One expects it to be the big things that cause a person to lose one’s temper or control. Not so! It is the little things that do it, almost every time!
What are the main causes of friction between people? Morality, ethics, health, money, politics, religion, respect . . . There are too many to name. It is a fact of life that no two people are exactly the same – which makes it doubtful that any two people will have exactly the same values attached to friction-elements or BPRs (a.k.a. Blood pressure rev’ers).
In the general course of life, we focus a lot of attention on the biggest BPRs as they are the most obvious and recognisable. The things we feel the strongest about are also the things we are most up front about – at least, I am. When you talk to / have a conversation with someone, odds are that you will let the other person know, one way or another, about your big BPRs. There is, of course, no guarantee that the other person will pick up on it, but you will put it out there and feel more in control. That’s the key. Control. You are ready, prepared to handle whatever happens next. Odds are that the big BPRs will be avoided, unless the other person feels more or less the same way.
It is easy to forget the small BPRs because those are the ones we manage, right? Think again my friend! The small ones manage us, especially if we don’t pay attention to them. After all, they are only little irritating things that happen on a regular basis, most often when you live or work with other people. So what do we do? We flap an imaginary hand at an imaginary “fly”, silence our objections by ignoring them, all for the sake of working in harmony or to live in peace. Small BPRs remind me of creeper plants. When left to grow unchecked it can become a big, wild, ugly mess.
Now I want to refer to the small BPRs as creepers. And I want to try to manage them before they take over. My new approach, albeit theoretically, to anger management is this:
- Accept – I am different. I can’t be like anybody else. Everybody can’t be like me and it really is not fair to expect them to be.
- Take control – identify and recognise those creepers.
- Speak up – put the small BPRs out there, let people know that there is a problem. It doesn’t have to turn into a debate or argument, just a tactfully worded statement of fact.
- Maintain control – remember the real value you placed on a specific creeper and decide if it is worth it to get worked up about it.
Edited. Originally published: 07.11.2010