|Thinking About Anger
||[Jun. 30th, 2009|12:34 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
This is an interesting monologue on anger. I found it through Samara O'Shea's blog, Letter Lover, and the reason I clicked through to read the article is because Ms. O'Shea said
Insightful Times piece about anger and how getting angry does no good to one’s mental or physical health. It focuses on anger that fuels revenge. I struggle with this—thinking sometimes that it is my job to teach people a lesson. And the phrase that was (and IS) KEY for me is "teach people a lesson."
One thing I have noticed is that when you attempt to "teach someone a lesson" is that they NEVER LEARN THE LESSON YOU ARE TRYING TO TEACH! I just doesn't happen. Instead, you get something like this:
Driver A cuts off driver Z. The KEY to keeping yourself from acting like either of these two jokers is to always remember YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT S/HE'S THINKING! You don't. You really REALLY don't. She could be late; he could be suffering from a kidney stone; she could have just signed her divorce papers; he could be chronically angry, and actively cutting off EVERYONE on the road.
Furious, Z cuts off A, to teach her a lesson, not knowing that A's original offense was accidental.
A has NO IDEA why Z cut her off. Therefore, Z must be an asshole.
Now A is pissed and decides to teach Z a lesson, and it escalates from there.
YOU. DON'T. KNOW.
And if that doesn't calm you down, think about this. Yes, I'm repeating myself.
NO ONE EVER LEARNS THE LESSON YOU ARE TRYING TO TEACH.
They'll get angry, frustrated, pissed, aggravated, annoyed, inconvenienced, etc. But they will NOT EVER spontaneously say to themselves, "Gosh! I guess he showed me! I've learned my lesson! I shall never cut off another person in traffic ever again."
What he's learning is that YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE! or something similar because, if the situation were reversed, that's what you'd be learning. No one ever learns the "I must be wrong!" lesson. Ever.