An old man and his wife had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other, except that the little old woman had a locked chest on top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.
For all of these years, he had never thought about the chest, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.
In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the chest and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the chest. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money that came out to about $95,000.
He asked her about the contents.
She replied: “When we were to be married, my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”
The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the chest. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. “Honey,” he said. “That explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”
“Oh!” she said. “That’s the money I made from selling the other dolls.“
Well, we all know what anger is, and we’ve all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage.
Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.
Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary for our survival.
People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.
Very often, even “Silly humor” can help defuse rage in a number of ways and can help you get a more balanced perspective.
Angry people want you to see how powerful they are… loving people want you to see how powerful You are.
― Chief Red Eagle
How do you handle your times of anger or rage?