and forgiveness is a healthy option.
“It is not “forgive and forget” as if nothing wrong ever had happened, but “forgive and go forward”, building on the mistakes of the past and the energy generated by reconciliation to create a new future.” Writes Carolyn Osiek from “Beyond Anger”.
If you would like to explore or learn some healthy ways to let go of some resentments that “may be running you” and learn some positive steps to improve your emotional health or take some steps to practice forgiveness, consider calling FASAP to speak with one of the professional counseling staff.
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The Dennison Office located on Church Street between North and South University has been closed.
To schedule an appointment to see a counselor at FASAP’s main office on the corner of Hoover and Greene Street please call 936-8660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Work/Life Issues – It’s not just about balance.
According to Greenhaus and Beutell (1985), work/family conflict comes in three forms: time based, strain based, and behavior based. You’ve probably experienced one or more of these types of work/family conflict at one time or another.
Time based conflict occurs when there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. For example,
Joe is pursing a degree in business to enhance his potential for advancement at work, and for his personal satisfaction. He has an exam tonight that he was going to study for after work, but now he has to work late. Since he’s been feeling so stressed, he’d like to fit in some exercise after the exam, but the lawn needs to be mowed.
Strain based conflict occurs when the worries of one area of your life spill into another. It is not unusual to be preoccupied with the obligations of work while you’re at home, and vice versa. For example,
Sarah has missed some work lately due to her mother’s move from a home to an assisted living facility. Now that she’s back to work she finds herself constantly worrying about her mom, and is unable to concentrate on her work. When she is with her mom, she finds herself thinking about the work that has gone undone, and cannot give her mom her full attention.
Role behavior conflict occurs when your interactions at work are inconsistent with your interactions at home. For example,
Barbara is the manager of a large department at the medical center. She is extremely busy and prides herself on her efficiency and subsequently high customer service scores. In order to maintain this level of service, Barbara is very directive and strictly professional in her communications with her staff. At home, as the mother of 3 young children, she sometimes finds it difficult to slow down and soften up for her kids.
These scenarios may sound familiar to you. Keep in mind that you likely won’t be able to eliminate work/family conflict, but you can reduce it. Here are some tips:
Keep in mind that the issues of work/life balance or work/life conflict ebb and flow. Recognize that, even if this is a difficult time, it’s likely to be time-limited. Children grow up, degrees are completed, and elder care issues stabilize.
For more information on resources available to assist in reducing work/family conflict, please contact the Work/Life Resource Center at 936-8677.
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The Work/Life Resource Center offers an information and referral service for those with eldercare needs, locally and nationwide. As part of this service, a feature with eldercare articles and local events will be included in Resolutions.
Caregiving for an elderly relative can be exhausting - emotionally, physically, and financially exhausting. Follow the links below for supportive articles and information for caregivers.
Strength for Caring
National Family Caregivers Association
University Eldercare Resources
The Work/Life Resource Center
Turner Senior Resource Center
Housing Bureau for Seniors
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Jennie McAlpine, Director of Work/Life Resource Programs, will oversee the Work/Life Resource Center as well as multiple campus children's centers.
The leadership provided by Ms. McAlpine will allow us an opportunity to develop and create a full range of work/life coordinated programs and services that will better meet the University community needs. Through the University’s Child Care Initiative, she will work to expand child care spaces on campus.
Ms. McAlpine has been working with children and families for over 25 years, beginning as an early childhood specialist at the John F. Kennedy Child Study Center at Vanderbilt University, as executive director of Cooperative Child Care in Nashville, and since 1990 as executive director of the Child Care Network for Washtenaw County. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from State College of Pennsylvania and her Master's in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University. She brings to the position a strong commitment to the well-being of children and families, an excellent working knowledge of public policy issues, and a strong interest in developing partnerships between the greater community and the education, research and service missions of the University of Michigan.
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What a strange little phrase. You can “get along” by:
But sometimes you just can’t “get along” with some irritating co-worker. Here are some thoughts about that:
You know your performance is watched and judged. Consciously or subconsciously, you wonder if co-workers will like you, or whether you’ll be treated fairly. But at the same time, we as humans are programmed to seek connection and closeness.
Well, you ask, doesn’t that ENCOURAGE getting along?
Under those circumstances, in order to find closeness or connection, we seek those with whom we’re comfortable. We may set ourselves apart, and become (oh, no!) a clique.
A clique is defined as “A close group of colleagues who share similar interests, whose behavior seems to exclude others.” The problem is not the clique – it’s the exclusion. It is usually unintentional – you’re just hanging out with people you like. But then, of course, you’re not hanging out with…well, you can take it from there.
So what’s the harm?
What can you do?
Your group MIGHT be a clique, if:
What should you do about it?
Maybe you feel more as if you’re on the outside looking in. Remind yourself that MOST workplace friendships are open, harmless, and have no intention of excluding anyone. Maybe the seeming “in-group” doesn’t think it’s an “in-group” at all. Maybe they think you don’t want to be included. Try this: start joining the group for lunch. Or, take THIS challenge: use your own friendliness skills more often – smile, ask questions, listen, help out.
And a final word about cliques: A clique that deliberately excludes others is a form of workplace bullying. Please don’t be part of that.
And that leads to the next topic: venting!
If someone else is venting to you, here are some responsible ways to handle that:
Most of all, DON’T decide to take it further. Don’t decide you’ll do something about the situation, or tell anyone else. Remember that you are hearing “words spoken in the heat of anger,” not objective fact. And remember that the point of venting is to allow the vent-er to calm down and handle the situation themselves.
These are good ideas for any organization….but UM isn’t just any organization. We are a public, multicultural, world class University – the leaders and the best. We have an unusual responsibility to be inclusive, and to make everyone an insider.
Be a leader.
For more in-depth help in talking with your colleagues about this – consider attending April’s workshop, next scheduled for May 23 (see description at http://www.umich.edu/~hrd/programsandcourses/teamdevelopment.html#4 )
Sally Johnson at "Great Places to Work" and "Mediation Services" can help make a healthy workplace – for advice call 734-615-4789.
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The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP) is offering a six-week educational and support group for faculty and staff who may be experiencing burnout in their jobs. This interactive group will explore causes and dynamics of job burnout, including both personal and organizational aspects. Participants will identify their own signs of job burnout and develop coping strategies to reduce and prevent its personal impact. Additionally, members will be encouraged to practice and discuss these methods of coping. Participants’ level of burnout will be assessed both at the onset and conclusion of the group. Sessions are at no charge to faculty and staff. Information shared in the group will be strictly confidential.
Class size is limited so those interested are encouraged to register promptly. To register for the next support group please contact FASAP’s program assistant Tina Weymouth at 936-8660.
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A representative of FASAP and the WLRC can come to your department or staff meeting and make a short (10 to 20 minute) presentation on the range of services that are offered by the two programs.
To arrange a presentation please call 936-8660 and speak to a program representative.
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resolutions is published in January, May and September of every year. To obtain additional information regarding our services contact FASAP, Mediation Services or Work/Life Resource Center at (734) 936-8660.
employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)