Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Anger Management....

We've heard talks, see on TV and probably read a lot of articles and even books on anger management. It is one of the in things to keep our sanity intact and the level of tension on our neuro-psychological system under control. People with hypertension should not only learn to control their anger but must take some medication to ensure that his or her blood pressure doesn't at times go ballistic.

Controlling anger is one thing. Understanding the cause of it is another. Sometimes we know why we get angry. Sometimes we don't. We just feel like shouting at something that goes against our wish or expectation, at things that do not go the way WE WANT them to. As an observer we sometimes feel surprised and even angry when we see someone bursting into a fit of temper for no apparent or (to us) conceivable reason. If we asked the person concerned and he's in a good enough mood to reply, the reason he or she gives could be so trifling or even amusing. It shoild cause laughter NOT anger.
"Why are you so angry with your daughter? I asked a neighbor one day with a big smile so that my intention would not be misunderstood and I don't get a reply such as, "Mind your own business" or " That's none of your concern!" She was grumbling and shouting at her on the top of her voice.
"I told her so many times not to buy food from the school canteen and she continues to do it." I was already laughing to myself internally. For that reason you have to raise hell with her? I asked myself, not courageous enough to ask her.
"If she can't buy food from the canteen, then where can she get something to eat or drink when she gets hungry or thirsty? Surely the food from the canteen cannot be that bad. So many school children buy their food and drinks from there." Having said that I felt quite worried. Sshe now had a reason to ask me to shut up and mind my own business.
" The food there is not that clean. Some children had gotten sick after eating some food from the canteen."
" Then where can she get her food and drinks from?"
" I've already provided her with a lunch packet and some drinks!"
" But children like to eat and drinks with their friends at the canteen?"
" Then go la and eat there, but eat the food that I prepared." There was a strong emphasis on the word "I".

That's always the central them in any outburst of anger. The "I" had been hurt, neglected or not given due respect and obeisance. It's always the "I" which has been rubbed wrongly, scratched or rudely transgressed. The incident that triggers the anger is not that important and the details are sometimes not even known. Sometimes more of it is imagined or just suspected.
Like the wife who suspects that her husband is up to some tomfoolery or mischievous diversion. The fact that he is late for some appointment or is not where he was supposed to be as expected, would be enough to kindle a bondfire. It doesn't matter what or how he explained the situation. The wife would only believe what she wanted to believe. And nothing can be done to stop the fire from crackling until it dies down on its own. Just don't fan it further.

I gave this preamble to help understand some of the anger, vitriolic criticisms and vilification of certain parties - the government , the opposition or just some members of society - that we read in the blog-sphere. The language used can be very cantankerous, abusive, insulting or downright slanderous. But the reason given for feeling so is either so frivolous, a recast of the stock criticism already made by the public or a certain segment of the community towards another, a mere ranting to lighten up some burden of the soul, or projecting a long-suppressed hatred or prejudice which time had failed to

If one cares to examine the cause of the anger, cooly and objectively, use more logic than emotions. and be ready to give the benefit of the doubt to the party that has triggered the anger, the internal turmoil would resolve itself without giving vent to
abusive and insulting language spewed into cyberspace. We might than have more room for discussions and exchange of views and interests, resolve some of the difference in values and preferences, and jointly seek the changes that we want in society by expressing our hopes and expectations of the government, or those people who have failed us. Today, even big dignitaries and the YBs have their own blogs and fbs. If they do read the entries of other people beside that of their own friends, the more sober and factually logical ones would certainly receive the attention they deserve. Irresponsible rantings and emotional explosions would not, of course, attract their attention. They can only serve the purpose of letting of steam for your own personal satisfaction.

So, can we all check back on the dark reservoir of pent up anger that sometimes looms its head in our blogsphere? Unless pouring such anger out is considered as a very satisfying pastime, let's examine the causes of the anger and see if they are based on real or imaginary premises. That calls for a self-devised and imposed anger management therapy which may help our society and the nation to progress on a more even keel.


abdulhalimshah said...

Akhi Norzah,
Anger is a manifestation of of one's state of mind apart from a reaction to a stimulus which does not jive with one's expectation. When there is a lack of "fit" between expectations and reality, the outcome is frustration, disappointment and anger, all rolled into one. However much a person can be termed as "cool" but there is a threshold when exceeded may result into an outburst, thus one can lose his "cool".
As for those who uses the anonymity of cyberspace to vent out their anger by spewing profanities and and hiding behind a handle are in fact 'sick' individuals who lacks the courage to take the responsiblity of their actions. Just because it is a new medium that guarantees freedom from censorship one should not take advantage of it and behave irresponsibly. It is a reflection of immaturity and cowardice.

norzah said...

