"If you do not wish to be prone to rage, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase."
Epictetus, Roman (Greek-Born) Slave and Stoic philosopher
55 AD - 135 AD
Replacing Rage with Composure!
Rage: Violent and uncontrolled anger; a fit of violent wrath; insanity; violent action; an intense feeling.
I suspect that most of us reading this article have had a moment of rage. On one occasion, I was thankful I did not have a weapon in my car when a pickup nearly ran me off the road.
Why is this condition of rage so prevalent on our roads, in our workplaces, at schools, at our kidsí sporting events, and many other situations?
Before I suggest causes and options, here are examples of dangerous rage.
- A cheerleaderís mother in the US killed another cheerleader so her daughter would make the squad.
- A hockey parent in Canada beat up the referee -- a 13-year-old boy -- into unconsciousness. Apparently, the ref had made a wrong call.
- Over 50% of soccer referees in Calgary quit this year, citing abuse from the parents -- including death threats.
- LA has the claim-to-fame of inventing the words Road Rage, which includes everything from shootings to running vehicles off the road.
- A NASA employee recently killed several coworkers because of a workplace dispute.
- There are too many horrific school shootings to mention in this small space.
- Spousal and family abuse is widespread.
- Soccer fans in South America shot their star player after they lost a match.
- All global terrorism is based on various types of rage.
Rage is on a rampage.
Itís time for us to reject this state of being.
At its core, rage is the loss of self-control.
Research has shown that as a personís anger increases, so does his or her pulse rate and heartbeat, inundating the body with adrenaline and other hormones. This condition -- called flooding, by some -- reduces a personís ability to reason.
Thatís why the definition of rage includes the word "insanity." Certain levels of rage can cause individuals to act in an insane manner.
Usually, societal behavior and norms are a reflection of something deeper in the physiological fabric.
Since our behaviors always reflect the law of duality, rage is the absence of calmness, harmony, tranquility, or peace. Rage and being completely calm cannot co-exist in the same person at the same time.
In the end, each person must be responsible for his or her behavior.
What strategies can help deal with rage?
1. To establish suitable conduct at sports events, all sports leagues should institute a zero-tolerance policy toward the behavior of parents and players.
What are sports-raged parents teaching children about acceptable conduct? If you are an observer of that type of inappropriate rage, doing nothing is the sin of omission.
2. A constant diet of violent media and other such aggressive input will influence the way people respond. In almost every school shooting, a metaphoric link was made between the perpetrator(s) and brutal video games or movies.
If you are a parent, control your childís exposure to violent programs and video games -- even in cartoons.
How do young minds get warped into thinking a suicide bomber is honorable?
The wrong input creates the wrong output.
Today, there are programs to assist people to manage their road rage. If you have this tendency and you canít fix it yourself, go get help from a professional.
Studies suggest our busy lifestyles contribute to our short fuses. Many of us are so stressed, just one incident can push us over the edge!
How balanced is your life?
To ensure you are living on purpose and properly poised for success -- not rage, please engage the following CRG resources.
Action Steps for Replacing Rage with Composure!
1. Each of us is responsible for controlling our own rage.
2. Staying calm can replace the condition of rage. Calm and rage cannot co-exist at once.
3. Establish a zero-tolerance policy in the groups and organizations to which you belong -- sports teams, competitive groups, etc.
4. If you are a parent, limit or eliminate your childís sources of violent input. This includes cartoons, video games, movies, etc. Donít be a wimp and bend to your kidís pressure. If you are not in charge, who is?
5. Where in your life do you have rage tendencies? List them now. Please be honest with yourself. Rage can be internally focused until a person explodes in a fit of anger. Pay attention to that possibility.
6. If you have tendencies toward rage, how can you limit them in the future? Try to understand why you get enraged. Form strategies to help you guard against letting some connections take you out. Two such strategies are learning not to take things personally and simply letting go of the incident.
7. Rage can have serious consequences. When a person is enraged, he or she loses control of common sense. In a rage situation, biological changes can influence people to conduct themselves in unexplainable ways. During a documentary last week an individual shot another driver, paralyzing him. The shooterís comment? I donít know what came over me!
8. Do you know someone who needs to hear this message about rage? Please donít avoid that person and this situation. Too many have done that in the past -- with unfortunate consequences. In a calm moment, communicate with the individual that his or her rage is negatively affecting everyone -- family, friends, and colleagues.
If this rage is a threat to you, do whatever you can to remove yourself from risk.
9. Rage is everyoneís issue. I encourage you to do what you can about it. Letís move toward being mature and composed. Take responsibility -- now!
Until next time, keep Living On Purpose,
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Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He is President and CEO of CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc., Many professionals herald CRG as the Number One global resource center for Personal and Professional Development.
For information on CRG Resources, please visit crgleader.com
For information on Kenís Training and Speaking Programs, please visit kenkeis.com
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