Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Getting mad and dealing with it.

For most part I am a sane person, using the God given wisdom, good judgment and sound education to make rational decisions. But on rare occasions, just like any other mortal being I get mad (angry). Now my question is to you, my dear reader: Is anger a rational emotion? Here is my reason to raise this question-

I got mad at my son for something really silly. It ended up being a lot of sobbing and crying and me feeling guilty. Especially because he was surprised by my outburst, normally calm and collected, trying to analyze and offering solution patiently... that is my style. On this occasion, I lost my cool and yelled at him, that took him by surprise and led him to believe that he did something really bad and I was angry at him, which was not the case. It took a few hours of consoling to make him understand that he was not a bad boy and he is still and always be loved by me and his mom.

Getting angry is for chumps!! Anger is not a rational emotion. Is that a true statement? When you are angry, you are out of control and cannot rationalize your actions. How or why does on get angry? Many of us direct our anger towards people we care for the most...like spouse......... kids..... parents...... why ? you have a situation at work, deadlines are approaching, project leader is hovering over you like a vulture, store clerk- where you buy your groceries... is rude to you, co passengers in the train are uncooperative.... all of these are bottled up inside and it comes out at the most inappropriate time against people you really care about and who will not retaliate if you vent. Once the episode is over, you hang your head in shame.... wonder why you did that... poor helpless kids, poor empathizing spouse who understands but is equally under pressure with his/her own problems.

Does education have anything to do with it? Can you rationalize better if you have a above average education? maybe....sometimes....? Is anger hereditary? ....a lifestyle? maybe you experienced a lot of anger and abuse from your parents and elders as a child, so you justify it as something that you grew up with, and continue the same practice?

How does one manage anger and frustration? Counting does not seem to help because you forget to count. Breathing exercises can help to a certain degree. Analyzing and talking aloud about the situation that is causing the anger can definitely help.If there are two parties involved, if one person gives in, the situation eases dramatically. A step by step approach is probably the best. Don't let it accumulate, if there is a situation, deal with it there and then, don't carry it and let it become a baggage. Easier said, than done!! Communication is the key, but it is difficult for 2 or more people to be on the same page all the time. Differences are bound to happen, and extreme differences lead to anger and frustration.

Anyways, if any of you would like to share any experiences or offer solutions.. Welcome!