Review of article on anger in “Psychology Today” May/June 2014, (pp. 80-87)
“Hell OH Neighbor!” By Amy Alkon
This article continues to be timely when my very own community erupted in less than good neighbor behavior. Amy Alkon the author of “I See Rude People” in a very humorous and disarming style, sheds light on the problem of neighborhood fighting. She writes about how getting even, listening to rumors and not listening with empathy to the real people we live beside creates anger and hostility. This in turn can grow into a festering beast. A beast that threats to destroy the community peace and true comradely and fun for the neighborhood. Lest face it I want to enjoy my home walks as I chat with my neighbors. It is fun to see them with their cute dogs or taking out their trash. It is old style to talk over the fence as to the happy day doings. This time honored community activity is more important than talking about who said what to one and who should we side with.
The following are a few gems from Alkon article that may be of use.
Thank you Amy, here are your gems of wisdom in quotes from this informative and fun to read article:
“Better neighbor relations start with canny strategizing and proactive neighborliness” (p. 83)
- ‘It’s not only nice to be nice it’s in your self interest”(p. 82).
- A little calculated generosity can also help you deter all sorts of ugliness from those living around you” (85)
- “A little preemptive gift giving can have such a transformative effect” (p. 85).
- “A bare minimum of one kind act a day should be our self-imposed cover charge for living in this world” (p.80).
- “Place a photo of eyes watching by the mail box often tricks passerby that they are being watched and possibly improves their behavior around doggie dung and trash” (p, 85).
- “Empathy is the great panty unwadder…because deep down we’re all large, easily wounded children. More than anything we want to be treated like we matter” (p. 86).
- “ A hand written note about an issue puts time and distance between you, your criticism, and the criticized person, giving them time and the change to cool down. They can then respond in a more reasoned way. Yes this is better than email, email is too easy in the heat of the moment” (p. 87).
- “Honesty of feeling in the heat of the moment is not always the best policy, give your neighbor the benefit of the doubt” (. 87).
- “A little calculated generosity can help you deter all sorts of ugliness from the people who live around you” (p. 87).
- The power of “ I’m Sorry “ is beyond measure. “When our sense of fairness is violated, we need a sign from the violator that we aren’t idiots to trust them in the future” (p. 87).
- “Be generous, it is one of the main ways along with gratitude that may help your neighbor do the same (p. 87).
- Come on neighbors, lets all have some “generosity of spirit” (p. 87).
- According to Alkon, “ We get the society we create—or the society we let happen to us”. (p. 87).