Episode 31 – Taming the Anger Monster with Lorraine Durnford-Hill

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Episode Summary
What do you do when you are angry? Have you ever thought about controlling your serious anger when it happens? Lorraine Durnford-Hill has been studying anger and anger management for 40 years. She has served as a coach, and therapist and she also has taught children in kindergarten. As she was growing up she faced her own issues.

In our episode this week we get to meet Lorraine. She will tell her story as well as share observations and suggestions we all can put to use in our lives.

Thanks for listening and I hope you will let me know your thoughts about our episode and the Unstoppable Mindset podcast by emailing me at michaelhi@accessibe.com.

About the Guest:
Lorraine Durnford-Hill is an Early Childhood Resource Consultant with over 40 years of experience working with therapists, children and parents. Currently, she is working on masterminding her second career after retirement in 2021. She supports families with parenting issues and works 1-1 with children. She has recently developed an 8-week course called: “5 Steps to Taming the Anger Monster.” This program helps fill your toolbox so you can bring connection, calmness and joy back into your life. _
To request a copy of “20 Ways to Reframe Behaviour” email me at tamingtheangermonster@gmail.com

About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.

Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.


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Transcription Notes

UM Intro/Outro 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.

Michael Hingson 01:20
Hi, and welcome once again to unstoppable mindset. We have a fun guest this week. I hope she’s fun. She certainly seems fun to me. I want to welcome Lorraine to the show. And Lorraine’s got a great story to tell. And I’ve got some interesting questions to ask along the way, some that she’s provided and some that I just thought of. That’s always scary. But as we all know, unstoppable mindset is the place where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet, but we don’t want to embarrass anyone so we won’t make it to unexpected. So welcome to unstoppable mindset.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 01:57
Well, thank you. Thank you for having me, Michael, this is great opportunity to connect with people. And yeah, I’m excited about our discussion today.

Michael Hingson 02:06
And I met Lorraine through a program we’ve talked about before here on unstoppable mindset, namely Podapalooza. She was going to be a guest for me on the show on the on the Podapalooza stage itself. But what happened was that we just couldn’t make the timing work. So we’re doing it later, but Podapalooza is given the credit for bringing us together. So thank you, everyone at Podapalooza for doing that Michelle and Kimberly. Anyway, Lorraine, tell me a little bit about you. So maybe your early years how you got started in doing what you did with most of your life and all that sort of stuff?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 02:47
Well, I just recently retired. So that sort of says how how old I am. But I have been working with families and children for the last 40 years. And that’s sort of where my heart is with children. But I have decided to, to go on a journey of learning about anger management, because I taught it for many years to parents from in the school board. So it was an interesting time for me to take that. I always say I took the course I actually taught the course. But I learned so much from teaching it, that it helped me learn for myself about my anger, and how I was dealing with it. And I believe that the reason why I did it because when I was a child, I was taught that you didn’t have any emotions, that if you were angry, you had to stuff it down. And so that’s what I learned. I never learned how to argue I never learned how to if there was any, any disagreement. I didn’t know how to do that. So that was another reason. I was motivated to learn about anger and how I could make myself better by learning not to react, but to act.

Michael Hingson 04:11
Yeah, it’s an interesting thing. Because I think as a as a society, we tend to especially now be very angry and we don’t talk about anything. We don’t dialogue at all. We don’t tend to have any interest in hearing what the other person has to say or anything. It’s our way or the highway, it seems.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 04:35
Oh, it’s definitely people are like that. But we have to think about anger is not always a bad thing. No anger can sort of alert us it almost puts out those alert signals saying something’s wrong. Something needs to change. And if we are able to learn the skills, then we are going to be able to deal with that anger in a positive way. But if we haven’t got the skills behind us, we’re going to see our anger is something negative. Well,

Michael Hingson 05:07
what did you do for your life before you retired?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 05:13
Well, for the 40 years, I worked with children, usually under the age of wealth from zero to six was the sort of the children that I worked with. And I would go into the family’s homes and work with the children and follow through on therapy that was designed by the the therapists like speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and so that I would do that one on one with the children. And that definitely had a significant impact on my life, because that’s where I get my energy from is from kids. They are absolutely amazing at what they can teach you, no matter what their disability or ability is there always teaching you.

Michael Hingson 05:58
What got you interested in dealing with kids? It sounds like right from the outset.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 06:02
Well, my mother was a teacher, although I swore I’d never be a teacher. But it was something that that 20 I decided that that’s what I was going to do is an early childhood educator. And I’ve never regretted it. It was a always a great job. And I’ve done everything I could do with my my EC. I’ve been a nanny. I’ve worked in daycares before and after school programs. I worked in a private school. I’ve been a resource consultant. So I’ve had a wide range. But it’s the kids with special needs that bring me back, because I’ve learned so much from them.

Michael Hingson 06:43
So part of your time did you actually work as a teacher?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 06:47
When I was in a private school, I did work as a kindergarten teacher. The rest of the time is my job was sort of to transition children into the school system.

Michael Hingson 06:58
Isn’t kindergarten a fun time?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 07:01
Oh, yes, definitely.

Michael Hingson 07:04
We have a niece who has been a kindergarten teacher for more than 20 years. And for a while until COVID, hit and so on, we volunteered to help. It was such great fun dealing with the kids at that age. And as a speaker, I’ve had an opportunity to speak to a number of elementary schools, and especially the kindergarteners but all of them, K through six, especially. The Curiosity hasn’t been taken out of them as much, which is so cool.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 07:38
Definitely, they explore things so differently. And giving them the open ended questions. They they will take things to an amazing level that things you never thought of. They you know, will experiment, they’ll try things, they will do. Wonderful, wonderful things.

