Monday, June 3, 2013

The Responsibility Game

The Journey

“One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night
and the road full of fallen
branches and stone.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.”

Mary Oliver


The Responsibility Game
Lynne Namka Ed. D. © 2008

People from all over the world write to me, mostly women but sometimes it’s a man, asking about what they can do to help their loved one or family member “control” his or her anger.  Or how they can help “diffuse” their partner’s anger.  They say that their partner is “such a good guy or a good woman” and the only flaw is the “anger problem.”  Or they feel so sorry for their out-of-control child or abusive parent who hurts others.  This well-meaning intention to help is good but it is misplaced as it enables the angry person to stay as he is.  The only person who can change their anger is the angry person. 

Feelings of pity and guilt over someone else’s inability to stop doing something harmful to themselves like drinking or drugging, getting angry or get their homework done or anything that the rest of the world is able to do but they can’t/won’t are a waste of energy.  Guilt and feeling sorry for someone is at the bottom of the codependency need to fix someone else as a defensive maneuver so that you don’t look at your own behavior. 

We get the relationships we are willing to put up with.  We were not able to choose the family of our childhood, and how they dealt with stressors.  Some caring partners accept the negative behaviors of others and never insist on change.  If you have felt helpless in your childhood with an angry parent, you may think that angry relationships are the way life is supposed to be.  Living with anger may be familiar to you, but it is not healthy.  One fifty-two-year-old woman described the freedom she felt when she finally learned to assertively say to her nit-picking husband, “Don’t go there.  Just don’t go there.”

Put “checks and balances” in the areas where your partner’s behavior gets out of control. Calmly calling your partner on his bad behavior may work if he has some voice of reason within and a willingness for fairness and justice.  A person whose behavior is continually disturbing to others needs feedback at a time when he is calm as to how he hurts others so he can evaluate the consequences of his actions.  Calling a person on the consequences of their behavior helps maintain the moral order of the relationship.  Loving firmness is the best way to talk to a person about his unacceptable behavior. Remind him that fair is fair and you expect him to be reasonable with his anger.  There are unspoken boundaries between couples that are played out with nonverbal and verbal snippets of control behaviors.  One man said, “I can’t talk to her directly about her nagging as she blows up as she’s too sensitive to hear any criticism.  So when it gets too bad, I glare and she backs off.  We’ve got this “Glare and back off contract that she isn’t even aware of!”

One way to maintain fairness is to insist on having a correction technique for all members of the household.  Correction is a behavioral technique where the person who messes up the environment is required to clean it up as an offer of restitution.  The correction procedure holds people responsible for their misbehavior by requiring them to undo, as much as possible, the damage they have done.  Correction of what has been disturbed in the environment gives practical penalties for disturbing the home and the people who have been affected.  With correction, the person who throws things must pick them up and return them to their proper place.  If he breaks things, he must replace them.  If he yells and screams, he must apologize to those he has disturbed.  Correction procedures should be installed with all members of the family. 

Just like two-year-olds, grownup temper tantrums last longer when a person has an audience.  You need not stay in the same room with a raging person.  Warn him that you will leave when he is yelling and go take care of yourself.  Don’t stick around and take the barrage of ugly words.  Take the children and leave quietly, saying that you are not running away but are giving him some space to cool off and you hope that the next time he will take his own time out.  Go to another room or get in the car and leave for a while.  If he gets angry because he is fearful of being alone, level with him to show that his anger will create his being left alone for awhile for both of you to cool off.  You are not abandoning him but you are removing yourself from his anger. 

A common myth is that people have no control over their feelings. That’s old thinking—now with all the techniques and anger management classes that we have available for anger release, blowing up in anger at others is a choice. Watch how you enable other people’s bad behavior.  Do you make excuses for him?  Do you tell the children that their dad can’t help it?  It is not your job to try to get anyone else to “diffuse” or “control” his anger.  It is the job of each angry person to take care of his anger and find appropriate ways to express it.  An angry person may not have the motivation to do so.  If you excuse him repeatedly for his outbursts without any consequences, why should he be expected to change?

Don’t be held hostage by other people’s feelings.  And while you are at it, take a look at your own anger responses.  You and only you are responsible for your thinking and the way you think creates the type of life that you will create.  No other person or thing has the ability to get inside your head and pushes a button marked anger.  Nobody pulls your chain, pulls your trigger or pushes your button.  Only you make yourself feel what you feel.  The bottom line is that you are always responsible for what you think, say and do. And you are responsible if you have allowed another person to treat you with disrespect!  

Positive Self-Talk Affirmations:

I am responsible for my thoughts, feelings and actions.

I am responsible for deciding what I will and will not stand for.

I am responsible for how I treat people and allow them to treat me.

I can only feel good about myself if I live in accordance with my positive values. 

I affirm that I am healthy and whole and I am worthy of being a happy person.

