To paraphrase the words of Mark Twain, it does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. From among a wide spectrum of emotions that we have been entitled to feel, anger remains the singular most detrimental emotion to be expressed. Poet Maya Angelou correctly remarked, “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” Indubitably, anger, annoyance, exasperation, antagonism are few of those doomed emotions that will lead nowhere but straight to hell. The abundance of anger management programs, the frequency at which self-control workshops are being organized, the sitcom ‘anger management’ are all testimonies to the increasing instances of people losing their cool. Of course, everybody does get all cranky and cantankerous and grouchy at times, and at those moments all words of wisdom appear indecipherable. From something as simple as stated by Confucius, “When anger rises, think of the consequences” to something as rhetorically sarcastic as Benjamin Franklin’s string of words, “Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” assumes colossal relevance, the indifference to which will only result in the angry bird ending up as a grand mess. Here’s a list of things you should not do, or try, or attempt, or even think of, when anger takes control of your senses.
10) Act out of anger
“Anger and intolerance are enemies of correct understanding”, remarked Mahatma Gandhi. Well, need we say more? When you act out of anger, 90% of your actions are executed in half minds. You have roughly 20% of your thinking and reasoning skills with you in such circumstances, and it might even have grave repercussions for you. You might need to do it all over again. or worse, you might need to go through another session of argument justifying your half-heartedness in doing the job. This is will do nothing more than add fuel to the fire of your anger.
9) Drugs, cigarette or alcohol
Well, already you are possessed by a string of vile and unpleasant emotions, getting intoxicated might just give you a hard time by exasperating the people around you, including the one whom you cite as the reason behind your anger. Getting drunk and bitterly puking out words cursing others will not help you in any way. They can just not be your last resort. Or first. Or anything in between
8) Be pessimistic
Never let anger get to your core attitude. Never let your anger metamorphosise into something as irreparable as pessimism. Stop thinking the negatives. Exhale. Treat yourself to some quietude. But just don’t let pessimism get the better of you.
7) Public appearance
Making an exhibition of your acrimonious self can be one of the greatest damages you can make to your image. It is, in my opinion, a self-destructive behavior. Your reputation, your goodwill, and your positive image may ruined once and for all, if you go out publicly in the aftermath of a bitter fallout with a friend, spouse or colleague. In such instances, it is advisable (and desirable) that you suppress your anger for a while and rather than letting it ruin or tarnish your otherwise pristine reputation, direct it towards something constructive. After all, you don’t either like your devil self, do you?
6) Attend work calls
“Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.” -Baltasar Gracian. Attending to work calls can be catastrophic in that firstly, you will not respond in a polite manner, and will descend into a skirmish at the slightest of provocation. Secondly, you wouldn’t be making eye contact with the communicator which can make things even complicated.
Whether or not you are a shopaholic, anger can make you one. You might not be the kind who loves the activity of splurging on random stuff, but under the narcotic influence of anger you might end up broke, after having indulged in the sin of binge shopping. The price of the extravagance of a shopping spree is not something you would be ready to pay, when you regain your senses. So accurate and true was Lucius Annaeus Seneca when he said, “Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.” Hence in order to safegauard your economic status, never march ahead to the supermarket, or to your credit cards.
4) Stand in close proximity to glass
Well, this might sound hilarious, but trust me, it is not. Standing or sitting near any precious item will be a great daunting risk you are taking, because you never know which moment the anger might rise to a crescendo and release itself on the breakable glass just beside you. Also include in the list mobile phones, televisions, i-pods, laptops, and other precious stuff. Bearing a huge financial loss, along with other repercussions, is the last thing on earth you would wish for. As Robert Green Ingersoll adeptly remarked, “Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.” And with a lost mind, you would not think twice before incurring losses or debts.
3) Pretend you are okay
Ask any specialist and you will get the answer: anger is a completely normal human emotion, and you need to express it too, just like other emotions. Remember Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss, “A healthy person is someone who expresses their feelings… Express, not repress… You know what happens to people who shut everybody out? They fester. Inside. Fester and rot.” So, when you are angry, and you think it is not irrational anger, never pretend everything is alright. While doing so may help you for a while to control your anger from surging, but in the end you do have to work out the issues and sort it all out.
2) Write down your feelings and preserve it
James Fallows said, “Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them.” Give a vent to your emotions. Let your feelings out. In a confidante called your journal. And if don’t maintain one, then just scribble down your thoughts on a piece of paper or a word document. Make sure you lay bare the dark recesses of your soul, but at the same time, never ever commit the folly of preserving the crap piece of paper or electronic document. If it gets leaked at the time of your dispute, things will turn way sour than expected, leaving no scope of reconciliation, and if it gets leaked later when everything has been sorted out, it might play the villain and leave you to suffer for no real mistake of yours.So, pour out all the proceedings that led to the skirmish, and list out your feelings. Then revise what you have written, it will give you an idea of how badly you have screwed up the things on your part. It will act like a self-introspection. Also, consider the act of discarding the document or throwing the sheets of paper as metaphorical. It symbolizes that you are now ready to let go, and you can make amends for your folly.
1) Open your mouth
Nothing sums up the warning as precisely as the words of Ambrose Bierce, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Lashing out at your loved ones, or if your fate is too ill, on your superiors at work is the last thing on earth you could ever think of doing. Speaking acrimonious words of resentment only aggravate the already ornery mood of yours. Today, we live in a world, where people are more proficient in sarcasm and profanity, than the language itself. Swearing has become like second nature to us. And when angry, this might just surface for everyone to see. So, if do not want to subject others to a verbal vomit of cuss words spoken by you in half-senses, refrain from making an uninhibited exhibition of your deepest bitter emotions.