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[stoics] Barking dogs and Seneca's essay on Anger

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  • Leo Iermano
    I agree Amos Pity works the best though as these individuals are lost souls who blame the whole world for their misfortune. I have found Seneca s essay On
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2009
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      I agree Amos

      Pity works the best though as these individuals are lost souls who blame the whole world for their misfortune.

      I have found Seneca's essay "On Anger" an excellent resource in times of trouble. This is one of my favorite quotes.

      "  the most humiliating kind of revenge is to have it appear that the man was not worth taking revenge upon"

      Regards
      Leo

       

      --- On Sun, 1/3/09, Amos <vivepablo@...> wrote:

      From: Amos <vivepablo@...>
      Subject: [stoics] barking dogs
      To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
      Received: Sunday, 1 March, 2009, 12:06 PM

      Leo: I use the barking dog strategy myself often when there are
      problems with the neighbors. It doesn't do away with the problem,
      of course, but I don't mind the noise or the insults anymore, since
      I no longer see the problem as that of human aggression, but as that
      of a barking dog. Amos

      --- In stoics@yahoogroups. com, leoiermano@. .. wrote:
      >
      > Well put Steve
      >
      > I would also like to share a story on the power of adopting Stoic
      principles.
      >
      > In our street lives a very unstable,angry, alcoholic fueled
      individual. He plays loud music and abuses everyone that walks past.
      It has been interesting to observe the various tactics my neighbors 
      have employed  for example:
      >
      >  Abuse him back: result: no resolution and predictable slanging
      match
      > Physically confront him: result: no resolution, short term
      satisfaction, long term painleave the neighborhood: result: expensive
      decision
      > My Stoic Strategy:
      >
      > Talk him when he was sober ( did not work he was always
      > "high" but worth a try )Talk to his dad ( I felt sorry for him he
      has run of ideas how to handle him )Ignore him and view him like a
      barking dog ( good strategy )Pity him ( good strategy )Co-ordinated
      approach with the neighbors that we call the police after a certain
      time is music is on, ignore him etc ( good strategy the police would
      issues with fines every time they came out, which he could not pay.
      Court decisions that he needed to go rehab etc etc )
      > He now plays music very low, his abuse is very infrequent as
      everyone just ignores him. Of course we would engage in a
      conversation if he requested it. He is still a dispreffered
      indifferent but we have come to accept that these individuals are
      part of our world.
      >
      > I have many other examples but I must go as my son needs the
      computer
      >
      > Cheers
      > Leo
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- On Sun, 1/3/09, Steve Marquis <stevemarquis@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > From: Steve Marquis <stevemarquis@ ...>
      > Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Emotional
      > Currency
      > To: stoics@yahoogroups. com
      > Received: Sunday, 1 March, 2009, 7:39 AM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Daniel writes:
      > ____________
      >  
      > . . . I realized just how effective even a small degree of
      imperfect stoic practice can be.
      > ____________
      >  
      > Yes, that’s it in a nutshell.  Even a small dose of Stoic
      practice helps; and not only oneself but those around.
      >  
      > I have had the common experience often that Amos, Kevin, and others
      have reported; namely that others see me as less emotional, more
      detached, and generally not ‘average’ in the emotional
      department.  When someone is angry at me this is pointed out as a
      deficit.  But this has not really excluded me from anything that I
      can tell and the stability and calmness that I have _relative_ to
      others apparently experiencing small catastrophes makes me sought
      after for stress relief in those situations.  I’ll relate one
      story.
      >  
      > As the only full time engineer in our small company I share a
      common room with all the drafters except one.  Despite the desk job
      environment this is a blue collar atmosphere and the humor can get
      quite vulgar on a daily basis (the one woman in our group is not
      offended in the least and laughs with the rest).  I am quite
      accepted simply because such stuff doesn’t bother me.  And, I
      laugh too at clever witticisms vulgar or not.  Are we all depraved?
        I don’t think so.  The camaraderie is high and we work well as
      a team spontaneously helping one another through the various
      projects. 
      > I would say, over all, it is a preferred work environment.
      >  
      > Because I am the professional present, half management, and seem to
      weather office politics without getting too bent out of shape (not
      gossiping as Epictetus recommends helps with this) I have become the
      de facto spokesperson for employee vs management issues.
      >  
      > Things approached a crisis point recently.  One of our bosses uses
      a lot of emotion to convey his dissatisfaction with how things are
      going on a constant basis.  That, combined with a lack of respect
      for the employees, resulted in much grumbling, loss of productivity,
      talk of looking for other work, etc, etc.  So, I went to lunch with
      the boss and pointed out that he could get the same things
      accomplished with less effort if he worked with people instead of
      trying so much to control them and if he toned down his emotion.  No
      one was really rejecting direction, but it is human nature that if
      one is attacked emotionally one will dig ones heals in.  Well, after
      a two hour
      > lunch with several beers and no emotional outbursts we returned to
      work.  And for two weeks now our boss has been a pleasure to work
      with even to the point of accepting my designs (if I have good reason
      for them :)).  Now, for the most part, the employees are behind what
      the boss wants to do instead of resisting it and the stress level for
