Thursday, July 24, 2008


I was looking at a book recently prepping for my Understanding Anger group when I came across something very interesting. For the clients in my group there seems to be a two way split. There are those who get angry and explode and then there are those that avoid anger at all costs, and if they do get angry stuff it. Stuffing an emotion can be done both consciously and unconsciously. This book I was looking at had a whole chapter dedicated to "the stuffer."

Sometimes I find that people confuse the emotion of anger to reactions made in anger and believe it's interchangeable. Here are some ditty's I found interesting from this chapter:

1. the stuffer doesn't offer much in the way of intellectual stimulation because he's wary of conflict and won't risk angering you by expressing opinions and/or ideas that differ much from your own. I think this is quite unfortunate. I love a good debate.

2. Some stuffers are not so much "nice" as they are cool. Nothing ever fazes them. they give the impression of being in complete control of themselves in any and all situations. Cool stuffers are sometimes admired, sometimes envied. I think my clients would say this is me.


3. Stuffers sometimes, though of course not always, run to fat. It's almost as though stuffing food helps them keep their anger stuffed.

To this I would argue that people often use fat or food to stuff unpleasant emotions not just anger. Disappointment, sadness, loneliness, feeling unfulfilled...I think some people find food to be a way to somehow fill a void. Seeking the comfort and reliability of food to fill. But then sometimes even food doesn't satisfy and they continue to eat and eat. I think there's some truth to that.

I'd also like to point out that there are things besides food that people turn to. I'd argue exercise is also something some people use to satisfy the unsatisfied. Shopping or buying could also be used.

I remember a few years ago and article in the Ensign magazine that was called filling the void. It was short but very interesting. I really related to it because the author was talking about filling the void with music. I think I do all these things at different times. There are times the music can't be loud enough, or I can't run far enough, I just want to eat. I also believe that that's ok.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Coop

Yesterday I was on my way to the Border Cafe in Harvard Square to meet some friends for dinner. I arrived about 30 minutes early and decided I would take the opportunity to check out some new reading material at the Coop. If you have been to the Coop you know what it looks like. If you have not, I'll describe it briefly. It's a jam packed bookstore. There are shelves everywhere with all kinds of subject matter and all kinds of people. The shelves are placed close together and there is usually one chair at the end of each book case. It's tight quarters; that's all I'm saying. Yesterday was no exception.

I like to spend some time looking at some of the newly released paperbacks. I'm always fascinated at what can be marketed as non-fiction. I understand how it's done, but I find it interesting how people don't think about it and just take it as fact. That's another tangent for another day. There is a section of the bookstore where the staff recommendations are set aside. This area usually has one or two interesting selections highlighted.

Yesterday there was a book of compiled essays of revolution and other inspirational paradigm shifting thoughts. I was leaning up against the book case looking at the contents of the book. There was a woman about four feet away from me sitting in a chair. As I looked at the contents I remembered that I needed to send a text to a friend of mine changing the time of our meeting. So I took out my phone and sent the text. As I put my phone away I noticed the woman in the chair. She was standing up staring at me with very paranoid eyes (if you know paranoid people you know paranoid eyes). She turns to me and says, "Did you just take a picture of me?" I just looked back at her and said, "excuse me?" I was thinking--are you serious? She repeated the question and I told her no. I told her I sent a text to a friend of mine. She then proceeded to tell me that I was standing way too close to her and my phone was open directly in her direction. I think I was smiling (probably--a problem of mine when I find myself in situations like this). She looked at me angrily and told me that people had taken her picture before. She then backed away from me staring me down.

It was a memorable moment.