It is possible to control our anger, attitude
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are in the middle on an argument with your spouse when the phone suddenly rings and your customer is on the other end? Suddenly, you change that menacing voice and frowning face into that sweet pleasant voice and you put on a smile. Or maybe you are in a supermarket having a tiff over the time she is spending doing the shopping when you suddenly bump into a colleague, and all of a sudden you are that nice gentleman trying to help his wife around!
What do those two situations tell us about ourselves? We can change our attitude in an instant, just like that. It means we can take control of our anger just like that. It means that we are in control of our emotions contrary to what many of us have been made to believe. We act like we cannot control our emotions, we let our anger fly out of the handle and hurt each other during conflict. We say things that we should not have said to each other, thus ruining our relationship.
One crucial lesson that my wife Grace and I have learned over the years is to take control of that which only we can take control of. I have learned that I have absolutely no control over how Grace will act or react in a moment of conflict. But I have complete control over what my reaction will be. Instead of accusing her of making me mad, I have realised that she simply pressed the wrong, or is it the right button and ‘boom!’ Then I go crazy and say some nasty things that I shouldn’t have.
According to Steve Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, proactive people focus their efforts in the circle of influence; things that they have control over, while reactive people focus their efforts on the circle of concern (things they have no control over or have little control over), which results in blaming and accusing attitudes.
No wonder many couples spend their entire marriage life blaming and accusing each other thus never become one.