When you blow your top
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2018 - 12:00am

One day, a lady in a brand-new Volvo had been driving round a crowded car park, had finally found a spot and was just about to back into it when a young driver in a “souped-up” Chevy whizzed into the spot before her. As the Chevy driver got out of his car and was walking away, the lady in the Volvo called out “I found that spot first. What gives you the right to push in and take it?”

The young man laughed. He winked at her and said, “Because I’m young and quick” and kept on walking. All of a sudden, he heard the hideous sound of a car being heartily smashed. “Maybe you are familiar with that sound; like that of crunching metal.” He turned around to see the lady in the Volvo rammed her car into his. With horror in his eyes he shouted: “Hey why did you smash my car?” This time, the lady looked at him, smiled and gave him a wink and say, “That is because I am old and rich.”

Oh, what kinds of disasters would happen if people do not keep their tempers in check? This old story reminds us that we need to deal with anger issue.

Sometimes, people do not openly display their temper and their anger. But, they show it in other ways. Like this old married couple, and the lesson they learned in this old story:

An elderly couple talk in the evening: “Honey, I’m so sorry that I let out my anger at you so often. How do you manage to stay so calm with my foul moods?”
“I always go and clean the toilet when that happens.”
“And that helps?”

“Yes, because I’m using your toothbrush.” Yikes!

Why do some people easily get angry while others do not?

According to Jerry Deffenbacher, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in anger management, as seen in The American Psychological Association site, says that some people really are more “hot-headed” than others are; they get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person does. There are also those who don’t show their anger in loud spectacular ways but are chronically irritable and grumpy. Easily-angered people don’t always curse and throw things. Sometimes, they withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically ill. People who are easily angered generally have what some psychologists call a “low tolerance for frustration,” meaning simply that they feel that they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience, or annoyance. They can’t take things in stride, and they’re particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, being corrected for a minor mistake.

What makes these people act this way? A number of things. One cause may be genetic or physiological, another may be sociocultural. Anger is often regarded as negative; we’re taught that it’s all right to express anxiety, depression, or other emotions, but not to express anger. As a result, we don’t learn how to handle it or channel it constructively.

Research has also found that family background plays a role. Typically, people who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic, and not skilled at emotional communications.

I would even venture out to say that perhaps people have not carefully considered the stuff that enter their minds that would easily set them up to erupt with anger the moment they are provoked.

To be angry is normal and natural, and the one realization I had was that to be angry is not a sin. But, Scriptures does say that one should not let the sun go down on your anger, and a clever way to say this is that you and I should not go to bed with anger.

In my interaction with people from different industries, including friends and family, I have also observed that the most stressful people and most prone to anger are the control freaks. They easily freak out when they come across a situation they could not control. Maybe this is why traffic jams bring out the worst in them.  It is the ultimate gridlock such that it causes insanity and heart attacks. 

I am one who is angered easily, but over the years, I have discovered the best way to deal with it. I pray. Withhold my tongue for a moment, and then quickly decide the best response to deal with the situation. I am still struggling to improve in this area, but I would venture out to say that as I grow older, I have become calmer.

I realize that there will always be frustrations that would come. Rather than letting anger get the best of me, better to process the experience and learn from it.

This way I keep my sanity and make better decisions.

If you happen to be leading an organization and you are high up there in the corporate food chain, every decision you make will affect many lives as well and can be detrimental to the welfare of your business if you make angry decisions as reactions to the provocation.  Perhaps you may want to learn the power of prayer and to lift up the difficult situation to The One who has control over everything.

Humorist Will Rogers says it best. “People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.” Somebody says: “Anger is only one letter short of danger.”

Do not allow anger to make decisions for you and don’t go to bed with it tonight.
(Attend two inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong in his highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership seminar-workshop September 18-19 at Makati Diamond Residences near Greenbelt 1. For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.levelupleadership.ph)

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