Now full disclosure – I don’t know if this is about character flaws, or the emotional reactions we as people have, which I personally still see as flaws. We are inherently emotional creatures, and the surplus of emotion we hold often leads to an escalation of situations depending on how emotionally invested we are. And this irrationality surrounding emotions and the way in which we let situations escalate because of them can be displayed by these two examples:
1. A man insults the mother of another man.
2. A man insults the prestige of a football club supported by another man.
In both these situations, one can kind of say situation #1 would require more of a reaction (if any reaction at all). All one has to do is look at the insanity surrounding Football Hooligans to see that situation #2 is viewed and reacted to in a manner that one would expect in a situation such as #1 – whereby the person being insulted has a very close and personal relationship with the person offended. Anyway, I digress. This was merely an example of how, due to our human nature, we are often unable to distinguish a suitable response to a situation.
Quite often, we over react and blow things way out of proportion when we are faced with a situation we are uncomfortable with or simply do not like. This, in turn, leads to an even bigger problem. ANGER. An emotion that once fed, can cause irreparable havoc on those dealing it out, and dealing with it.
I can attest that anger is a very horrible thing. I’m an angry person. I’ll be the first to admit it. But I’ll also be the first to admit that anger can be an extremely destructive tool – both to yourself and those on the receiving end of the anger. “Words said in anger cannot be taken back”. That’s a resounding quote due to the depth of the truth behind it. Quite often, we are at our most vicious when we let the anger get the best of us, and in these moments we can say the most horrible things. Once the temper has cooled down and we’re not AS angry, we come to regret the things we said and did – but, it’s much too late. The damage is done. As an angry person who is actively trying to move away from this mode of conflict, I can say it is certainly easier said than done. Once the blood starts to boil the anger becomes a train that won’t stop. I have no advice on how to curb anger, so I guess this isn’t much help. If anything it is simply a warning to other hot-heads. That anger is destructive. So some advice, if any, is try not to get angry so quickly. Try be sympathetic. Try to understand your emotions and understand what has made you angry and why. Try to understand why the person did whatever they did. Do whatever works for you to try and keep the beast of anger away. A train of thought that has helped me in this department is realising “not every situation requires the same degree of anger”. Contemplate that in the split second before you explode. Is your partner leaving the toilet seat up going to warrant the same reaction as it they slapped your mother? I don’t think so. So act and react accordingly.
Pride. Ah yes. Pride.
Pride and anger go hand in hand I believe. Quite often, when someone’s pride is hurt the result will often be anger.
But also beware of pride that makes you oblivious to your actions and shortcomings. A prideful action that might seem small but is quite significant is downplaying the things you do that upsets people. It is adopting the mind frame that whatever you did to cause distress “isn’t a big deal” or you feel the other person is over reacting. In situations like this, it is important to consider that everyone has different opinions on EVERYTHING. You picking your girlfriend up late for a date might seem small and insignificant to you, but she might have devoted many hours in preparation for your date – hence she would feel it is upsetting you were late. Just an example yet again to better explain my rambles. Some people are more sensitive than others to some things, and so to downplay a fault or mistake you made is in essence taking away from the value and importance of the way the other person is feeling.
Pride and Anger are two of the most destructive character flaws that haunt the human race. I “suffer” from both, and so this is just me speaking on something I know I can change. And something I know I need to change. Not everyone has these same faults, but I know a lot of people do. This was just a gentle reminder to those people that our actions have consequences. Our anger affects people, it hurts them. The tongue cuts deeper than the sword. And our pride diminishes interactions and can ultimately lead to bigger problems.
I’ll leave with this.
Never let anger control you. Take a step back, take a deep breath and quantify if the reaction is appropriate. If you feel it is, then react in a way you see fit.
And don’t let pride convince you that you are never wrong. We all make mistakes. Don’t let pride make you think you don’t. Own up to the mistake, fix it and move on.
Get better. Be better.