Acceptance of Unacceptable Behaviour

The term for physicians causing more problems, in an attempt to cure, is called iatrogenesis and is responsible for over 1million deaths in hospitals in the US annually.
I believe that iatrogenesis is also occurring in the psychology sector and especially in Positive Psychology, where there seems to be a promoting of unconditional acceptance of basically everything and everyone’s behaviour.

(*A good read is Crazy Like Us – The Globalization of the American Psyche.
Basically the author gives examples of how countries generally do not have any mental real or obvious problems until the US tell them that they exist and become “acceptable”.)

We all know that murder and attempted murder is unacceptable, right? That violence is unacceptable too. But what about anger in all its form and sadness? At this point most reading this post are likely to consider, to some degree, their own and other people’s anger and sadness is acceptable. I also think that positive psychology will have us believe in complete acceptance of anger and sadness. I beg to think the opposite.

Imagine if we simply decided to believe, that along with murder and violence, anger and sadness was also unacceptable behaviour, as opposed to the unconditional acceptance of them by the so-called “Positive” sector? (*The Irony, for me is that sadness and/or anger are usually the precursor for violence or murder.)

Then could we also imagine finding the root causes of such unacceptable behaviour rather than just taking a pill? Anger and sadness do not usually occur in a vacuum, so then maybe the words we use and hear with each other have some responsibility for our anger and sadness. Not rocket salad so far and it simply means that I am saying that anger and sadness is more understandable but not acceptable or in fact unacceptable.

This is what I have been doing over the past 25 years, by refusing to accept that anger (especially my own) and now even sadness as being inevitable, at times, during day to day living. So far I have managed to isolate 6 simple behaviours, all beginning with A, that we use during conversation and that I believe are responsible for anger and sadness, to lesser and greater degrees.

Three used during the stating of our views and three during our responding to or disputing the other’s views.

  • Stating with a lack of Adjustable, Accountable and/or Acceptable language.
  • Disputing with a lack of Appreciation, Acknowledgment and/or Apology

Finally, could we imagine that we simply agreed to try conversation with this formula or what I call the 6 As rules of engagement or Rethink Perfect and see if it made any difference in our levels of anger and sadness?

My brother Steve and I have done just that over the past few years and although it isolates us from those that are not willing to give it a try, I do believe, as it is becoming clearer in what we are doing and why, that it seems to be having a “positive” result.
This post is an example of that, and an improvement of my understanding. I am now feeling even happier or less sad. Any feedback much appreciated.

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6 Responses to Acceptance of Unacceptable Behaviour

  1. GoofyFoot says:

    I was talking to a girl the other night who said “it is inevitable that I will get angry” – as if she had no choice about how to react in the circumstances she was in & and as if she had not way to manage circumstances so that they don’t escalate toward “inevitable” anger.

  2. Maybe we are what we believe we are….and we act accordingly. That has power, if so, but also can be dangerous

  3. Junaid Jabbar wrote:
    Nice post. I think that we are made to accept anger and sadness but, imagine if we just follow some rules of conduct, tools or thinking pattern, just like yours, that wouldn’t allow any acceptance of the unaccepted behaviours: the world would be a better place to live in then…

  4. Thinkibility says:

    If nobody get angry, nothing will change and everything wrong would accepted for fear of getting angry

    • Some people use anger to try change the world, Gandhi used a more passive approach.
      Anger is just one way to make changes in my view. The problem is that anger also causes problems at the same time. I say we can get angry, sad or useful. I like useful change.
      In my view we can use anger or sadness to drive us into more useful behaviour. I think useful dialogue is better than abuse or crying.

    • GoofyFoot says:

      I’d also say that anger is to be “appreciated” (eg better than no expression) however to me its not acceptable as the best way to express oneself given the negative consequences. (I don’t like the feeling when I do nor receive it)

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