Michael Hingson 07:59
One of the things that I’ve had conversations with, with other guests about this is with disabilities, I’m going to deal with blindness and blind kids. It’s so unfortunate that so many parents started in early age, to really get us not to be curious. So you can’t do that you need to, you really need to stay away from that you’re blind. You can’t see to do that. And kids never get the opportunity to explore I was fortunate that I didn’t have that situation. But I know so many kids who didn’t get the chance to explore an exploration is such a part of what teaches you about the world, isn’t it?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 08:43
Oh, definitely. I’ve worked with several children who are blind or low vision. And just giving them materials to engage with you see a whole different child. We had a little girl who if we put something on her leg, she would shake it like crazy. And you knew that she was enjoying that. And she was only in the toddler room. And the other kids would come along and they would put that on her leg because they love to see the joy in her face. When she shook it. It was usually a something that made a sound like a bell or something like that. And the the kids of her own age, were realizing that she really enjoyed that. So it was really neat to see her explore.

Michael Hingson 09:35
Did you run into parents that tried to discourage doing that sort of thing or tried to discourage kids from exploring?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 09:42
I think if they did, it was more for safety. They were worried about their safety What if they fall What if they, you know, do some damage? But you know, we tried to you know, okay, let them crawl across the floor instead of maybe trying to to negotiate, you know, the room, or we would take the children around to so they could get a sense of the room if they were it was a new room for them. Right?

Michael Hingson 10:13
Well, so along the way, obviously, that somehow translated into this whole idea of anger management. And so you retired and got angry and decided to manage it, or what that’s done, that’s what got you started in that?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 10:32
Parents, what I noticed, I taught the course for, I think about seven years. And I noticed that the parents that I was working with, were angry at different for different reasons. Some, if they got a new diagnosis, they might have gotten angry about that. And you know, the system and the way things work. And I also found some parents got angry, because their children, they the loss of what their dream was, where they thought their children were going. So there was a lot of anger in the parents. Sometimes it was around the disability, sometimes it was just, you know, the, their anger in general. And other times, it could even be because the children are misbehaving or they thinking that the children are doing it to them. And helping them understand that the children don’t actually do that. They’re not, they’re not out to get

Michael Hingson 11:34
them. Yeah, it’s so unfortunate that parents oftentimes do take it out on the child, and they blame the child and so on. We just tend not to really spend a lot of time teaching society in general, about disabilities and inclusion. And that’s a really difficult thing in so many different ways. But I sure wish we could figure out a way to teach people that inclusion, and dealing with disabilities and recognizing that doesn’t mean that somebody is less capable. It’s so unfortunate that we can’t figure out a way to teach people to accept that.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 12:11
Yeah, that’s true. One thing that comes to mind is I had a little boy who was nonverbal, wasn’t really doing much of anything. And all he did was roll things that all he did. And so what I was trying to do was just get him to interact with me, just, you know, trying to do different things. And, you know, everybody was frustrated by it, and, and they just were angry that this was happening to their child. But then we just sort of were talking and let him go off on his own. He went over to the remote and pressed 321. And that was the show that he wanted to see. And he was able to pick out those numbers. Yet. This is a child we thought didn’t have much. But it was he was motivated by it. And he was able to pick out those numbers that he needed for his TV show.

Michael Hingson 13:06
So after doing that, what did what did you finally decide or figure out about that child?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 13:12
Well, it was to bring to the parents attention. Look what he did. That is pretty amazing. That’s number matching. You know, we thought this kid could only roll he was just, you know, stimming all the time. But he had actually learned a skill. This is something I want. So this is what I need to do. So it was then we sort of explored, Okay, what else motivates him? Where can we go from there? And that sort of opened things up? So it’s it’s learning about what motivates someone to move forward? Because we all want to learn?

Michael Hingson 13:47
So that was a major breakthrough sort of thing. Did you have more success with the child? And then did the parents accept that maybe there was a whole lot more to him than they thought?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 13:56
Yeah, they looked at it differently. They gave him almost more stimulation and more praise almost to for for doing the things he was doing and realizing oh, that’s, that’s something different. That’s something new. And I think that that sort of opened their eyes definitely. And what the potential could be.

Michael Hingson 14:19
Were those parents angry at the beginning, would you say and did some of that go away?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 14:26
Some of it went away. As the you could point out that things. It’s not a total disaster, that things were changing, that their child had an ability to learn. And I think for some of the children, knowing that their child can learn, gives them a better hope. I often give the parents don’t know if you know the poem by Welcome to Holland. So I would give that poem to a parent because, you know, it’s, I’ll just give a synopsis of it. Basically, you’re planning a trip to Italy, you’ve got it all planned and everything happens to get ready. And when you get on the plane, they the plane lands and they say Welcome to Holland. Well, this isn’t what you planned. But this is what you got. So then you have to accept that this is your, this is what you have. But there’s interesting things in Holland, there’s windmills, there’s two lips. There’s all kinds of wonderful things to see there. But you don’t see anywhere else.

Michael Hingson 15:31
dikes with holes, and you got to stick your thumb into that. That’s right, all

Lorraine Durford-Hill 15:35
those fun things. So I find that that if you share that with a parent, that often helps them understand, okay, this isn’t what I expected. But there is, you know, some positive things about that.

