The first time Janice had met Mr.Vincent, it was not what she would term as a “cordial” meeting. As a part time volunteer at his school, she had been asked to sit on his chair unwittingly by his kind collegue. A collegue who despite good intentions had forgotten that it was Mr.Vincent’s seat.
A few minutes after she had begun her work, she was suddenly surprised to hear someone angrily shout from behind her chair, “Get up! This is my chair!”
All eyes in the office were on them…with bated breath…waiting for her reaction.
How many times have you been in a situation similar to Janice? Where you get shouted at or spoken to rudely for no direct fault of yours? Except, yes, she could have shown the foresightedness to check before sitting whether the seat belonged to someone else.
Despite the obvious unpleasantness of the situation, Janice knew Mr.Vincent was justified in his anger on seeing someone usurp his place.
With an apology and a smile, she gave him his chair. Without so much as a look, he ceremoniously sat down and started his work.
After finishing work, Janice left the school office, bidding good bye to all, including the still cross Mr.Vincent. A couple of days later, she had to speak to a concerned person in the office and who should answer her call but Mr.Vincent. Chatting with the reserved and quiet middle aged gentleman, after an initial hesitation, he started speaking and to her surprise she found that he came from her native place in India. And before long, she soon realized that apart from being a trifle reserved, Mr.Vincent is someone who is friendly, polite, sincere and kind.
Apart from knowing someone better, Janice was happy to have made peace with someone like him – temperamental but simple and good at heart.
Anger is a normal emotion in a situation that is unpleasant or causes irritation. The question is are we able to control the anger we experience? Left uncontrolled, anger can be an unpredictable and destructive emotion that can give numerous undesirable reactions. Anger can cause problems at work, home, relationships and can drastically affect the quality of our life.
It was a situation that could have been so very different if Janice focused on Mr.Vincent’s outburst instead of the cause that lead to it.
For example, imagine, if she had responded by saying,
“I was asked to sit here and I did not know this was your seat. How am I supposed to know?”
I can assure you that the already livid Mr.Vincent would have reacted with even more fury. It would not have been an unexpected response considering the outrage he had experienced seeing someone sitting on his seat without even a request or warning.
Anger is a natural reaction to a frustrating situation or difficulty, however, the irrationality of our anger can play havoc with our capacity to think logically and come to a suitable solution.
So how can we manage our anger effectively?
Mediation is a technique and a way to transforming our mind to an improved positive state of emotional serenity.
Maintain the flow of communication. Be a good observer and listener to get the facts straight. In the grip of anger, your understanding of the scene can be inaccurate and inconclusive.
Consciously making a change to the current way of thinking is another method to tackle the anger attack. The intense spurts of anger that explodes can override rationality of thought. Bring in the rationality by asking yourself what is your purpose and objective in the situation – is it to win a verbal or physical battle or to achieve a specific goal? Stay focused on the logic of the situation not on the drama that is threatening to unfold.
Walking away from the situation causing the anger for a few minutes is another small and effective way of controlling the anger you are experiencing. This tactic would also ensure that you are unlikely to lose the ability to coherently think and communicate with conviction and purpose.
Some problems are real and inescapable and a solution may not be possible in every case. While facing problems of this nature, the focus would not be on finding the solution but on how to tackle, handle and face it. Your best efforts may not lead to the disappearance of the problem but you are less likely to be in a continuous helpless state of anger.
Learn to relax without guilt, unwind by getting involved with some hobby or activity you enjoy. Work hard and play hard. Yoga is one activity that would help you relax, while keeping you toned and fit.
Last but not least, ensure that you choose to discuss certain subjects at a suitable time. For example, discussing any idea of a coaching class to a child who has just returned from a long exam may be seen as irritating by the child. A discussion after a good breakfast may prove to be a more positive time to address this idea.
So, it is true that you have the right to be angry, but remember, allowing your anger to take charge is a sure mantra to regret what you will say and how you will react. Stay in control and you won’t lose the focus of the situation.