Who’s angry now?

One more day to go and I wanted to share an early post that I wrote about something we’re all too familiar with–our emotional state; more importantly, anger.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but there are times when only using every tool in my toolbox is what prevents me from losing whatever vestige of sanity I may have left.

And anger?

In the past it’s served as a highly charged motivator but as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that it can also drain me of most of my energy.

Keep that in mind as you read the post titled,

Who’s angry now?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Anita Robicheau

A week ago, someone I hold very dear called to ask for my advice.

She explained that she’s angry all the time and asked if I had any suggestions to prevent her from lashing out all the time.

Rather than tell her the truth of how some of us are angry all the time and do little, if anything, to stifle our anger, I told her there was something she could do.

It was what I’d been doing for the past eight years; an idea taken from a movie that had an impact in my life at the time.

I told her that whenever someone made her angry, she should throw her head back, laugh a little laugh and say something silly.

My phrase of choice was “I never did mind the hiccups.”

Well, I don’t know if she took my advice or not, but I thought I’d share with all of you how valuable this strategy is.

Imagine yourself in a heated discussion with a neighbor, a neighbor who’s standing in the middle of the road screaming at the top of her lungs, “If anyone has dog poop in their yard, it belongs to ____.” (Insert your dog’s name here).

She’s screaming so loudly that people are starting to open their doors to see what the ruckus is about.

Imagine now how, instead of charging her like a bull running through the streets of Pamplona, you relax your stance, pull back your shoulders, throw back your head, shake your hair and say in a throaty voice for all to hear “I never did mind the hiccups.”

Tell me that doesn’t beat being charged with assault and battery and/or being dragged away in a squad car.

Yes people, there’s beauty in being able to disarm your opponent, adversary, nemesis, call him or her what you will, with a smirk, good body posture and a catchy phrase.

And not only does it keep your blood pressure from skyrocketing, it soothes the soul.

Lastly, I’m convinced that if more of us battled anger with silly words, we’d be happier people.

There would be more laughing at others and less heart attacks.

And when I say laughing at others, this works both ways.

Because, not only are you laughing at the person who’s making you angry, anyone looking at you may be laughing as well.

How, you ask?

Imagine this.

Your husband has just turned on his heel and shouted, “No, I will not pay for another Coach purse, only to have it meet its untimely demise at the bottom of your closet.” (Not that I like Coach purses. I find them hideous.) But you get the point.

But I digress.

As your man is about to turn and leave you standing in front of the Coach store, you use your “outside” voice to say, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

As he makes his way to the parking lot, you follow in hot pursuit and like a parrot repeat, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

As he gets in the car and flips you off, you murmur, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

Fast forward an hour later and yes, you’re walking home, or trying to hitch a ride from any truck driver passing you on the highway, but you’ve managed to avoid a scene.

You have not caved to anger and more importantly, you’ve given the people in the parking lot the opportunity to laugh their asses off.

You’ve paid it forward.

You’ve done your good deed for the day AND you’ve beaten anger in the process.

Who cares if you had to run half a mile after your significant other’s speeding car screaming, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

The question is, who’s angry now?

Si, amigos, follow my advice and try it some time.

All you need is your own catchy phrase and the courage to use it.

Just remember, don’t use mine.

Because if you do, well, I never did mind the hiccups.


13 thoughts on “Who’s angry now?

  1. I love your advice, Bella!!!! Now I need to practice. I think my phrase will be something like “I find you so good-looking.” This should disarm my enemy, throw her off her game.

    A therapist friend of mine once said, “Visualize your enemy coming at you with karate chop or kick, and just keep stepping out of the way without fighting back.” Easier said than done in the heat of the moment! Anyway, I think you’re absolutely right that anger drains us of so much energy, and is rarely worth it.

    1. Jann, you couldn’t be more right when you say, “Easier said than done in the heat of the moment.” I have yet to put in practice any advise given to me by any therapist! :)

  2. so funny to read you, and a very useful advice!, yeah, love your phrase and love to imagine the face of who received it!. My own strategy is just speaking in a very sweet voice, and it always gives me a great moral authority over anyone who is shouting!, it’s my way to manage my own angry and it’s gratifying!
    besos & sweet voice

    1. Señora Allnut, sweet voice…good one! I never thought of that one! Although, you must have nerves of steel to pull that one off. I for one would have to really go into theatrical mode to do the sweet voice. Perhaps I can find my inner Penelope Cruz and try it the next time someone is close to pissing me off. I will keep you posted on my progress. :)

  3. I like it! I can just see the stunned reactions to the statement and really where can they go from there? Conflict is temporarily or permanently derailed. Now all I have to do is figure out my line and run with it. Good post, thanks for the pearls of wisdom.

  4. I always use the phrase, “I love you too” ….my children grew up with that and many of my co-workers will hear that at work :)
    Emotions are most definitely difficult to control in so many cases. When we are personally attacked…it is our own innate need to protect and survive that takes hold and wants to go to battle. It so is about how you choose your battles and when that make the difference between you walking away from a situation feeling like you handled that all wrong and you feeling that you handled that exactly right.
    My first thought when being accused or attacked is what is going on in that persons life to make them so ‘angry’ and so wanting to strike out. More times than not…they have had an issue earlier on which basically ignites their own angst to the first person they see. Is this right…absolutely not, but it is quite common. Learning how to choose and diffuse are two positive defense mechanisms that do make alot of difference in those times of need~
    Excellent topic~

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