Noticed anyone losing their temper recently? Either a stranger or someone close to you like a colleague, friend or family member?
What did you think?
Perhaps you felt sympathy. Perhaps you were tempted to join in and enjoy the drama. Or perhaps you noticed what it did to them. To their thought processes or their ability to apply reason. Did they rise or fall in your estimation?
In a Motor Registry office recently there was a tangible sense of frustration at the length of the wait. No doubt most of the people had somewhere better to be, but when one well dressed middle aged man started to lose it – pacing up and down, muttering criticisms under his breath and finally swearing quite loudly for effect – others didn’t join in. His behaviour was unreasonable and, despite what he was probably feeling at the time, unjustifiable. It achieved nothing other than spreading negative vibes and making him look childish.
What about ourselves?
Most of us have “lost it” at some point. Hopefully not in public, but what does it really achieve? What does it do to our mind, to our sense of health and well-being? Chances are both are somehow diminished, even if only temporarily.
Anger’s a natural emotion that serves a purpose. But it can be taken too far and before we know it we’ve said or done something regrettable (usually without fixing the problem).
It can be managed, but it requires self awareness and practice. As soon as you notice the anger arising, ask yourself as objectively and honestly as possible what it is that’s pressing your buttons. Then ask yourself if there is a healthier, wiser way of dealing with that?
With practice it get’s easier – and the growth in self-control is a great reward.