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Anger is not Attractive

by | Sep 27, 2010

I just finished reading Jonathan Tropper’s NYT bestseller This Is Where I Leave You. A family is forced together under one roof for 7 days to “sit Shiva” – a custom in the Jewish faith to honor the death of a loved one by saying special prayers and receiving condolence calls for a full week after the funeral.  In Tropper’s book, this family comes together with all their baggage, anger, resentment, and love to observe this ritual for their deceased father.

Two of the sons in this family harbor deep anger towards the other due to a terrible event that occurred 10 years prior.

Paul says to Judd, towards the end of the Shiva week, “I’ve been pissed at you for a very long time and that didn’t do either of us any good. I wasted a lot of time being angry, time I can’t get back…. At some point it doesn’t matter who was right and who was wrong. At some point, being angry is just another habit, like smoking, and you keep poisoning yourself without thinking about it.”

Anger is not attractive. Literally.

Have you ever noticed what people look like when they are yelling at each other? If you live in a blissed-out world, just watch any drama filled movie or TV show and see the twisted, piercing, and contorted faces of those in conflict.

Anger is not attractive. Physically.

Like Paul revealed in Tropper’s book, suppressed anger festers and nobody wins. According to the University of Cambridge’s Counseling Center, the long term effects of frequent or chronic anger are hypertension (high blood pressure), increased cholesterol levels, damaged or blocked arteries, increased susceptibility to infection, and a longer time to recover from major traumas such as operations or accidents.

Suggestions on resolving anger-filled moments or even long term anger induced situations include:

Find the humor. Reframe the issue. Disengage. Solve the issue rather than affixing blame or figuring out who’s right and who’s wrong. Listen to the other person without judgment. Forgive.

In Tropper’s book, Judd responds to Paul’s admonishment, “I hear you. Thanks.” Paul slaps Judd’s back and says, “Do as I say, and not as I do, right?”

Same applies to me, dear Blog readers. Do as I say, and as I try to do.


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