I have come to realize that it can be challenging to communicate with individuals who are quick to anger, talk down to you, or shift blame onto you. In situations where you may respond unexpectedly or choose not to respond at all, it can be even more difficult to engage with them.
Allow me to illustrate this point with a short story. One of my staff members, a lady, arrived at work one Friday morning with puffy eyes indicating that she had been crying. Concerned, I asked her what was wrong, to which she replied that it was nothing she couldn’t handle. However, after some gentle prodding, she shared that she was tired of her husband’s constant complaints and criticism. The previous night, he had become irate when his meal didn’t meet his expectations and had flung his plate at her. This had escalated into a heated argument, and they were still not speaking to each other that morning. She expressed her weariness and uncertainty about how much more she could take.
I offered her a solution, which she initially resisted, but eventually agreed to try. I suggested that the next time her husband became angry and started yelling, she should calmly apologize and see what happens. On Monday, she returned to work with a beaming smile and excitedly recounted how this simple strategy had worked wonders.
Her husband down for breakfast that morning and started complaining about the eggs being cold and all. So she approached the table and said, “I’m sorry. Let me make you new eggs.” He immediately snapped back, “What do you mean you’re sorry? Say something. Sorry for what?” She apologized again and walked away. He grew angrier and chased after her, yelling, “Aren’t you going to reply? Cat got your tongue?” After a few moments of silence, he muttered, “Hmm, okay. Well, hurry up,” and left the kitchen. She made new eggs and placed them on the table before heading to her room. However, he grabbed her and pulled her back, saying, “Sit down, my love. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have talked to you like that. Please forgive me. Can we start again? I promise not to shout or talk down to you again.”
This story teaches us that one of the most effective ways to combat anger is patience. It is essential to strive to have a spirit of patience and to pray for it. By remaining calm and responding with kindness, we can often defuse volatile situations and achieve more peaceful outcomes.
I hope this reflection will be a blessing to you, and I invite you to share your own experiences and insights in the comments section below. May God bless you.
Image from Freepik.