Why am I being criticized for THAT? It doesn’t seem to be an issue of any consequence at all…Why is someone SO angry over THAT? It seems to be a matter of such little consequence. We have all been there. We have been on the other end of another’s person anger or irrational behavior. When they tell us what set it off, we are stunned.
I serve with a volunteer leader at church who has figured such seemingly irrational behavior out. He says: when a person is upset he will “beat you with any old stick.” What he means is: the presenting problem is not the primary issue. When a person decides they are angry with you, they will beat you with any old stick. It becomes a matter of which beating stick is handy at the moment.
What is the moral of this story? I am convinced we should ignore the weapon of choice and focus instead on the person wielding it. They are angry. They are frustrated. The question to ask is: why? Anger is a secondary emotion. Something is driving it.
I find when I take the time to listen things go better. When I choose to overlook the beating I took with the stick of choice, reconciliation is more likely. The stick wielding person is hurting for some unknown reason. If I am able to determine the source of the pain, the stick is dropped.
Has someone picked up any old stick and beaten you lately? Get your blood pressure down. Calm down. Lick your wounds. Don’t take revenge. Choose not to judge. Embrace that person and hear their pain.