Michael Hingson 15:51
So when we talk about anger management, what, what is anger? How do you define anger?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 15:58
Well, anger is a feeling that we get when we feel something is unjust, or we feel it, somebody’s done something towards us. But we have to remember, it’s just a feeling. It can go the other way, as well. It can be something that, again, we feel it’s unjust, but we’re going to move forward with it. So we can either take that anger and just hold it tight. Or we can take that anger and move forward. As we we go and we can make a difference, we can make a change. So it is all about trying to figure out why we have that feeling. So what what is it triggering? And how can we move forward with that? Or we stay stuck? And we just hold on to that anger? And that’s that’s not a great place to be?

Michael Hingson 16:51
Yeah, being stuck is definitely a problem. How do we get people to move forward? How do we get people to stop being angry in such a negative way? And I refer to near the beginning to the fact that we all seem to not want to work together, we’re all angry. And we’re locked in a position that maybe we don’t want to be in. But we certainly seem to feel that we’re locked in that position. One of the results of that is we have lost the art of conversation, we’ve lost the art of respecting another opinion. How do we deal with that?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 17:30
Well, a lot of our issues is what we say in our heads because we’re not having those conversations anymore. with others. So it’s what’s going on in our head, what self talk is going on? What are we saying to ourselves when we’re angry? You know, you could say something like, oh, that person is so stupid. Well, let’s change that. Maybe the person doesn’t have the skills yet. So there’s things that we say to ourselves, that we need to change the vocabulary. So we’re reframing how we see the situation. So if somebody cuts you off in traffic, they’re, you know, we might call them an idiot. But really, maybe they’re, you know, it’s an emergency and they’re a firefighter, and they have to get to the fire department as soon as possible. We don’t know what’s going on. So we can reframe, you know, that person must be in a big hurry, instead of just calling them an idiot. So it’s thinking about reframing how we see a situation. And then once we reframe, we can sort of recognize, okay, what’s what’s happening in my body when that happened? Like, where do I feel that anger isn’t my head is my chest? How do I feel that anger? What’s what’s going on? Because our bodies hold on to anger a lot. And it can even cause us to have more health problems when we hold on to anger. And one of the things I quote I like from Mark Twain, he says anger does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. So I think that that sort of says a lot that we can do more damage to ourselves by holding on to that anger.

Michael Hingson 19:30
So true, being a Mark Twain fan. You know, it is it is so unfortunate. Let’s go back to your example of the person who gets cut off in traffic by someone and let’s say it really is just the other person was playing in a hurry and didn’t care. But the the other side of that is when we get angry, and we really let our anger take over. It can be anything from just cussing. out the person or saying You’re an idiot, to something we’re seeing more and more, someone pulls out a gun and starts shooting. And as you said, ultimately, you could kill somebody, which is a lot of hurt. But who’s really going to be the person who is injured more or who has more harm done to them. And there is no doubt that the person who allows themselves to become that angry, is going to be the person who will benefit the least from the anger.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 20:37
Definitely. And when something like that happens when somebody cuts you off, it is only an invitation, you have a choice whether to get angry or not. Right, you can say, oh, you know, that’s just an idiot out on the road. Or you can start to feel angry, you can build all that up. So you need to think about, it’s just an invitation. It’s just an invitation, and I can reject it. Or I can accept it. Yeah.

Michael Hingson 21:07
We were my wife and I had a Costco. Now, two years ago, gosh, time flies. She is in a wheelchair, she’s been in a chair her whole life. And this particular day, when we were there, there were no accessible parking spots available. And she needs a wide spot because she uses a van, the ramp has to come out and lower so she can drive out in the wheelchair and then pull the ramp back up or pull the push a button and the ramp goes back onto the vehicle. But we couldn’t find a place. So something that that she does, and that a number of people do is she found two open parking places. And she parked kind of in the middle of the two places so that there would be space for her to lower her ramp. We parked I got out of the vehicle and was lowering the ramp when this woman comes up. And she starts absolutely just yelling at us about how it’s illegal to do that. It’s not appropriate. We’re going to call security, you need to move your vehicle right now and just went on and on and on. And I said, Look, you know, my wife isn’t a chair, she has to get out of the vehicle. And there are no places well, that’s your problem. But you’re parking in two parking places. And that’s illegal. I’m gonna get security and she went off and got security. The security guy came, and he started kind of down the same road. He wasn’t angry, but he was uh, you can’t stay here. And here’s why. And so I just said, look, and I had my my white cane actually, I tapped the ramp and he said, Do you see the ramp? Do you see my wife in the vehicle in a wheelchair? How is she going to get out because there are no accessible parking places. His whole demeanor change. And he turned to the other woman and he said, Look, there’s no reason why they can’t park here. But the woman who started this process was so angry, she couldn’t listen to that and understand it. And we actually thought she was going to follow us into the store that we would come back and find that there was damage to our vehicle. There wasn’t. But she was extremely angry, and there was no need for that. There was but there was also no understanding or interest in understanding another point of view.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 23:35
And definitely, when we get angry, we lose the use of our prefrontal lobe. And we cannot think straight, we lose the ability we go into that reptilian brain that we cannot, you know, we’re more emotional and reactive than we are common sense and thinking. So that person wasn’t able to hear you for one thing. And they were triggered by something themselves. And that’s all they were doing. They were triggered. Maybe they got in trouble for parking like that one time. Or maybe you know, something happened that triggered them that they felt that you were being ridiculous. And it is when you understand where the other person’s coming from. That often will change a person’s anger. But she was past the point where she could she could do that she’d already lost control of of her logical thinking.

