From Fighting in Front of Kids to Mistaken Identity

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Arguing in Front of Kids – How to Stop?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

Sometimes when my husband gives in to my daughter when I don’t think he should, I get angry at him in front of my daughter. No matter how many times I tell myself not to “go there,” “there” is where I end up — why can’t I keep a lid on it in front of my daughter?


Dear Angered:

The emotion anger can be tricky. Sometimes it kicks in inappropriately and can compel one to take unnecessary action. It is not uncommon for the type of angry reaction you describe to manifest when one feels unable to do anything about the situation. Helplessness can be a scary feeling and when compounded with mismanaged anger and fear, it can be difficult to manage situations with level-headedness. Excessive emotion can inhibit good judgment, especially when trying to decide what action to take to combat a sensitive encounter.

Fortunately, there are anger management programs that caregivers and family members can attend when there is a need to learn how to manage emotions and direct them appropriately.

”Do I Know You – Why the Embarrassment?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

The line, “haven’t we met” is often used in social situations as an icebreaker, but I only use it when I really believe I have met someone some place else. Why am I embarrassed when I find out that I and the other person have not met?

Embarrassed for No Reason

Dear Embarrassed:

This semblance of embarrassment can be associated with the feeling of shame. For some people, such embarrassment is also a derivative of being made fun of while growing up, and being scolded for telling white lies. Another feeling that may be associated with this type of embarrassment is, “shame on you for being so stupid.” There are many etceteras to this category of emotional unrest.

Some people have found that after strengthening their self-confidence and self-respect, then these minor booboos no longer embarrass them. It can also be helpful to keep in mind that it is not a weakness nor shameful to be apologetic when one has made a mistake.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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