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ANGER – ” The Human Suicide Bomb! “

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Anger has always been a human being’s major weakness that forbids him of being successful in life. Anger is as disastrous for a human being as a human suicide bomb. It destroys the person completely like a human suicide bomb.

Do you get angry often in your life that makes you lose focus on what is right and wrong?

Is there been a time that you failed to see reason because you were very angry at something or someone?

Do you scream at your spouse / children / friends / subordinates when you are angry?

Welcome to the party – you are one among millions who are victims of this much devastating emotional volatility which is as good as a human bomb ready to explode any time!

Unfortunately this deadly virus in us harm us badly – with stress, high blood pressure, relationship getting spoiled, at times even getting isolated among friends, colleagues & family. Anger makes us to forget,

  •  Who we are?
  •  What we are?
  •  To whom we are talking?
  • And why we are talking?

Interestingly once we take out our anger by way of screaming at someone, most of us regret- “oh god i should have controlled my tongue!” We fail to understand anger is a double-edged sword that can inflict us with personal pain in the same way it does pain others.

Let me share a short story which I have read recently on how anger can damage us and others.This story is about a father and his son. The little boy had a bad temper and the father decided to find a solution for this. One day his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.

Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say ” I’m sorry’, the wound is still there.”


A simple story- but is it pinching us somewhere?  When we look back and count, many a times we have created lot of such holes and conveniently forgotten about it. Our inability to control our anger would have created several wounds in others and we never realize it.

“Speaking when angry” is one of the bad habit which holds us back from success says, Marshall Goldsmith in his bestseller book, ” What Got You Here Won’t Get You There “. Anger has its value as a management tool. But this emotional volatility is not the most reliable leadership tool. When we get angry, we are usually out of control. It’s hard to lead people when we have lost control. We may think we have a handle on our temper, that we can use our spontaneous rages to manipulate and motivate people. But it is very hard to predict how people will react to our anger.

The worst thing about anger is that, it restrain our ability to change. Once we get a reputation for emotional volatility, we are branded for life! If we are an angry leader, we have a special place in the minds of our colleagues. When they talk about us, the first words out of their mouth are, ” I hear he has a temper ”

Can we stop getting angry?

Its a billion dollar question ! Marshall Goldsmith tells us a good story in his book about a young farmer who was going upstream in his boat through a river to deliver his produce to the village. The young farmer was in a hurry. It was a hot day and he wanted to make his delivery and get home before dark. As he looked ahead, he spotted another boat, heading rapidly downstream towards his boat. This boat seemed to be making every effort to hit him. He rowed furiously to get out of the way, but it didn’t seem to help.

He yelled at the other boat, ” change direction, you idiot! You are going to hit me. The river is wide. Be careful!” His screaming was to no avail. The other boat hit his boat and he was enraged as he stood up and cried out to the other boat, ” You moron! How could you manage to hit my boat in the middle of this wide river? What is wrong with you? ”

As he looked at the other boat, he realized that there was no one in the other boat. He was screaming at an empty boat which was going downstream with the current!

The lesson is simple- There is never anyone in the other boat. When we are angry, we are screaming at an empty boat! All of us have people in our lives who drive us crazy, whom we hate with a passion. The best course of action for dealing with people like this is not let them make us angry. Getting angry doesn’t improve the situation and life’s too short to waste on feeling bad. It can only help us to lose our reputation as a person who gets always angry. When we are angry, if we keep our mouth shut, no one can ever know how we really feel.

There are thousands of books, articles and websites which tells us how to control the anger. Paul Deeds of Crystal Concepts suggests, when the anger runs through our blood streams, try doing the following :

1) Calm yourself: Take a deep breath, picture a relaxing scene we like and tell ourselves,” relax,take it easy ”

2) Think twice before you say anything : When angry, it is easy to start cursing or saying wild things to our target. Pause a while and think is it worth picking up this fight. Is it better to be silent?

3) Take a small walk : Walking makes our brain to release endorphins which gives a sense of wellbeing and makes us relax.

4) Work with people who made you angry : Do this when we are calm to make sure that the person or people who have angered us will also be calm. This way, we will all be able to focus on the problems at hand.

5) Don’t hold grudges :  Be forgiving to the people who have angered you. This is a great way to show them that you are not angry anymore. But don’t think that the other people will follow our example. It is unrealistic to think that all people should behave the same way like us.

6) Make an ” Anger Log Book ” : Write down all situations that set us off in an “anger logbook”. This keeps track of our reactions to everyday situations. This is a very useful tool in keeping our anger in check as we can review the situation and try to solve it on a later date.

7) Learn some relaxation skills : Learning relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercise or meditation or yoga can help us to control our anger.

8) Let go our anger : Now that we have our anger under control, we can start expressing it without damaging any relationships or properties. Always remember, anger can really damage our health and its better we let it go than bringing our blood pressure up.

So next time when you start to speak out of anger, better you look in the mirror. In every case you will find that the root of your rage is not “out there” but “in here”. You are no more a human bomb who carries anger- the deadly weapon which is the biggest obstacle to our personal and professional success.

Keep smiling and welcome to the ” Anger free world “

Courtesy: Mr. Shamim Rafeek


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