Michael Hingson 24:36
Unfortunately, this security person didn’t then he was able to recognize there was a legitimate reason and that under all the circumstances that surrounded it was the right thing to do. And of course, we’re talking about if you will, one parking place, so it’s not like there weren’t other parking places for people at Costco. Go. But there were no other parking places for Karen, my wife. And I think you, you said something very interesting. And I guess the I think I know the answer. But how do you break through that level of anger? And I guess, at the time is happening, you really can’t, can you?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 25:16
No, no, there has to be. One of the things I suggest, if it’s at that point where you’re just almost like two dogs fighting, you have to walk away. Yeah, you have, you have to step break, until you can get your brain back in gear, and get it working again. Because there’s no point, you could tell her all the logic in the whole world, that she would not have listened. Because she just couldn’t take any of that information. And so if it is one of the suggestion is walk away, and say you know it, if you want the relationship with the person if you need to have a relationship, but in that case, you really don’t need a relationship with her. You could just walk away. Yeah, but if that was a person that you needed a relationship with, then you would say, you know, Can we can we talk about this in half an hour, or can we talk about this later. Because because you have a relationship you want to do to deal with this situation, you want to, to build that bridge back up again. But if it’s somebody, you know, random person, you’re probably not going to care that much. Yeah, they’ve said this.

Michael Hingson 26:34
Well, we care. But we also recognize there’s nothing we can do. And that is really what we did. Fortunately, we had the extra value of the security person who understood the situation, but we close the car, the ramp went up, and we locked the doors, and we went into Costco. But as I said, we I’ve got to admit, we’re very worried all the time we were in there, whether she would stalk us or whether she would run into somewhere in the store. And it would all start again, Karen was was pretty shaken by the whole thing. And I was concerned as well. Fortunately, none of that happened. And we went out afterward, and the car was fine. But but you know, one of the things that I talk about regularly is fear. And it’s the same thing, because in a sense, it’s very much relatable anger and fear. And I talked about being blinded by fear or paralyzed by fear, something happens that makes you so afraid, you completely lose perspective and lose the ability for a while to maybe figure out how to move past the situation. Of course, my example is being in the World Trade Center on September 11. And there were a lot of people who became afraid and still exhibited people who are afraid to fly because a terrorist crashed an airplane into the building, or they won’t go into tall buildings anymore, because they might be caught in a tall building when somebody else crashes an airplane into it. And it’s sometimes it’s just very difficult to get people to understand, you can learn to control that and you can learn to use that fear, or maybe in your case, the anger to help you move forward and much more positive way.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 28:19
Definitely. And, and what you said, you know, why these people didn’t want to go on airplane, there’s a trigger there. There’s something that they are being triggered by. So it’s trying to figure out what the trigger is. Why is that? bothering them? For some people, it could be as simple as they’re not getting what they need. It could be what, it could be something, let’s say that happened in their childhood, there’s lots of reasons were triggered, it could be we could trigger ourselves in some ways by not having enough sleep by not. You know, by getting our needs and wants Next up, those things can trigger us. And we just react instead of thinking about it and dealing with it. But triggers are interesting, because we we sort of need to do a little bit of detective work when we’re we’re thinking about what our triggers are. What, what setting this off, and it’s sort of like, what’s the underlying issue in this situation? What’s going on? That’s making me feel this way. In that so you can move forward. If you’ve configured your triggers, then you have an ability to talk about it, and why that why that would trigger you.

Michael Hingson 29:42
Yeah, and I was just looking for my notes on one thing. We had a a person on unstoppable mindset some time ago. And it was with a Gentleman, Dr. Gabe Roberts, have you heard of him? No, I don’t know him. Dr. Roberts talked about the whole concept of psychosomatic fear, and then talked about the fact that our memories are really holograms. And what we react to comes from something that’s in our holographic memory somewhere on the outside, we don’t even remember it. But everything that we experience, in fact, still exists in our subconscious mind and our unconscious mind. And we need to, if we’re going to deal with it, find that memory and bring it out. And that’s one of the things that that he does, is that he works with people and talks a lot about illness, and people are very ill all the time. And he goes back and looks with them at their life and actually finds that little hologram in the bigger scheme of holograms. And if you know much about holograms, it’s really you, you have a big picture, but it contains all of the aspects of everything in that picture looks the same in in memory as he describes it. So there’s something in there, that’s part of your whole big memory, but it’s one little tiny piece, and you need to be able to go in and get to that piece to deal with it. And then move on from it.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 31:32
Yeah, definitely. And it can be tricky. I mean, what I do is, is just surface incense, I don’t go as deep as that. But I think that that is important for people who it’s just not not working to get out of it. If it goes deeper than that, yes, you definitely need a therapist, you need someone to go deeper with you to figure it out and to to move you forward. But I think for the average person, if they can figure out where, where their issues are, they can move forward.

Michael Hingson 32:11
And there’s nothing wrong with soliciting help to try to find out where that is. And where that that little spot in your memory is.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 32:21
I definitely feel like there’s always been a stigma of therapy and doing all those things. But I feel it’s so important to have someone who is trained to hear you. And I think that’s the key is is the listening and asking the right questions to move you forward?

