Romans 15:1 - We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
On the outside, it’s quite obvious when someone is being aggressive. They’re the bullies of the world who push what they want onto others.
They get their way, because they cause fear in those around them. Maybe they physically hurt someone in the past and they threaten to do the same again, if they won’t do what the aggressive person wants.
Their aggression is worn like a garment, obvious to all that they’re angry; especially if they don’t get their way.
On the inside, it’s not quite as obvious when someone is being passively aggressive. So what exactly does that mean?
They still get their way, but by a hidden road. They manipulate others, yet most people are unaware of their tactics.
The passive aggressor may use crying or wear a look of sadness on their face. Or, they can be the one who works behind the scene in such a way as to cause others to think that what the passive aggressor wants is their own idea not the passive aggressor.
But look out – underneath all of the manipulations lives a hidden hostility toward others.
Then there is the passive personality. This is someone who will avoid conflict and accepts things as they are because they don’t want anyone mad at them. Unfortunately, the passive person is taken advantage of by both the aggressor and the passive aggressor.
This personality is also prone to depression, because it seems like their dreams will never come true. They’ve stopped trying to have their voice heard and withdraw from society.
None of these choices is healthy. Healthy relationships are based on a give-and-take and seek to uplift the one they care about. They also put the other person first and like having a discussion with the other individual before a plan is implemented without forcing their ideas as the only way to get the job done.
This is where the forth personality and the healthiest comes to play - assertive.
The assertive person recognizes other people’s wants and needs, but also their own. They are willing to listen to all sides of a situation and will contribute what they think without becoming aggressive.
Whichever personality you may have there’s a way to keep things balanced. The Bible verse above states that those who are strong should bear with the mistakes that the weak make. And they should help the weaker person, but not as manipulation or to please themselves.
Balance comes when we remember others and their strengths and weaknesses; and work on lifting them up not tearing them down, like the aggressive or passive aggressive personality does.
It’s okay to sometimes be weak in an area. But be willing to take the risk and ask for help. The assertive person who doesn’t try to make others look bad will be ready to lend a hand. They always want what’s best for others.
Ephesians 4:26-27 - "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
So far I have discussed many aspects of mental health. This post approaches the subject of anger and how it can turn ugly fast.
Many people when they are in situations they have no control over or when things go very wrong, experience strong emotions. Some display anger while others show worry. For me the worry and stress I try to hold inside sometimes turns into anger; except, my anger is not displayed to the world. It lives inside where the fire burns hot, but only a few puffs of smoke are released.
Anger in itself is not bad. It can be just a display of boundaries that have been broken. This is quite normal. The trick is to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible.
That’s what the Bible verses above are speaking of. Anger left to itself can turn into hatred and the desire for revenge. It can even be a signal that you or someone else is about to be harmed.
But we can nip it in the bud early on. It takes learning to be aware that your anger thermometer is rising. That’s why the Bible verses above say to “not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” If you keep that anger from eating away at your day, week and sometimes for a lifetime then you can find peace even in the most heated situation.
Take a look at some of the early warning signals and triggers that mean your anger is starting to get out of control from helpguide.org, in their article, "Anger Management," such as you feel clammy or flushed and you blame others for the bad things that are happening in your life.
Studying yourself and how you react will go a long way in experiencing a more peaceful lifestyle. And, if you feel your anger is getting out of control frequently it may be that you need someone to help you through it. Pastors and therapists can be just what the doctor ordered.
If you’d like to share your experience with handling anger or if you have a question you’d like to ask, just click on the blue “comments” below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.