“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
-Siddharta Gautama Buddha
Anger is like a poison. The longer you take it with you, the more likely you’ll end up hurting, if not killing yourself, sometimes without you having realized it. There are nevertheless ways to deal with anger healthily as much as there are strategies to escape from its terrifying wrath and all the consequence it brings. Defusing anger positively is always possible, though it requires great will- power.
Why is there a need to manage anger?
Anger is a normal human emotion that when uncontrolled would result to strained relationships and other complex problems. If taken as the natural human emotion that it is, maybe anger would not be viewed that negatively, after all, emotions are not in itself unhealthy. On the other hand, it helps humans keep track of their own inner humanity. Getting steamed up when confronted with a not-so healthy situation and expressing that emotion outwardly only becomes complicated because primarily the decisions we make in life are governed by the relation we have of others; by caring about how each decision we make will affect other people–their lives and ours, we tend to become submissive and resilient. As a result, when we vent out our frustrations, we take seriously what our responsibilities are and do it in ways that would not put our relationship with our co-existing creatures on the line.
Nonetheless, preserving relationships is as important as fighting for one’s ideals but in cases wherein you do not trust yourself fully to make sensible actions and just decisions, it’s still best to give way for more patience. Stretch out that patience while you can. Stay even- tempered and forbear what cross you have to carry. Or if not, just devise ways to escape from the possibility of engaging yourself in something you might later regret. Here’s how I keep myself away from creating more trouble: by sending signals to the possible victims that I am at the verge of my boiling point. If I get lucky and the victim is vigilant and sensitive enough to sense why I am reacting the way I am, then good. That means, I need not worry about any unpleasant aftermath. But if I am unlucky, I will be the one doing the adjustment.
Becoming a PWD (deaf and mute), all of a sudden.
If you do not have anything good to say (as of the moment), please don’t say anything. Or be ready otherwise for the dreaded word war (and all its consequence). Sometimes, the heat will subside, sometimes even cool down by itself if the host’s anger will not be reciprocated. A sudden transformation to being a PWD will in no doubt send signal that you are not and would not resolve to a heated confrontation. Or if you can still manage to keep a little soberness in you, a simple yes and no answer to every question might help. Just the same, although it may seem unintelligent, a cold response will beacon that a comprehensive conversation is the last thing you consider, for the moment. Unless maybe if the person is way too naïve to sense what that coldness means. 2.
Turning to my safest sanctuary: my room.
Unfortunately, if strategy no. 1 becomes futile and ineffective to drive people away from my bad temper, I use this strategy. Sadly however, this made my family think that I am missing the silent, contemplative life inside the convent. Hereafter, expect a charade of spirit- boosting advises that to some extent influences me to make the long- awaited decision in my life– either to enter religious life now or enter it sooner… Glad I have the choice. So, in this case, what I do is make them see (on purpose) that I am doing something, not just daydreaming whatsoever. 3.
Getting occupied (on purpose).
This is a ploy I use whether I’m inside or outside my room to drive the victims away. Most of the times, one would see me totally engrossed in writing, blogging or doing arts and crafts (without real and concrete result). Busy- busying can surely help get rid of interrogations which would only ignite more flame to the seemingly dormant volcano within you, unless again if the victim’s sensitiveness is way less than normal. 4.
It doesn’t sound like a productive strategy but it’s a proven more effective ploy I’ve used to completely escape from further interrogations. If this ploy fails, either you’ll end up fighting with the victim or fighting your daymare (if there is such a word). When on the peak of anger, interacting becomes a dangerous thing. More often than not, it creates more harm than help to vent out irresponsibly.
Anger can destroy the host as much as it can destroy the possible victim/s, sometimes even worse. A person faced with an unpleasant situation, which for most times will serve as the catalyst to lose that calmness and composure within him will always have a choice–to lose it completely and wish to God no grave consequence will happen or let that bursting emotion die a natural death. Through prayer and sound discernment, I try to take the latter always. And yes, it’s not easy. It takes a lot of patience and humility to stay sober despite the provocative elements being hurled upon you but if you inculcate in your mind, engraved in the recesses of your soul that there is more harm to speak your view, which are now marred by anger, especially if you have tendencies to bad- mouth, call names or curse people when on the onset of anger, it is still wiser (and humane) to just zip your mouth for a while until such time that the flame has subsided. Until then, you may contemplate. Go to the most serene place closest to you (this time it could be your room) and think things over, again and again. And when the time is ready, when you sense that the door of communication has been opened again, jump in, speak your side, make known your view on the matter, but keep your wits as always and your heart ready for forgiveness. However, if for some reason anger becomes self- destructive (physiologically) that instead of relieving yourself of the guilt it may cause when it’s directed toward others, then you have the right to free that emotion let alone relinquish it once and for all. As long as you don’t allow yourself to get totally consumed by the flame of that hot coal, I believe it’s still possible to stay human as how God created you to be.
“Hatred stirs up disputes, but love covers all offenses”. (Proverbs 10:12)