Michael Hingson 32:42
Well, it’s it’s the same concept of the whole issue of conversation and looking at a problem. There’s always value in having someone else even if it’s just someone to be a sounding board for your thoughts, but conversing. Well, unlike what you talked about with kids, right, they explore things and think about things in a whole different way. But in so many ways, what they do teaches us so much and gives us ideas that we never thought of before, at least from the time that we were a kid.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 33:17
So So I still get that.

Michael Hingson 33:19
That’s right. As as it should be. But we we tend to just not remember all that stuff, although gave robbers would tell us it’s in our subconscious minds, and we could learn to go back and look for it. But I, I’m, I’m a personal believer, and there’s nothing wrong with being a kid, as long as you understand the way to be a kid and, and what you also need to do to be a part of the world. And the fact is, we all live in the same world. And so there are some basic rules that we all need to follow to be able to coexist, but we can do that. And that’s the thing that I think we often miss.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 34:00
But again, as you said, it starts with conversation, if we make assumptions about what the other person is going to do or say, we’re going to miss a lot. They’re one of the things I talk about, I talk a lot about stories in the course that I was teaching, and it was talking about the New York bus drivers. And they were watching a video and they you know, we’re talked about the person who keeps pulling the, the bell or the person that keeps asking where, you know, where’s this place? Or there’s a person who is just sort of slowly getting up and and then sitting back down and they just don’t know what’s going on. So then the they were told about each one of these people, while the person that was ringing the bell was new to the area and didn’t know what was going on. And The person that kept getting up and kept getting down was so nervous because his mother was in the hospital. And he didn’t know if he was there yet, because he, he kept getting lost in his thought. And there’s just all kinds of reasons that people do what they do. And if you don’t know, the reason you make make assumptions about what, why they’re saying that why they’re doing that. And I think sometimes that’s where arguments wrapped, you know, can happen marriages, when you Oh, I know what he’s thinking, Well, maybe you don’t. So you have to truly listen and ask the right questions.

Michael Hingson 35:35
Assumptions are always a big problem. And we do we, we tend to make we all make assumptions. And sometimes they’re good assumptions. And sometimes they’re not. But we make assumptions. Oftentimes, without really looking and thinking and asking questions. I tend to love to ask questions. And as a as a person who was in sales for and while still am in sales from many, many years, I learned a long time ago, the best thing to do is to ask questions, and not to make assumptions. And ask what people are thinking, ask about why they want to talk with us about our product, asked what they look for the product to do. And I especially love open ended questions, because I like to get people talking. Because I find it teaches me so much more. And yes, it does help in selling or not selling a product. But I learn a lot by doing that. And it’s so important to get away from the yes and no questions and ask open ended questions.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 36:42
Yeah, definitely, when I used to meet a family, you know, we would get the paperwork. And there was one little girl who I had three pages of paperwork, she was two years old, and a jenis, corpus callosum. She was, they thought she might be blind, they thought she was good, wouldn’t be able to walk, you know, the list went on and on and on about this child, and I was nervous about meeting this child. And so I went to the home. And I was sort of looking for this child, because all I could see was this little girl bouncing around the room. She had beat all odds, the paperwork said, you know that she had all these limitations. But she was an amazing little girl, she’s now an adult, and you know, going to college and doing all those things that people never thought she would ever do. But if you if I went by the assumption of what I was reading on paper, I would assume that this child wasn’t going to amount to anything. And, you know, you have to ask those questions, you have to have those conversations. And you may, you know, need to figure out where they are. And each time I need a new family, I go through with, you know, questions like, tell me about this, tell me about that. And so that I can get the whole picture to figure out, you know, where I can help where, where there’s issues and where we’re going.

Michael Hingson 38:14
People with disabilities oftentimes get victimized by that. I know when my I was born, and I’ve told the story before, my parents were told to put me in a home because no blind child could ever grow up to amount to anything. And they rejected that. And probably just the very fact that that comment was made, helped them reject it, but they were open to the idea that a blind child could do stuff. And so I was allowed to. And the result was that I think I grew up and became a reasonably productive kid in society. But the doctors made the assumptions. And it was all based on eyesight or lack of eyesight, which is such a horrible thing to do.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 38:57
Definitely, we don’t know, like parents love that’s asked me, Well, what do you think? Do you think you’ll ever talk? Do you think you’ll ever do that? Well, I don’t have that crystal ball. But look at what they’ve done so far. You know, I bring it back to that. Look, what they’ve learned so far, you know, they’re able to walk, they’re able to do this, they are able to do if you’re seeing change, you may not see change, because you see the child every day. But someone who comes in once a month or once every, you know, few weeks, they’re going to notice a change. So those need to hold on to those changes. Because that means that you know you’re moving forward and not giving up on that.

Michael Hingson 39:42
Well, so you retired and now you’ve got this whole second career. So exactly what’s going on? What is it you’re doing now?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 39:49
Well, my mother’s 101 So I figure I’ve got another possibly 40 years to to go so I need To You know, we rework things. So I want to still work with children, I still work one on one with children. I was doing it on Zoom during COVID. And now I’m starting to branch out to work in the parents home. But I also decided I was going to do online courses for the anger management, because I found, I was noticing more people who were angry, who were frustrated with, with the world and, and I wanted to, to help them because I learned so much from that course, in how to deal with anger, how to, to negotiate and, and do that conflict resolution. And I think that with parents, they need that anybody needs that. I mean, I have friends, you know, the don’t have children, that could still benefit from, you know, learning about anger management and coming to that point where, where, you know, they can negotiate an issue.