Be gentle with yourself; you are learning to be more honest with yourself to break into habits of a lifetime. If you slip up and revert back to a behavior you dislike, analyze what went wrong. Tell yourself that you made a slip and you will be more careful next time. You will get better over time. You are responsible for how you act in the future.  Forgive yourself for doing what you have learned and vow to be different.   If you do an Energy Psychology technique about your behavior and the beliefs that lie underneath it, you will be less likely to slip in the future.

A client recently said to me, “I am willing to do whatever I need to do to become whole.  That includes challenging my defense mechanisms over and over.”  Wow!  What courage that took to be willing to confront the unhealthy behaviors that other threw at her.  

Peace and joy,


This article is taken from my book, Your Quick Anger Makeover: Plus Twenty Other Cutting-edge Techniques to Release Anger!

Thank you to all who subscribe and pass on this newsletter to those who want to stay motivated and in touch with the global, nondenominational spiritual community.

Want a daily happy message from me? Join me on facebook at

My articles from my website can be added to your Facebook page. Just go to your favorite article on my web site and click on the FB icon! Join me on FB by Googling Lynne Namka and Facebook then hit subscribe to sign up.B


My new website is up and running thanks to my web master Bob Silverstein. It is chock full of ideas for living in loving relationships.

Questions regarding the content of this newsletter, comments or written contributions can be directed to Nancy Swain, editor at  You may also contact Nancy if you wish to be removed from the mailing list.  Please do not contact Lynne Namka via reply email.  Please remember that I cannot provide you with any advice of a personal nature. But help is out there somewhere!  Do reach out and get a qualified professional to help you sort through your issues.  

Please check out my web site for ideas and numerous downloadable articles on a wide range of subjects.  You can also click on the ‘Finding a Therapist’ link to take you to the section entitled, “Finding a Competent Therapist with Great Training.”  If you get removed from this newsletter by accident, go back to and scroll down to Lynne’s Free Newsletter and ask to subscribe once more.

Most of all, let love guide your life.
 Colossians 3:14

We understand the links below are not working for everyone.  You may contact the editor at if you wish to be removed or added from the mailing list. 

Subscription Management: Subscribe | Cancel | Update

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Top 10 List For A Happier And Healthier 2013 For HSPs

Highly sensitive people often have trouble taking care of themselves and seeing themselves as valuable. Usually it is because they have been taught that being sensitive makes them defective. It is important to realize that being sensitive is not a defect but a gift. When you do you can see yourself and your life in a more positive light then you can move on to taking care of yourself and your relationships in a more empowered way.

Top 10 List For A Happier And Healthier 2013 For HSPs

Read more:

Is Your Child Anxious Because They’re Gifted?

Are gifted children synonymous with anxiety? This article offers signs of giftedness and symptoms of anxiety and offers coping skills for both parents and child.   

Excellent read 

Why LEGO is the BEST Company in the World

Its an incredible story of how a young boy saved ALL of his pocket, birthday and Christmas money to save up for the Lego set he really wanted. After 2 years of saving he sadly discovered that the train set was no longer in stock. Until he got this letter from letter from Lego........

This little guy has Aspergers ... read the commentary following the video. 

A life-defining experience for this little guy.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

How Lego made the day of a young boy with Aspergers

Its an incredible story of how a young boy saved ALL of his pocket, birthday and Christmas money to save up for the Lego set he really wanted. After 2 years of saving he sadly discovered that the train set was no longer in stock. Until he got this letter from letter from Lego........ -

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why are you here?

Why are you here? 
I'm not talking about why you are here reading this, or why you are where you are in longitude/latitude of space/time.

Why are you here in this body? Why are you here on this Earth, at the perfect?

 Do you know there's never been such an abundance of opportunity for anyone who is willing to serve rather than just gain? If so,  I invite you to stop for a moment and feel that in your heart before continuing to read. 

Do you know also know that the greats were great not because they were more special, but because they took action in spite of fear?

The purpose of life we desire, the passion, the answer to the first question, "Why are you here?" is found when you can step into uncertainty, step into fear, and do what it is you REALLY want to do, and not what sort-of calls to your heart.

Now I don't believe people when they say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life…" And when I am told this I ask people two questions:

1.) Imagine it's one year from now, what would have had to have happened for this year to be the most wildly fulfilling and or successful year ever? (touch your heart when you have an answer).

2.) Second, what would you do if you had no limits, if you simply knew you couldn't fail, if you had the resources, the time, and whatever else the mind way comes up with…? (I invite you to touch your heart again and feel the answer you came up with).

All of us on some level know the answer to these questions. And if it were me and I couldn't find those answers right now, I wouldn't move from where I was today until I figured out the answers and wrote them down, at least malleable answers that could give me a starting place….

So what prevents us from knowing the answer, to pursuing the journey; fear.

It's not a lack of action, because even in-action becomes action after a period of time, even not-doing becomes our doing at a certain point. This is because we are always choosing, it's just that we're either choosing to inspire ourselves or expire ourselves, in everything…. our career, our food, our daily schedule, our goals, our commitments, our time management….

Each of those and so much more are either bringing us closer to the meaning of life, or further away…. they are either aligned with our dreams, or counter-productive to the realization of them….

