Anger is sometimes confused with passion. Passion is an emotion that successful people harness to drive their ambitions. Anger is a different emotion (sometimes because people are passionate) and it can be a very negative emotion.
“Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.” Mitch Albom
I might not be the best role model for this discussion, but I can say that I have improved my self-control over the years, and learned that anger really doesn’t help anything.
That doesn’t mean I don’t get angry, it just means that I work hard at harnessing that anger and ensuring that any reaction is a reasoned one.
“Get mad, then get over it.” Colin Powell
Here are a few thoughts on the subject:
- If something upsets you make sure you truly understand all of the facts before reacting.
- If someone upsets you then try to address that person alone, rather than have the discussion in public.
- If you are upset then do not write something that you may regret. A common trick is to write the response, then delete it before it goes anywhere.
- Time has a way of making us look at things a little differently … take some time to let the emotion reduce.
- If you need to respond to someone or something, then get a second/third opinion from a trusted advisor before proceeding.
- Given enough time, anger will often pass, and a response is not necessary.
- A measured, calm response will elicit a better result than “flying off the handle”.
- Too often the issue is miscommunication leading to a misunderstanding.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt.
- There is way too much real conflict in the world … we don’t need to look for more battles for no good reason.
There is a fairly common phrase … “Be slow to anger and quick to forgive”. Not bad advice to live by!
Of course, if after enough time and sufficient consideration, the anger is absolutely justified, then it is worth remembering the words from The Godfather, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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