|I am writing this as I put the finishing touches on the 3Day plus 1 Reset exercise I told you about a few weeks back. And spending much time thinking about anxiety, angst and anger.
I got angry last week at a TV producer interviewing me for a piece on his career resources production. (He had contacted me because I posted something about Rage and Anger.) During our chat, he asked me if I would quote big-name experts when we taped. I asked why.
“So that the audience will instantly get your credibility and the interview will NOT be about you. Oh, and by the way, be sure to talk about the seven stages of grief and Brene Brown’s take on shame. This is, of course, a science-based program.”
I was dumbfounded.
I told him that having never been asked for such things, I would think about it.
After much thought, I realized I had yet to share how I had acquired the knowledge I come by. I never once mentioned that I spent five years deeply immersed in how the brain worked and had interviewed psychologists, psychotherapists, neuroscientists and neurosurgeons. Then, I moved into the realms of the so-called supernatural, studied energy patterns, energy shifts, positive thinking and mantras, and finished with highly successful people’s good and bad habits.
I had been silent on all of that. So he just assumed I was talking out of the side of my mouth and only sharing one-off personal experiences.
Precisely the same way some of my Sunday readers disagree with my facts and figures and want proof. (Since I am neither a professor nor a journalist by trade, it never occurs to me to share where I get my seemingly strange facts.)
And precisely in the same way, we all jump to conclusions when we see an action or idea that does not sit well with how we think the world should be. Assumptions are deadly — especially when we know better.
And so, as I worked through why he would make such a strange request, I realized I naturally assumed that everyone comes from the same place as me. Facts are facts. Always verifiable. Personal stories buttress facts. And if those stories seem to have a one-way slant, they’re my stories and my experience.
Here’s the thing.
All anger arises from one of two things.
What we can not or do not control.
In this instance, I had not tried to control how he would view my fact-based, experience-supported opinions. (I could have laid out the context first. As in, well, in the five years I personally researched and embedded myself in the world of …. ) And yes, he could have exercised more control over his ego and not been so gungho to show me what his version of a successful TV producer acts like.
I chose to treat this piece of anger as a lesson. I need to set out very clearly the parameters of how I arrive at my opinions BEFORE launching into the details of how a process works. And almost immediately always counter anything that feels off with one question. Why do you ask that? It’s probably the safest and sanest way to diffuse all anger flare-ups.
Tell me. How do you manage your bursts of anger? I have plans for an anger post shortly and would love to share your ideas with my world.