. . . how should we respond?

Engin Akurt / Pixabay

When someone is angry, I try to understand what he’s angry about. He may shout that a waiter is slow, a driver is inconsiderate, or the price of gasoline is exorbitant. And he may be telling the whole truth.

But when I’ve shouted about something — let’s say, the flat tire I got last week — I’ve often realized later that I was actually angry about something else, something I was responsible for (let’s say, my failure to notice that I had a nail in my tire).

I want to suggest that when people are angry, we should try to understand what they’re really angry about, and then we should try to be sympathetic to them — or to ourselves.

* * *

Copyright © 2022 by John Porter. All Rights Reserved.

--

--

What we’re really saying

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

My father, who would have celebrated his one hundred eleventh birthday today, once told me that when you say no to someone who has called you a good cook, bowler, diplomat, or whatever, you’re obviously saying that you don’t deserve the compliment. But you’re subtly (and, in all likelihood, unintentionally) saying that the person who has tried to give it to you doesn’t know a good cook, bowler, diplomat, or whatever when he sees one.

I suggest that when someone gives us a compliment, the appropriate response should not be “Oh, no, no, no, you’re wrong,” but “Thank you.”

* * *

Copyright © 2022 by John Porter. All Rights Reserved.

--

--

John Douglas Porter

John Douglas Porter

5.7K Followers

John Porter manages his family’s cattle ranch in California, where he also writes screenplays, essays, and stories.