Anger is a funny thing isn’t it? Actually. No. It’s not funny. If anything, it’s far from funny. While anger can be seen as a healthy human emotion it can have the ability to serve as counterproductive, spirally out of control and leaving its carrier drained of their senses and without a solution to a problem in sight.
A few days ago I saw a woman standing on the pavement next to her car, ranting and raving at another woman for scraping her car as she turned a corner to drive past. She paced up and down the pavement, animated; her arms waving wildly as she delivered a monologue ridden with curse words. The quiet lady seemed unfazed by the lady’s angry display.
The angry lady followed the quiet lady up and down the pavement, entering the woman’s personal space to shout in her face. What stood out was that in all of this verbal goading the quiet lady never lost her temper. Every now and then the quiet lady would go and sit in her car. She didn’t drive off; she knew she was in the wrong and was keen to sort out the situation. However it was evident the angry lady was looking for conflict. The quiet lady stayed in her car looking as cool as a cucumber while the angry woman stood at her window delivering a barrage of abuse.
Eventually, the angry woman went and sat in her car. Minutes later the quiet lady got out of her car and approached the lady’s car. After a brief and quiet exchange the quiet lady got back in her car, turned on the ignition and drove off. Shortly after, the angry (now quiet) lady drove off.
There’s a saying, ‘control your anger before it controls you’. The situation reinforced that uncontrolled anger doesn’t depict strength. It means the carrier of uncontrolled anger has given over their power to the other person. Whether the other person is in the wrong (or not!), their emotions now lies in the hands of someone else. In this case the quiet lady, took control of the situation, avoided conflict and arrived at a solution to the problem.
If only the angry lady knew the quiet lady shouted the loudest.
Musings of Ms Phipps
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