Only the ignorant man becomes angry. The wise man understands – Indian Wisdom
This seems a little harsh. Who likes to be described as ignorant? Actually I don’t mind it!! If I am ignorant, and I surely am, then I have much to learn and so many adventures ahead of me. (I do not enjoy being angry though). I do not mind my ignorance because I have a secret. It’s OK to fail!! I do it a lot. For example, I make silly mistakes at work and forget to send attachments. (Outlook now reminds me as of recently if I mention the word attachment in my email – clever!) I even send emails to the wrong people occasionally with results that can seem awful, unless you ask why your subconscious did that and what can be learned. Then you take a deep breath and talk to the person involved to resolve the conflict you were too cowardly to face. And you grow!
Because the ignorant man gets angry, as above, I think we need to look at our anger when it arises and ask ourselves what’s really going on. Then we learn from it and and can dissipate the anger, which is surely a preferable state. We are smoothing ourselves over, perfecting our thinking, in a way, by removing the buttons which others can push. I ask myself, what story am I telling myself that might have triggered this emotion? What emotional baggage of mine has had its buttons pushed? Only then could I calm down. And you are a much easier person to be around if others don’t have to watch what they say and tiptoe on eggshells around you!
The best part of my workplace is that we are free to say “Oh oh, I stuffed up. Sorry. I have learned from this and will definitely try to avoid doing it again. Let me make it up to you!!” And off we go. No self blame, just acceptance of our ignorance. It is a safe environment and full of beautiful souls. How much of that safety is external I wonder? Maybe I do get in trouble but I don’t know it! 🙂 But I have created internal safety instead. I feel safe because I can handle the emotions that arise in me by stepping back and looking at them. I forgive myself, over and over.
If ignorance creates anger in you and you feel berated by another person, you will become defensive and time and learning will be wasted in the explanation. You will get even angrier. How often have you told your partner off for being late and they attack you for the way you told them off instead of addressing the issue? (How often have you ‘told someone off’ instead of having a mature discussion?). Win/win for learning if you look for the lessons.
I am reminded to always try to understand, first and foremost, in any situation, even if it reflects badly on me. The first step to fixing your problem is to realise that you have one, and to know it’s OK to have been ignorant until now. Provide your own internal safety net, by whatever means you choose.
It’s your choice!