Monday, September 19, 2011

Health in Writing

After that post on Maslow’s Hierarchy I wanted to post a couple of other things I saved from 10th grade health that are helpful in my writing.

I think it is helpful to know how each character processes their emotions; here is one of the health lessons on anger:

Anger is a strong human emotion that is a signal that one or more of our basic needs are not being met.

Ways to process anger:

1 Turning it anger inward through avoidance. The person who behaves this way is often depressed. In addition, because he/she never expresses his or her anger, no one ever knows what he/she thinks, wants, or needs. As a result, he/she seldom get their needs met.

2. Aggressive confrontation. Being aggressive means verbally or physically attacking another individual. This includes fighting, yelling, name- calling, put downs, and so forth. Generally, aggression turns people off, or they choose to react in a similarly aggressive way, and the problem gets worse.

3. Passive-aggressive compromise. A person looks calm on the outside but is really angry inside. She/he might show anger by rolling her/his eyes, interrupting, or refusing to cooperate. He/she might grudgingly "meet someone half way" only to hold it against him/her later. Others tend to avoid the passive aggressive person or choose to get angry in return.

4. Assertive collaboration. The assertive person knows he/she is angry and chooses to express that feeling in an appropriate way. He/she knows what his/her wants and needs and can ask for it without showing disrespect for the other individuals’ wants and needs. Dealing with anger by being proactive and assertive makes it much more likely that people will be able to cooperate and reach a mutually satisfactory solution.

Obviously the lesson is trying to teach us to be the person to use assertive collaboration to process our anger, but it’d be no fun if all of our characters handled things that way!

Things are supposed to get bad for our characters right? Somewhere in the story someone will probably have to feel grief, here is Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief that people often experience after a serious loss:

At first you may deny that the loss has taken place. You may need to gather more information before the loss can sink in.

The next stage is anger. You may feel furious at the person who caused your sadness, even if that person is dead. You may feel anger at your belief system, yourself, the world. You may feel responsible in some way for letting the event take place, even if there was nothing you could have done to change the outcome.

At this point in the grieving process you may feel unable to face what has happened. You may make bargains with your higher power to change the events that caused your sadness. It is natural to want to avoid facing up to your loss.

During this time, you may feel numb, with anger and sadness just below the surface. You are not certain how, or what to feel. This stage may last a few days to a couple of months.

This is the last stage of grieving. At this point, you are able to accept the reality of the loss. As you move through the grieving process you are able to have more and more pleasant memories and move back into the routine of daily life.

This was kind of a different post, tell me if it is helpful!

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