Managing my upsetness

  It has become a daily, weekday ritual.  Almost every morning, at about 6am, I would leave home, get to the car, drive it to the lobby and there I would quietly listen to the Christian songs / hymns while waiting for my wife and daughter.  What happened this particular morning prompted me to pen down my thoughts.

As I was listening to the new album, Love Above All, that my wife bought a couple of days ago, they came, got into my car.  In her usual self, without hesitation my daughter took the CD cover, opened it and scanned through the details.  Then she reached out to the ‘forward’ button on the audio system, and started clicking away till it reached Song number 5.  Almost spontaneously, I slapped her hand and snapped at her at the same time.

“I was on it intently, and you just switched the song!  You are always like that!”  She immediately clicked it back to the last number that I was listening to.  Silence prevailed and I knew she was thrown off and upset too.  I turned to my wife just as she was trying to pacify and cool the little tenseness down.

“She just switched it without bothering with the fact that I was listening to it.  And she is upset over my scolding?  I should be the one to get angry!”  Throughout the journey to her school, easily a 25-minute journey, no one talked.  I had all the time in the world, besides concentrating on the drive, to contemplate on the incident.  I had failed once again, to master my mood… sigh.

At worse, I have been a proponent of EQ (emotional quotient) management, had discussed and taught the programme before.  I am in leadership position at my workplace.  In the course of my work, I would advise my colleagues about that emotional strength in every one of us, that we must manage it well.  But here at home, right in the early morning, I had lost my cool over such a non-critical issue.  Let’s revisit the matter, and see what could have been a better way of managing the issue.

My daughter clicked the ‘forward’ button to the song that she liked.  It’s natural; all of us do that, right?  So, do I have the right to get upset?  I got upset because things did not go my way.  Homosapiens of this world – we all have this tendency to be upset when things don’t happen the way we want it.  It boils down to the pride and self-conceitedness in us.  I could have simply said, “I was listening to it.  If you want to change the song, I would prefer you to ask first.”  Wouldn’t this have prevented a cold wat?  I bet it would have enhanced the spirit of communication thereafter.  What I did serve only to upset every one.  Just a simple control of my pride and my self would have gone a long way to building harmony.

One more lesson here.  Just as the silence prevailed, besides the thoughts on the positive means of handling that ugliness, I was at the same time justifying why I got angry… (can you believe that!)  I kept telling myself that I have a right to get angry, because she had to learn not to do things without first asking for permission.  The anger was to show that she had to respect others, especially her parents.  Now, subtlety lies beneath all these – my anger was not deliberately done to make her learn; it was out of a reflex action.  Don’t we all rationalize and like to feel that we are right about many things.  Pondering over it and critically asking yourself if you had been right will hopefully point you to the right way. 

Well, learning from life experiences and becoming better as a result, is a lifelong process.  It’s not overnight.  The next days, when I wait in the car, I will be careful, not to fall into the same problem again… I hope…



One Response to “Managing my upsetness”

  1. jollin Says:

    this kind of thing also-.-
    what silent war?
    -smiles innocently-

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