      everyone has dropped tremendously.  Of course, production has gone
      up.  This is a classic case of dispreferreds resulting from
      excessive emotion.
      >  
      > Now, I am quite wary of taking too much credit for this given this
      is all externals, there are no doubt many factors at play unaccounted
      for, and my boss can spark suddenly.  However, there can be no
      mistaking two facts:  1) my role as negotiator is enhanced by being
      trusted by both sides, and that is a direct result of treating
      everyone with respect, not gossiping, and having the reputation of
      ‘calmness’, and 2) excess emotion is counterproductive.
      >  
      > If I had gone to lunch and just blasted my boss this would have
      been a complete failure.  And, yes, I was angry with him for a
      while.  To make this work I had to face my own anger and then
      recognize the value of what the boss wanted.  There was a bit of
      fear involved as well.  I had begun to feel insecure in my job and
      there was the risk of enhancing that for real with ‘getting things
      out in the open’.  But it was necessary (ie, a role duty) and so
      the fear had to dealt with as well.
      >  
      > In this one episode of day to day American middle class office life
      there were many particular events that I could see specific Stoic
      theory applying to, both for myself and for dealing with other
      people.  And, in general, the solution was a reduction in excessive
      emotion, which is the linchpin for the Stoic smooth flow of life.
      >  
      > Really I see no problem whatsoever with practicing classical
      Stoicism in modern life despite that one will be seen as emotionally
      ‘off center’.  As others have said, this seems to enhance rather
      than detract from relationships in the long run.
      >  
      > Live well,
      > Steve
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > From: Daniel <dtstrain@yahoo. com>
      > To: stoics@yahoogroups. com
      > Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 8:07:32 AM
      > Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Emotional Currency
      >
      > Stoicism also made a huge difference in my life, and in my handling
      of
      > my mother's passing. It was after that that I realized just how
      > effective even a small degree of imperfect stoic practice can be.
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In stoics@yahoogroups. com, Kevin <kevin11_c@ .> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > Last year my mother passed away, my sister was greatly comforted
      by
      > my ability to stay away from the deepest throws of grief. Of course
      I
      > loved
      > my mother very much, and still think of her
      > almost everyday. I
      > was with my mother the moment she passed and she knew someone was
      with
      > her, I believe having me with her eased her fears and enabled her to
      > pass more easily. Stoic training made me a better son and brother
      > during this time.
      > >
      > > --- On Fri, 2/27/09, Amos <vivepablo@ .> wrote:
      > >
      > > From: Amos <vivepablo@ .>
      > > Subject: [stoics] Re: Stoicism and Emotional Currency
      > > To: stoics@yahoogroups. com
      > > Date: Friday, February 27, 2009, 4:35 PM
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Grant: My experience is almost identical to yours. At times,
      > > being less enthusiastic than normal people, I'm seen as strange,
      > > but in the long run the fact that I'm more rational and calm
      helps
      > > for smoother relationships. If I got
      > angry at the woman with whom
      > > I'm
      > involved every time she gets angry at me, the relationship
      > > wouldn't have lasted 4 weeks instead of the 4 years it has
      lasted.
      > > The ability to stay calm and analyze the situation when faced
      with an
      > > angry person builds better relationships. Amos
      > >
      > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups. com, Grant Sterling <gcsterling@ ...>
      wrote:
      > > >
      > > > At 05:26 PM 2/23/2009, Stephen wrote:
      > > > >That said, I've also noted a disconnect between the Stoic
      ideal of
      > > > >regarding indifferent matters as indifferent and living with
      > > people,
      > > > >for it seems to me that emotional responses are the currency
      > > through
      > > > >which relationships are conducted and that when we do
      not "trade
      > > > >emotions" with people on a constant basis, we lose the ability
      to
      > > > >further connect with them, gradually becoming islands. This
      > >
      > disconnect
      > > > >has not become very severe for me, but it has developed to the
      > > point
      > > > >that I am conscious of it.
      > > > >
      > > > >Has anyone else experienced this problem? Has anyone given
      thought
      > > to
      > > > >this subject?
      > > > >
      > > > >Regards
      > > > >- Stephen
      > > >
      > > > I have had a similar experience-- similar, but crucially
      > > different.
      > > > Some sorts of relationships become more difficult in
      > > > some situations. For example, sometimes my wife thinks that I am
      > > > insufficiently romantic because I don't engage in emotional
      displays
      > > > of affection--I "don't really love her". On the other hand, on
      > > other
      > > > occasions she tells me how happy she is to have a husband like
      > > > me, rather than (somebody else's husband who has just hit her,
      > > > or screamed at
      > her in rage, or ruined a weekend by sulking,
      > > > or...etc.)
      > > > In other words, there are situations in our interactions
      > > > with others when emotional responses are _expected_, and
      > > > since I'm not terribly good at faking emotions, I get considered
      > > > strange. But the majority of situations are ones where
      > > relationships
      > > > with others are enhanced by being calm and rational. (I am not
      > > > good at faking emotions, but I am good at being friendly and
      > > > considerate and at counselling others about decisions, etc.)
      > > >
      > > > So, _all in all_, I don't think Stoicism hampers my
      > > > relationships, and it certainlty hasn't isolated me from
      > > > others.
      > > >
      > > > YMMV.
      > > >
      > > > Regards,
      > > > Grant
      > > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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