Michael Hingson 41:07
So, you are, you’re starting to really teach people about anger management. And I think you’ve said that, you have a number of steps that people can go through to, to turn to how to transform your anger from reaction to action. So to move forward and deal with your anger and maybe make it a positive thing, how what what are those steps that that you’ve created, or that you found.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 41:36
So I have been studying self regulation as well as anger management. So I’ve taken the framework of self regulation. So that the first part of that is reframing. So as I talked about, is reframe how we see things so that self talk, think about it differently. See it with a different set of eyes. And then you’re going to look at what’s happening in your body. So that’s going to be recognize the issue, you’re going to recognize how you you’re reacting, you’re going to recognize your body. And then you’re going to sort of, you’re going to, to reduce that anger. And you might do it by listening to music, you might do it by going out and doing some exercises or talking to a friend. So you’re going to reduce it. So you’ve reframed it, you’ve recognized it, you reducing it, and now you’re going to reflect you’re going to reflect on what’s happening. So the triggers, what am I triggers what’s going on here. And then the last step is you’re going to respond. So you’re going to respond by figuring out a way that you can get to that win win, that both people can get to that win win. So you’re respecting the other person’s opinion. And you are working together to collaborate and getting to that point where you’re both happy with the decision and working it out.

Michael Hingson 43:11
So can you use these, these steps this process all the time, when where does it work? Or how do you put it into practice?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 43:21
Well, that the five steps of regulation can fit for any issue you have, whether it’s anger, whether it’s behavior, it can fit for everything. And you would use it for just identifying what’s going on for the person by taking that step of going through each one by the reframing, recognizing, reducing, reflecting and responding. If you go through each one of those steps, you’re going to be able to maybe possibly find some solutions, by having that person reflect on what’s going on. It’s not me saying you need to do this, you need to do that. It’s them going, Oh, this is why I’m doing this. Oh, it’s it’s that internal work that they’re figuring out. Okay, this makes sense. This is why I’m doing this. I’m giving them a framework, but I’m letting them come to the realization of what’s going on. Because I don’t know what’s inside their head.

Michael Hingson 44:22
Right? So it’s really all a matter of first of learning how to figure out as much as you can what’s inside their head or learning how to react to the particular situation I assume.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 44:34
Because every every like, you can walk in and with working with a child with special needs because they each have their own unique way of dealing with things. They you know, some people are are visual, some people are tactile, some are tactile, defensive, you don’t know and so you have to approach them in a way that is based on their strengths and Making sure that okay, you’ve been able to solve this before, let’s work on that strength. Let’s use that strength to move you to the next step.

Michael Hingson 45:10
How do you discover that about someone?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 45:13
For me, it’s observation and a little bit of inch intuition, I tend to give a child a toy and figure out what they will do with it. It’s more about, I don’t come in with a strict agenda, I have some things that I want to do, because we have goals. But I would like to see what first they’re going to do with it. And then I sort of mold it more into, okay, this is we have a goal that they will use two hands together, I’m just thinking, one of the kids, I brought in a little accordion. And I just wanted to see if he could use the two hands together to make it work. And so he was able to do that. And so then we started doing other things to hand it. So it was just a waste, we started with something that I knew he loved music. So we just built on that so that we can move the skills forward.

Michael Hingson 46:19
So the whole idea behind dealing with this, the skills, learning the steps, and so on, is that something that most anyone can do or who can benefit from learning and putting all this into practice?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 46:34
I think that, again, you need to have someone who’s going to look at the big picture, as a parent, sometimes you can only see a small fragment of what’s going on. But you don’t see the big picture. And I think it takes someone whether it’s, you know, a family member or somebody else to see the big picture then and look at what’s going on. And then you you’re able to maybe be a little bit more open to to changes and what’s going on. Just in another example is I had a little guy who would spit, he would spit at you all the time. And we did all the behavior management, we you know, okay, you only spit in the toilet, or if you’re going to split, you’re going to have to clean it up. We did all kinds of things. And then I went into the home. And he was spitting at his dad, and his dad would pick them up flipping over the shoulder and take a limb and have a good time. So what we realized was that he thought that was the way to interact with us, was for him to spit at us. Because it works at home, I get tickled I get, you know, a laugh. And once the dad stopped doing that he didn’t spit anymore. So it you just really someone needs to be able to, to look at the big picture to figure out, okay, this is what we’re missing, or this is, you know, this is what’s going on. So I think anybody can do it. But I think that somebody who has taken the time to have that knowledge of what to be looking for is better.

Michael Hingson 48:25
To Pat, we don’t have more of a manual that somebody has written to help us learn how to raise kids and how to deal with people in general. It’s step by step guide.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 48:41
Yeah. And I think the old methods were good. And because I’ve been around for so long, I’d like to sort of mold those together and meld those together. Because there’s some strategies that, you know, we would have used years ago. And then there’s new strategies, you know, they don’t they don’t believe in timeout anymore. They don’t, you know, there’s so many things that have changed. So, you know, we have to still kind of balance what’s going to be best for the child.

