Choose Your Battles: A Guide for Smart People
When is anger a good thing?
There are situations for sure when anger is not only understandable but also when expressing one's ire is acceptable to the vast majority of rational individuals. However, depending upon the degree of anger, it is by it's very nature, somewhat of an irrational emotion.
Anger often results in verbal sparring, temper tantrums, flying insults and more often than not, behavior we come to regret.
In fact, a heated argument can last ten minutes, remorse tends to hang around a while. Had we taken a few moments of clarity and some deep breaths, we may have spared ourselves hours of explanations and apologies. No one really longs to be labeled a "Hot Head."
Feeling as though you have a perfectly legitimate reason to be angry is acceptable. Expressing that anger aggressively and publicly may just create further chaos, not to mention some backlash. If you're going to swing that hammer, look out for the bulldozer your enemy drives! It's tough to be the calmer, more sane individual but how better to prove the others crazy?
I know what you're thinking..."Why should I let some jerk think he's got the right to piss me off?"
Because, 'tis better to let then know they are quite unimportant and not worth your time. They hate that!
We Can't Un-Ring the Bell
Speaking of emotions......"regret" is a killer, wouldn't you agree? I mean, don't we spend a lot of time and effort creating ways to be sensible and fair to avoid future regret? Yes, most of us do. Those of us with common sense and foresight spend much less time kicking our own butt.
It would appear then, we'd be wise to indulge in some honest self-analysis and vow to adopt personal guidelines.
In terms of managing our anger, a vital aspect here is realizing with whom we should not argue, regardless of the circumstances.
Realistically, we can often encounter those individuals with whom arguing should be avoided at any cost. I can promise, you will logically agree with the three that I suggest here.
You may very well be able to add your own stories in the comment section. Please feel free to do so! We can all benefit by examples of the unpleasant experiences of others. After all, friends are for sharing miserable memories too. In fact, if you have learned how to avoid a falling rock or back yourself out from a dead end, you are obligated to share with us!
Anyone "under the influence," friend or foe.
You may be quick to say this is a no-brainer because quite simply it is, but sober people have been known to argue with men and women who have sacrificed their ability to communicate for a cocktail or two, or....
How can this possibly result in any sort of positive outcome? It cannot and it doesn't. Well, unless you count the few laughs it offers to the onlookers who revel in stupidity of others. Intoxicated people need to face the facts....they are funny. Let's face it folks. Arguing with some poor soul who has drowned all sane behavior in alcohol, isn't even fair.
If you insist upon trying to reason with a drunk, be prepared to add to your frustrations. It's a sure bet the target of your anger will not only forget what you said, they won't even recall you were there. What a waste of precious oxygen, don't you think? (Stop laughing)
Somehow, I have this feeling that many of you are smirking. You wouldn't by any chance be thinking about a time you found yourself in this very scenario? It didn't work out well at all, did it.
The Nice Officer, who just pulled you over...
If you've never bitten your tongue before, now is the perfect opportunity to practice. In this situation, temper and argument are not your friends.
Smile, listen, comply and save your comments and questions for your court appearance.
All the information you'll need will be written on the citation and you'll have the right to defend yourself, your driving skills or your humble opinion.. Whatever the case may be, just bite thy tongue..except to form the words, "Yes, Sir."
To get huffy or combative, loud or offensive with a police officer is a really bad idea. Should you insist, go for it but remember I told you so.
It's simple. The person with the official authority, the badge and the gun, makes the rules here. Just be nice, fairly quiet and COMPLY. I promise you'll be happy you did.
The Tax Man.....aka The I.R.S......
You've never been audited? Thank your lucky stars and hope your good fortune lasts forever.
This has got to be the most annoying, nerve-wracking situation you'll ever have the displeasure of enduring. But endure...you must.
I'm not even sure how to express how uncomfortable and nerve wracking an audit can be. I do need to warn you that it's nothing you would ever care to repeat at any point in your life.
I don't care how honest you are or that your tax returns have always been done with the utmost of care and calculations. You can be confident everything will work out just peachy in the end but the process is the pits!
The main intent of the I.R.S is to drive you completely insane. Believe it. This is their job.
Just when you think you've answered all of their questions, provided every last receipt and document you've ever had in your life, explained every number on every line for the tenth time, they produce a new list of "things" for you to submit.
You will fume, curse under your breath and shift your self-control into overdrive. Do not show anger. This is what they want. You've given them enough.....do not give up your composure too!
Follow their lead, because trust me, throughout the entire duration of this torture, they remain calm, cool, confident and authoritative. Their smug, monotone and somewhat haughty attitude will tempt you to leap across the desk aiming for their skinny neck.
This is when you need to picture them naked and stifle the laughter. Whatever it takes.
No doubt my friends, you have much to add to the list I've provided. Perhaps based on your own personal experiences, you've come to learn there's an endless assortment of people who are simply not worth the time and energy it requires to get through to them. It is so exhausting and ultimately, futile.
I would tend to understand and agree with you.
Keep in mind it's a credit to your wisdom, not to mention your peaceful existence, to be selective with whom you choose to do battle. There are points to consider, a lot to gain and losses to avoid.
It's no wonder that "Anger Management" classes/seminars are fast becoming the group to join, whether voluntarily or otherwise.
Can't get along with your co-workers? Marriage on the rocks? Poor parenting skills? Finding yourself in front of the Judge once too often? Friends mysteriously dropping you like a bad habit?
Just for a second, consider it might be you. Hey, don't get mad.......get better! You can always plead the fifth.