What Not To Do When You Are Angry
Being angry is like holding ignited coal with the intent of throwing it at someone, but you are the one who is actually getting burned by it. Anger can get the better of us anytime; we lose control of ourselves and can do things which can make our daily life disastrous. You must have realized that people say that they “lost their temper”, or “lost their cool” or “lost control” when they perform an unreasonable act in anger. What we have to realize is that anger conquers us, and we always lose to it. An angry man indeed loses: he loses his mind, his senses, and in fact, loses himself.
A simple person seeking salvation once came to Prophet Muhammad SAW in Medina and asked him for advice and guidance, which he promised he would follow. The Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW said “Control your anger” and then remained silent.
When he went back to his house in the interior of a desert he learnt that one insolent man from their tribe had raided and looted a nearby tribe and stolen their wealth. In retaliation, the other tribe was also enraged and carried out several raids. It was a tense situation and war was at the doorsteps, and the man prepared himself to defend his tribe and was furious by the outrageous act of misconduct by the other tribe. However, the moment he stood up to fight, he remembered what Prophet Muhammad SAW had advised him. He realized that anger had got the better of his reason and he set out to fight without even trying for a settlement. He felt the guilt rising in him and came out and called the leaders of the opposite side.
He then said “Brothers, there is no need for bloodshed. I understand that my people have raided your side and stolen your property, and I request a settlement. I am ready to compensate from my personal wealth.” The leaders from the opposite side were amazed by his approach and decided that their bloodshed was indeed unnecessary and the leader with all his wisdom and openhandedness declared, “We are moved by your act of calmness and understanding but we too are no way inferior. We agree to let go of our demands and settle peacefully” and both tribes retreated to their lands in a peaceful manner.
When the man went back to Prophet Muhammad SAW and recalled the incidence, Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “A strong person is not the person who throws his adversaries to the ground. A strong person is the person who contains himself when he is angry.”
Here are some things you should avoid when dealing with an angry person:
- When a person is angry, we should never argue with him or tell him to be reasonable because it enrages the person even more. Instead, we should calmly listen to what the person has got to say and understand what he is saying from his point of view.
- When talking to them, try not to keep an unnaturally calm tone because you will only irritate them. We should try and behave as normal as possible, and this helps in bringing the temper down naturally.
- The Prophet SAW advised the angry person to take ablution as mentioned here: “Anger comes from the Shaytan; the Shaytan was created from fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry he should perform the wudu” but do not take the initiative and splash water at an angry person while screaming “Audzubillahi min as-Shaytaani rajeeeeeem!” Just try talking to him about something else and make him divert his attention from his present state of mind. If the person is too angry, leave him alone because nothing you do at that moment will make him see reason. It’s better to let them recover themself.
- Don’t ever say “You shouldn’t have done that.” When talking to an angry person, be supportive and understanding. Even if you think that the person is at fault, try keeping it to yourself till he calms down, and perhaps till he himself mentions the incident again to you.
- Prophet Muhammad SAW once said, “When one of you becomes angry while standing he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.” Again, never throw an angry person to the floor in an attempt to make him lie down. You will only be mauled.
All the best in dealing with those afflicted with anger!
Shahenshah is a computer science engineer who likes to do things differently. He spends most of his time with the love of his life which is his computer, using it mostly for gaming and writing and has a incredible knack for peppering humour.