Michael Hingson 49:11
Although there’s been a lot of change in some ways, but still basic principles are the same, aren’t they?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 49:19
Yes, they, yeah, that. But I think the biggest thing that’s a trend right now is connection, we need to have connection. And even though you know, we’re together in a family unit a lot more because of COVID We still don’t have the, the the quality of connection. And I think that the quality is the key to be able to have that fun communication. And, you know, help each other self regulate. You know, if somebody’s, you know, feeling anxious about what’s going on in the world. We need to have a conversation. So so that people can express themselves?

Michael Hingson 50:03
Have we lost that connection? Is that something that we used to do more of? Do you think?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 50:11
Um, well, I guess I’m sort of noticing it too now that I’m not working in a in a work environment, I’m on my own, for the most part, that even just having a sounding board of my other co workers, I kind of missed that, of just saying, you know, what do you think of this idea? What do you think of that idea? So I can see how people who are now working from home in general, are not getting that same connection with, you know, just turning to your coworker beside you and saying, What do you think of this? Or do you have an idea for this? I think those little short conversations are being missed.

Michael Hingson 50:52
See, I approach it, I hear what you’re saying. But in general, I tend to approach some of this a little bit differently, not seeing people, for example, and becoming somewhat used to working independently. When I’m in an office, you’re right, you have interactions that you don’t have, when you are working from home, and so on. But one of the things that that I tend to do even now is when I have a question, I will go find someone to reach out to and interact with. And for me, it’s I suspect, easier than it is for you. Or people who, who can see who were used to just turning and seeing that person next to you. Because I don’t need to see the person next to me to be able to call them on the phone and interact and ask questions. So zoom meetings don’t bother me. And I’ve never been at all involved in being tired of zum zum. Zum has not, for example, been something that I have learned to detest and can’t live without, it doesn’t matter to me, whether I’m talking on the phone or dealing with someone face to face. And yes, there is a difference when you’re dealing with them face to face. But still, from the communication standpoint, you don’t necessarily need to do that, in order to be able to interact, and talk with people about whatever questions or whatever things you’re, you’re thinking of

Lorraine Durford-Hill 52:27
that that’s true. Yeah, you’re definitely using another sense. You know, where as probably for me, I’m using so many senses during a Zoom, zoom call, or, you know, my visual sense, because that’s where my eyes get tired, I’m plagued, definitely, my eyes get tired of just watching the screen and having screen time. And I just find that that very draining. Where, you know, I in one sense is probably a little bit easier, because you’re just you’re listening to what scope and I’m

Michael Hingson 53:05
using other senses. But But you’re right, from for the purposes of zoom, it’s more auditory than anything else. But I think that the big issue is that we don’t, although we’re very adaptable, and we can be very malleable, we again, get locked into wanting to do it a certain way. So we don’t necessarily learn to listen more, and not worry so much about eyesight, when we’re doing something like zoom. Whereas, if we learned to not worry about that so much, and recognize that we can still get the communications and get the desired information that we want, we would probably be a lot less well even angry about not being able to be in front of or next to our colleagues in person.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 53:59
That’s true. That’s true. Now, it’s, you know, we get angry for many different reasons. And, you know, it could be, you know, my anger may result, you know, if I was angry about not having my co workers, it could be my, the underlying issue could be that I’m just tired of being on my own, you know, so that maybe what what’s triggering it, so it could be as simple as that. So we have to look at it and I think that that’s you know, if if you’re uncomfortable or if you’re if you’re feeling something, you need to look at it and make a change.

Michael Hingson 54:37
We need to learn to do more self analysis and learn to look in our in in ourselves and into ourselves more than we tend to do. I think that that’s also part of what helps deal with fear is when we look at ourselves, why did I react this way to that situation? What else could I have done? Did Partly to maybe affect a different reaction or I know that I shouldn’t have been afraid or I shouldn’t have been so reactive to that situation. What could I do differently? And we don’t mostly ask ourselves those questions. We don’t look at that. And so, again, we don’t get the opportunity to learn because we don’t take the opportunity to learn. So true. And so it tends to be a little bit of an issue for us. But it is something that again, we can learn to deal with, if we choose to do that. Yes. So tell me more about your courses, and so on. So exactly. What are you doing now.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 55:40
So, right now, I’m offering an eight week online course that self directed. And it’s called taming the anger monster. And that’s because I was working with a little guy who drew me a picture of a monster that just was so cute that I had to use it as my sort of theme. And it is you go through the different stages. So just understanding what anger is, and all the. So that’s two weeks of understanding what anger is, we’re talking about the effects on your body, all the different ways that affects your body, talking about triggers, we’re talking for two weeks, on just the conflict resolution. And then the eighth week is more about meeting one on one and talking about what you’ve learned through the course. And moving on from there. I do have another program that I do for children, it’s just for children, it’s all about drawing, and talking about anger. Through drawing and understanding anger in a different way. It’s the same framework for understanding, you know, what anger is and how it affects our body? And what what makes us angry. So it’s a similar step. And that’s I do on Zoom, four, on one on one.

Michael Hingson 57:07
Do you find it easier to deal with children as opposed to adults? I mean, I’m assuming there are some differences, but it just popped into my head to ask you that question.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 57:20
Um, sometimes I feel it’s easier to do with deal with children because they’re more open. And they are not as in the box, they children definitely think outside of the box. Where as parents are, this is what is expected. And this is what I should do. And you know, it’s clear cut. So it’s, it’s showing them the possibilities of parents showing them definitely possibilities.