So there are three final questions…. What is it you want to remember about your life, your experience, yourself? How can you get there? When will you begin?
Jack Ducey

Hoedown from Rodeo

Hoedown from Rodeo
Eleanor Stewart, "I created a music video for the Classical music work 'Hoedown' from the Rodeo Suite by Aaron Copland. It is a stop motion animation in which various characters, inspired by Cowboy and Western films, come to life from the musical score. It was made for my final year degree in Visual Communication at the Glasgow School of Art."

My thoughts … An incredible composition of music, art and animation; reminiscent of the wild wild west. I hope this artist is acknowledged with awards - it’s that good.

Hoedown from Rodeo

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top 10 Stories of 2012 - Story #2 - Finding A Job..when You Least Expect It!

Top 10 Stories of 2012 - Story #2 - Finding A Job..when You Least Expect It!
--posted by emackaroni83 on Dec 30, 2012

So I haven't held a job since April of 2011 due to multiple health issues. I currently draw disability but am having trouble finding money at the end of the month so I decided I would look for a partime job.

So I haven't held a job since April of 2011 due to multiple health issues. I currently draw disability but am having trouble finding money at the end of the month so I decided I would look for a partime job.

I have been applying, interviewing, etc since July with no prospects. I haVe been told mostly that I am overqualified, or they need fulltime etc. I had been getting pretty discouraged. I started my randomn act of kindness way back in February for me personally, not to get anything back but a good feeling. With no job prospects and with the winter coming meaning higher utility costs etc I had been feeling pretty down and gloomy. I was actually asking myself why cant someone be kind enough to take me on as an employee.

This past Tuesday evening it was freezing cold outside and going on 9pm as I was waiting at a city bus stop. Just as the bus pulled up a young woman walked up to the bus stop. She had a tshirt, capris, and flip-flops on. She also was wearing several hospital bracelets. I asked her her name and if she had a coat or anywhere to go. She quickly told me she had lost her apartment because she lost her job then got very sick and was put in the hospital. She has no family in the area and didnt even know where she was going to sleep tonight.
I dug in my purse and took out some bus tickets, and $5.00 so she could get something to eat. I then took off my jacket and tennis shoes and gave them to her. I said these are a little big but they should keep you warm. She looked at me and said "Arent you gonna be cold?" I told her me being cold for 15 minutes until I get to my place is worth it if I know you will be a little warmer for wherever you end up. She cried and thanked me with a hug. I just told her to pass it on.

Then after I got on the bus thats when the miracle of spreading kindness happened. I stepped up to pay the fare and the bus driver says "Mam, I saw what you just did and your fare is on me. even though technically we arent suppose to let you get on the bus without shoes he said with a wink".

I went to sit down and this lady who was dressed in a very professional business suit calls me over to her seat. She says "I wanna know the name of the person who just did the most inspiring thing I have ever seen" I told her my name and she is like "What can I do for you to give back what I just witnessed?' I jokingly said a paying job would be nice. She said I might be able to work something out. She asked for my name and number and said she would call me the next day.

The next day she calls me and says that she has a part time administrative assistant position open in her company and wants me to come in and meet with the manager today. It turned out the lady was the head HR person for this company.

I went in for the interview and got a call this afternoon. I start Monday morning at 9am!

Thank you all for inspiring me to keep passing the kindness on! I never expected to get so much back in return!

Social Intelligence

Social Intelligence
by Daniel Goleman

One day, late for a meeting in midtown Manhattan, I was looking for a shortcut. So I walked into an indoor atrium on the ground floor of a skyscraper, planning to use an exit door I had spotted on the other side that would give me a faster route through the block.

But as soon as I reached the building's lobby, with its banks of elevators, a uniformed guard stormed over to me, waving his arms and yelling, "You can't walk through here!"

"Why not?" I asked, puzzled.

"Private property! It's private property!" he shouted, visibly agitated.

I seemed to have inadvertently intruded into an unmarked security zone. "It would help," I suggested in a shaky attempt to infuse a bit of reasoning, "if there were a sign on the door saying 'Do Not Enter.' "

My remark made him even angrier. "Get out! Get out!" he screamed.

Unsettled, I hastily beat my retreat, his anger reverberating in my own gut for the next several blocks.

When someone dumps their toxic feelings on us – explodes in anger or threats, shows disgust or contempt–they activate in us circuitry for those very same distressing emotions. Their act has potent neurological consequences: emotions are contagious. We "catch" strong emotions much as we do a rhinovirus – and so can come down with the emotional equivalent of a cold.

Every interaction has an emotional subtext. Along with whatever else we are doing, we can make each other feel a little better, or even a lot better, or a little worse – or a lot worse, as happened to me. Beyond what transpires in the moment, we can retain a mood that stays with us long after the direct encounter ends – an emotional afterglow (or afterglower, in my case).

These tacit transactions drive what amounts to an emotional economy, the net inner gains and losses we experience with a given person, or in a given conversation, or on any given day. By evening the net balance of feelings we have exchanged largely determines what kind of day – "good" or "bad" – we feel we've had.