As the holiday season gets into full swing, often there are angry meltdowns in stores, restaurants, airports and elsewhere. Many people are exhausted, stressed and worried about money. The December 14th issue of the Wall Street Journal included an article in their Relationships column on anger.
Anger is a protective response to a perceived hurt, says Dr. James, a psychologist. The article indicates that the emotional center of the brain has a much greater influence on us than the part of the brain that controls our conscious thinking. This is a partial explanation why our anger often presents itself as publicly it does.
The referenced article is focused on what people can do when someone in your life often becomes very angry in your presence. Here are a few of their suggestions:
Managing The Anger of Others
- Don’t be silent
- Validate their feelings, but not their behavior
- Set boundaries
- Explain why their behavior bothers you
Anger and Our Health
Medical research is clear that chronic anger impacts in a negative way on our health. Read what WebMD has to say about anger and our health.
The Scriptures on Anger
A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger. Proverbs 15:1
Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim. Proverbs 15:4
“In your anger do not sin:” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26
He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends. Proverbs 17:9
A relaxed attitude lengthens life. Proverbs 14:30
Anger Management – What We Can Do
It’s inevitable that those we are around, our loved ones and we ourselves will have hurt feelings, and those hurt feelings will occasionally be expressed through our anger. It’s how we go about handing the hurt feelings and associated anger that will make all the difference in our relationships.
In that light, my prayer for us all is that we would stay close to God and that more of his love would flow into us and through us to others who are in our lives. I pray that when others get angry in our presence that God would give us a sense of compassion and understanding as to the root cause of the anger and give us discernment to understand how our actions may have contributed to the hurt feelings that prompted the anger. And then God, I pray that you’ll help us to extend forgiveness to others who may have hurt us. Amen.