Psychological Self-Help

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Watch for guilt, self-hatred, self-defeating and I-don't-deserve-it
attitudes. Do you harshly blame yourself? Guilt can add to the stress that
creates anger towards others or which sets overly demanding standards
expected of ourselves or others. It is not uncommon for a formerly poor
person to feel they do not deserve the advantages and material gains that
come with success. Read Rubin's (1975), Compassion and Self-hate, cited
above, Karen Horney's (1942), Self-analysis, Karl Menninger's (1956), Man
Against Himself, or Martha Friedman's (1980), Overcoming the Fear of
Guard against displaced aggression. This was discussed under
"Frustration and Aggression" and "Prejudice" above. Displacement may occur
person to person (boss to spouse), group to group (as in prejudice), or
situation to general irritability (as when miserable job or a life filled with
broken promises results in chronic grouchiness). Awareness of the
displacement may reduce the anger or make solutions easier to see. 
Avoid hostility-generating groups and sub-cultures. Group
membership provides ready made hostility and/or aggressive attitudes
towards other groups. There are more and less violent-prone subcultures and
religions. The Old Testament "Jehovah" and Allah of Islam are angry gods,
encouraging aggression against our enemies and the wicked. In contrast,
Eastern philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism teach that everything is
predestined, so frustration and anger are foolish. Christianity is middle-of-
the-road regarding anger: God is loving but angry aggression may be used to
right wrongs. And, many millions of lives have been gallantly sacrificed to
supposedly settle religious differences. 
As Tavris (1989) points out, in the secular part of the Christian world "the
meek did indeed inherit the earth, (not to own it but) to plow, to plant, and to
harvest for their masters." It took a horrendous war to abolish slavery, and
we aren't over the racial prejudices 130 years later (see Black Rage by Grier
& Cobbs, 1968, and D'Souza, 1995). There are class (rich-poor) and ethnic
hostilities around the world.
Americans are the world's greatest killers! In 1980, handguns killed 8 people
in Britain, 4 in Australia, 24 in Switzerland, 77 in Japan, and 11, 522 in the
good old US of A. 
In the U.S., one out of 20 black males is killed before he reaches age
The attitudes of our friends and family are powerful determinants of our
feelings towards others. If they are hateful, we are likely to be the same,
unless we can escape. Of course, it is a contribution to the group and to
yourself if you can reduce the animosity within your group. But this is a
difficult task; finding new friends is probably easier. 
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