Michael Hingson 57:49
parents tend to be locked into anger in one way or another. Whereas it seems to me children who may become angry, don’t know why they’re not locked into it. And it’s easier to get them to go back and analyze and think of things differently than then perhaps they were, I would think,

Lorraine Durford-Hill 58:08
Oh definitely, I had one parent who came into a daycare one day, she sort of handed the child over to us and said, Don’t give my child any attention, or hugs. She was bad last night with babysitter. And we sort of went Oh, not that we wouldn’t do that. But she was holding on to something that happened the night before. So she had been angry all night. And she was still angry in the morning, and probably was going to be angry at work. So she was holding on that so tightly. Child probably doesn’t even remember what they did to the babysitter. And it should have been something that you know, was over and done with at the time. But this parent held on to it. So you can imagine what effect that had on the parent, she just could not let it go.

Michael Hingson 59:03
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned in recent years dealing with guide dogs that wasn’t so much understood, years and years ago, but is now is the whole concept of reward or reaction to a behavior. So dogs live in the moment. And if you have a reaction to something that your dog did, and you hold on to that anger, you can hold on to it all you want, but dogs long gone, that dog has no clue what’s going on. When you want to truly get a dog to behave in a certain way. One of the things that you learn to do is to reward the dog for good behavior, but you have to do it immediately. seconds or a number of seconds later won’t work. If you want to use a food reward the dogs always going to take the kibble or most likely will take the kibble But if you want the dog to remember why they were getting the kibble, you have to react immediately. And that’s why I don’t know whether you’re familiar with clicker training. But that’s why clickers are so important. Are you familiar with that at all? No, I don’t know that. So there’s a meme. Did you ever used to play with a little toy called a cricket? You know, you push the Yeah, same concept. So a clicker is just a bigger cricket. But what you do with a clicker is that when the dog does something you like, you instantly click, you don’t use it for negative reinforcement, you do it for positive. Good job, you did that, and you got to do it immediately. And then it’s always good to follow it up with a food reward, which further enhances it. But the clicker is the demarcation for having done something good. It is one of the most powerful tools that I have found for eliciting good behavior in my guide dogs. And in fact, the behavior of dogs that have come through clicker training is markedly better, and more long lasting than the way it used to be without clickers before that was done. Now, I don’t sure that we can use clickers with kids, but the concept is still there, which is that they like to know when they do a good thing. And that’s going to last, whereas if you just hold on to something, and you don’t deal with it immediately, your right, kids gonna forget.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 1:01:37
Definitely. And the study has shown that we need to do for the child even to remember things, we have to do five positive comments or thoughts tore them, like, you know, I really liked the way you tidied up, or, you know, you did a great job coloring to one negative. And you have to do it five to one for them to really hear the positive. So if it’s any less than five, they’re only going to concentrate on the negative.

Michael Hingson 1:02:08
And that elicits fear. Yeah. Well, this has been a lot of fun. And I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 1:02:17
Yes, definitely. I love the conversation. How do people

Michael Hingson 1:02:21
get a hold of you if they’d like to take your course or learn more about what you have to offer and so on.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 1:02:28
So I can be reached at tamingtheangermonster@gmail.com. And if you email me, I can send you out a list of 20 ways to reframe your thoughts, your self talk, I will send that out to you. You can also check my website out. I’m still new at the website bit. But there is a website that offers parents some information about different websites that they can get information from. And thats at Mychildisspecial.ca

Michael Hingson 1:03:05
well cool. And I am sure you’re going to find this some people are going to reach out to you or want to reach out to you and go to the websites but certainly email you would you spell your name for us so that people can at least address you right?

Lorraine Durford-Hill 1:03:22
Okay, so my name is Lorraine Durnford-Hill. So Lorraine is L O R R A I N E. And the last name is D U R N F O R D – Hill, H I L L

Michael Hingson 1:03:39
Lorraine, I want to thank you very much. This has been fascinating. And you are welcome to come back anytime. If you think of other things that we ought to talk about. I would love to do this again. I am with you. It’s still always good to be a kid. I’d rather be I’d rather be a kid than an adult any day. But I want to be a responsible and a good kid. So that’s that’s part of it. But I really do enjoy the time that we’ve had to be able to be together. And I hope all of you who have been listening to this, enjoy it as well. So reach out to Lorraine. And would you just repeat the web address again and your email again.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 1:04:22
So my email is tamingtheanger monster@gmail.com. and my website ismychildisspecial.ca.

Michael Hingson 1:04:33
So reach out to Lorraine and I’m sure she can give you some good insights to do with your kids or the kid in you. And I want to thank you for listening to us today and for being here. Please, wherever you’re listening to this podcast give us a five star rating we would appreciate it very much. If you’d like to reach out to me if you have ideas for further podcasts or if you know of someone who we should have on the podcast please email me at Michaelhi. That’s M I C H A E L H I at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. Michaelhi@accessibe.com. If you’d like to learn more about the podcasts you just found us and you want to know more. You’re welcome to go to www.Michaelhingson.com/podcast. That’s www. M I C H A E L H I N G S O N.com/podcast. We hope that you’ll come back again next week and join us for another edition of unstoppable mindset. I’m sure we’ll have another adventure. And we’ll all have fun doing it and Lorraine. I hope you’ll listen in the future. And when you are ready to do a podcast you let us know.

Lorraine Durford-Hill 1:05:51
Thank you, Michael. I really appreciate our time together. Thank you.

Michael Hingson 1:05:54
Well, thank you all and well thank you all and thanks for listening to unstoppable mindset.

UM Intro/Outro 1:06:02
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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