The blog explores the pitfalls associated with not managing your anger and suggests ways to overcome anger when it borders on aggression.
Anger is one of the most poorly managed emotions in our adult lives. Few people ever master the art of expressing their anger in the right way and not let it get out of control. I think that learning how to manage your anger without creating an ugly scene or ruining a relationship is one of the most important skills of your life, especially when you are younger.
Anger may be the result of frustration, unfair treatment or downright exasperation due to cumbersome rules and regulations. At least, these are the common reasons when you are a university student. Of course there are other reasons such as bullying or being harassed. But mostly, I have seen people flare up and become abusive on the slightest pretext. Unfortunately, the customer service staff is at the receiving end of such treatment. Once I was standing in line to sort out a course registration problem when I heard a student abuse the staff member who was insisting on proper documentation before issuing him a credit transfer approval.
Later, I kept wondering why is it that simple courtesy and humility has given way to rude behavior. One reason for this is that our generation thinks that people who are not assertive are failures; that admitting that one is wrong is actually a weakness, and guys just don’t apologize. Being irrational is almost acceptable now. One of my friends was recently issued a traffic violation ticket; he was angry that he got caught and should have been more careful. No qualms about running the signal!
Sometimes, I think that we are an angry, frustrated generation who want to accomplish everything in the shortest possible time and get angry when life simply tells us that we can’t have it all. Patience is a virtue, my grandfather used to say; he would know – he spent 16 years in a wheelchair before passing away and he had led an active lifestyle before a horse riding accident left him severely handicapped. Yet, he never created a problem for others because he was in a fix. How he did it, I am only beginning to grasp now.
I think that people who manage their anger well at least follow some basic strategies:
They try to find out what is it that is making them angry. Is it a difficult assignment, a wayward study partner, group skirmishes among friends, or you think the teacher is being biased in your grading, etc.
They take time out to think through the situation. Maybe walk away for the time being, take a deep breath. Confide in a trusted friend. Seek advice.
They don’t let their anger simmer and vent it at the next person they encounter. Once they know the source of the anger, they communicate their point of view. This should mostly resolve the issue. Sometimes though, one finds out that their anger in unjustified, in which case they have no qualms about adjusting their perspective.
Having faith in the kindness of Allah always helps.
However, if you find out that your anger persists and is becoming a hindrance in maintaining relationships, or you are losing focus on your studies, then counseling may be required. Fortunately, UMT has excellent counseling services offered by the ICPY people.