By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Do people around you drive you to the breaking point? Have you ever been embarrassed because you were acting out of control, maybe a little crazy?
We all know how we bristle when someone says or does something hurtful. Many scenarios would test the sanest person. We’re not made of steel.
Anyone can get angry and fly into a rage. But, when madness flares up, it’s much better to stay in control, however difficult it is. Why? You’re much more powerful to deal appropriately if you’re calm.
Consider Alicia, a 40-year-old who caught her husband with another woman. Naturally, Alicia screamed at the two of them when they came out of a hotel room together.
But, fast forward. The next day, Alicia’s calmness paid off. She decided to think straight and take control.
“I knew my husband would lie about the hotel room,” says Alicia. “Have you ever seen a man that could look you straight in the eye and say, ‘We were giving the hotel owner an estimate on new windows, so that’s why we were both in the room?'”
Because Alicia forced herself to calm down, she managed to get pictures of her husband and the other woman at three other places that week. At the last place, they were kissing.
Alicia sat down to negotiate her fair share of the couple’s assets. “I knew that I’d get my settlement because of the pictures.
My husband was a deacon in the church, a Little League Coach, and a partner at his accounting firm.”
Staying calm when you’re angry means, quite simply, that you’ll have more leverage when the event is over. If you stay calm when someone hits your car, for example, they know you have your wits about you. You can fight them in court, if need be, and stay calm.