Sunday, March 07, 2010

Control your anger, or it controls you

"You are moody."  I was told.

I'm not moody.  I think moody is someone that changes or have unpredictable moods.  And my mood is consistently low.

I think it may have been recklessly uttered because I am often mistaken to be angry.  I am not at all angry.  I just happened to have been born with a very somber facade.  In short, a serious expression.  And I have to admit that I rarely smile.  I read that it takes fewer muscles to smile than it is to frown.  I guess I burn more calories than most people who are lazy enough not to develop their frowning muscles.  However, the number of muscles it takes to frown or smile is still unverified even at this age.  Besides, someone else's smile may be another one's smirk or another one's grin.  The Joker from Batman, and the Grinch from Dr. Seuss' book both have grin from ear to ear.  Yet I am not so comfortable by their supposed smile.  Something suggests that I should neither trust any of them.  It is quite alarming.

The ancient philosopher Seneca said " Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it."  So it's better to control anger.  But how to?  That is the question.

If we can't control our anger, can I suggest the following techniques?  Yes, I think there's an effective way to control anger.  I just have not proven its effectiveness yet.  I think that the best thing to do is to schedule your anger.  Read that as the Brits would pronounce it, "shed-yool."  It's much more classy the way the Brits say it than the Americans do.  You may make it a habit to get angry every nine-o-clock in the morning.  Scheduling (again, "shed-yooling") your anger makes you more consistent and predictable.  People will know when or when not to approach you.  This may also be an effective technique if you have a lot of things to finish and don't want to be disturbed, then feign anger.  Even if you woke happy and had a good dream the night before, make it appear that you are angry.  People will hesitate to approach you.  I think nine-o-clock in the morning may be the best time to schedule it.  Right after you finished drinking coffee and others who are late would still be tinkering with their computer, or reading the emails that were sent the previous day.  Being angry late in the day is quite exhausting.  Besides, you don't want to be exhausted and angry going home, seated on a bus besides angry and exhausted people who may just be looking for a reason to unleash their energy.  Being angry and exhausted at noon is a bad combination.

To make this effective, I suggest you keep a daily log, or a journal if you must.  Learning is the key and consistency it's brother.

There is also another variation for this technique.  You may opt to direct your anger towards only one person.  This is useful if you want to get along with everyone else.  Blaming someone else is the method commonly followed by psychologist.  This method known as Pyschological projection was first developed by Sigmund Freud.  It is the act of denial of one's own attribute, thoughts and emotions, and ascribe it to something external such as weather, government or even other people.  It is also popularly known as Freudian projection because psychologists who followed Freud's theory eventually realized there are some shortcomings for this theory, and so blamed Freud for it.  It is also a practice to direct one's anger towards inanimate objects.  But in our case, let's try to do it towards the animate, meaning live person.  It is much more fun this way because you can observe how that object of your experiment would react.

Be careful however that if you direct your anger towards one person who does not know how to implements the techniques I have mentioned, he may not be able to control his anger like you do, and so react in a manner you may not expect.  This is of course expected.  But you may share this technique to him and hope that he will be enlightened to control his anger.  Just like you do.

Now, I have to caution you though that it takes much effort to do it.  I admit there are instances that I forget to be angry and not be consistent about it.  Yes, it takes effort.  But with the right attitude and perspective, it can be done.