The Balloon

The angry person — we have all known one or many.

Sometimes we have been that angry person.

The sage who wrote in the book of Proverbs (29:8) penned the following: “People who make fun of wisdom cause trouble in a city, but wise people calm anger down.”

While the stream or torrent of anger came flow and erupt from many sources, we have the choice of how to deal with the angry person.

We can react, becoming one more angry person, and so add fuel to the fire of angry and birth mutual rage.

Or we can respond.

I have discover that angry people simply need to be heard.

A simple example emerged while teaching in a physics class sometime ago: If you fill a balloon full of air, it will pop if you poke it.

But if you release it, it will deflate on its own.

Angry people are usually the same way.

They explode if provoked.

But when we give them enough room to talk, if we listen to what they have to say and don’t invalidate their feelings, they will release what is bottled up inside.

Once everyone has calmed down, there’s room for further conversation.

Learning to de-escalate conflict is an important skill.

By exercising good judgment concerning when to speak and when to listen, we can defuse potentially explosive situations.

We can possibly make a new friend rather than create a new foe.

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