|EQI.org Home | Anger
One day I heard a couple arguing. The female shouted out, "You're a fucking loser!" as she sped away. I knew she had to have been in a lot of pain as she drove away. Maybe her husband had slept with another woman.... who knows. But whatever triggered it, she was clearly in a lot of pain.
In the car with her were two children. I thought how dangerous it was for them and for any children or little old ladies on the street for her to be driving in such an emotional state.
I realized at that moment that what the world needs is "pain management" not just anger management. Not long after that I saw another example of the same kind of thing. I wrote about it as the Glass of Champagne Story. Both are below.
These both occurred in Sydney, Australia, around May or June of 2011.
Mother's Emails to Ex-Husband - A woman unskilled in the healthy expression of her pain.
Other EQI.org Topics:
|The Glass of Champagne Story
Anger vs Pain
At a wedding reception in Sydney, Australia one day the bride, who I will call Mia, was upset and crying. I went over to her and asked if she wanted to talk. She told me that her new husband who I will call Ricky, had just "gone off on her" because she gave a glass of champagne to a friend. She explained that she knew it was a special bottle of champagne for her husband, not only because it was expensive, but because one of her husband's friends had given it to him. But she said her friend, Jennifer, had asked her if she could have a glass, so she gave her one.
Then I talked to him to hear his side of the story. His version was a little different. For one thing he said he had been waiting all day to share that bottle with Mia, and to be the first two to drink from it. He said his friend was his best friend in the country (Ricky was from South America), and since he couldn't be there with them for the party he wanted to get them something very special. As he told me his side of the story I could see how important and symbolic it was for him. I felt bad for him and I felt understanding.
But I also felt bad because he was in so much pain but wasn't handling it well at all. He felt very resentful, even hurtful, about it. He was calling Mia names I won't repeat here, though, I think "stupid bitch" was used a few times, as well as worse labels.
He definitely hadn't been taught my "Top Ten Suggestions for Developing Your Emotional Intelligence." I would say though, that he was born with high innate emotional intelligence. He was sounding and acting, though, more like someone of very low "EQ" or of a person who had been taught very unhealthy ways to express and manage his emotional intelligence. (Here is a comparison list of signs of healthy or unhealthy emotional intelligence)
He didn't use any feeling words, as I recall. But from what he did say, I guessed he felt surprised, shocked, disappointed, hurt, unimportant, and lied to - lied to because she had told him "This is for us" when he had first showed her the bottle the day before.
Later I was talking to both of them at the same time. I don't recall the whole conversation but at one point he was saying how upset he was and she said, "What if I am upset?"
He then said, "I would say you are crazy because you have no reason to be and I am the one who has the reason to be upset." For anyone who knows what invalidation means, it is pretty clear that this is a prime example. Unfortunately, in all his years of school, as with most people, even university graduates and PhD's, they have never been taught what invalidation is.
He was in a lot of pain.... so we need pain management, not anger management. If you manage your pain, you won't get angry very often.