Touche, ya Akhi, you hit the button on the head. But you may also have hit the panic button by calling those who spew profanities into cyberspace as "sick'.
A random surfing of the internet will indicate that many bloggers fit the bill, reminding me of a doctor's comment ( I can't recall who) that some 70-80% of the people in Malaysia (or is it the US) suffer from some mental problem. That is frightening isn't it? When they go into action through uprising and protest movements such as in Bangkok ( the Red Shirt), the whole nation can tremble.
Perhaps the bloggers ranting can be used as a yardstick to measure the mental health of a nation.
When abuses and profanities begin to proliferate, govt should do something to reduce the tension. But then, is prosecuting the "sick" the right way to nurse the country to health?

abdulhalimshah said...

Akhi Norzah,
To continue with your comment,the only way to overcome the syndrome of "cyber-bashing" is to educate our netizens on the etiquette of the cyberworld. Short of adding the proliferation of legislation to our parliamentarians, the Commission which is responsible in this country for the enforcement of the Multimedia Act must think out of its parameters on how to make our netizens to be self disciplined. The notion of absolute freedom when one enters cyberspace must be corrected. The Chairman must put on his thinking cap and not merely be seen to be in the limelight for publicity but with no value-added services rendered.

norzah said...

Agreed, Akhi AHS, but we must distinguish between responsible though abrasive criticism and irresponsible "cyber-bashing". When government makes a rule or law, it's often to protect itself. Any attack on the govt is then considered undesirable and can be prosecuted. Puji boleh, kondem jangan sesekali biarpun yg dibuat tu kondemable. That's the thing that makes the opposition so bitter and they get the support of the responsible critics of govt who would like to see desirable changes, Camne tu?

abdulhalimshah said...

Akhi Norzah,
I would be more amenable to the view that laws are passed to ensure that the interest of the citizens are safeguarded against the evil forces which exist in all societies. I remember a quotation from one of the founding fathers of the Philippines Republic who said that let the poor who have less in life have more in law. In other words laws are not to protect the interests of the oligarchs and the well-off only.
If we adopt an attitude which is similar to the fascist or the Nazis, then it is a sure recipe for disaster and destruction of the civil society.

norzah said...

Right on, Akhi. I pray that our laws are conceived, developed and promulgated along the line you mentioned. Yet, the anti-corruption laws seem
( repeat) catch the smaller sharks. The blue whales go scott free. Bandaraya bye-laws seem to go hard on the small fruit-sellers, nasi lemak stalls and street vendors, not the big operators who short-change the customers in many ways. Nevertheless, we seem to be doing okay in Malaysia, aren't we?

rambomadonna said...

Norzah: It is interesting to read both u and abdulhalimshah exchanging comments and views. the choice of words, the flow of ideas ... I shudder at the thought of where's mine might be, intellectual-wise if I posted my comment here heheheh ... no where near of course!

I have to agree that most professional younger generation, whom are more IT savvy prefer to do the bashing in the cyberspace. Under a pseudonym, secret identity or an AVATAR as it is "safer" to do so. Plus they are safe from being criticised or stalked later. ...

However, on a certain level, I've known some bloggers who used entries on their blogs as a medium to express their feelings or vent out their anger as good and close friends are so hard to find and maintained nowadays.

Who want to hear your dirty laundry? They also have enough stress already at home, at work and maybe at school.

As for writer, it may be a one-off thing. They may cool off after that. But those who are reading it ... pressure dia yang naik hehehe

Anyway, I always believe that never let anger consume you. Sometimes, one small tiny thing that you are angry at can spoil your whole day. Let it go.

norzah said...

Yes and yes, J, never let your anger consume you, but try to consume your anger. But doctors and 'psychologers' say suppress your anger and it'll one day explode on you. That's why you have to let it out in a safe way. Punch a bag, kick a ball, tear up some clothes, break a plate, spew it out into cyberspace...
it6 all helps to reduce the tension. Agreed? Yy seemed to have done that as you've rightly commented, hehehe. U and I seem to be more guarded in out entries- no unreasonable outburst. Is that healthy? I wonder.

rambomadonna said...

It's because we don't channeled our anger through our writings. We find solace and calmness in forgetting them, indulging ourselves in people's thoughts, social networking, latest episode on Glee (opps lari topik) hehehe and like me ... selecting new materials for my blog. BTW, need to change my blog layout! I felt that my artistic and creative self going to burst with so many projects!!!!

norzah said...

I've noted the change in the layout of your blog, J, to accommodate the surging artistic and creative vibes in you. With so much to tell, yes, I think the new format would prevent you from bursting. Wow, you conjured up in me a picture of a volcanoe spewing out fire and fumes, ready to explode. Well, cyberspace is limitless. Explore it to the full and let the cybersky glitter with the glorious fireworks of Mie.