Managing Anger - Count To Ten Before You Act

by Sujata Bhattacharya
(Calcutta, West Bengal, India)

I used to get angry when playing cricket

I used to get angry when playing cricket

I was boy of only 14 or 15 years, when all of my friends and relatives discovered that I had acquired a habit of getting angry very fast, and becoming very furious too. The interesting thing was that even I could understand that I was getting angry in trifles, and the man within me while I was angry, was totally different from the man I actually was.

We used to play cricket at a place near our home. If any dispute would arise regarding umpire's decision or something else, my fellow friends would show me the wickets, and invariably I would kick down the stumps and end the game; and I used to do that in utmost serious manner.

Slowly as I grew up and started going to college, this thing would haunt my mind and I used to get afraid of getting angry; I was afraid of presenting myself as an immodest person in front of others. I was really looking for a way out.

Suddenly, I thought of man who was the best striker and forward-player of our football club. He had a quality. When he would move with the ball, many times it happened that the defender would tackle him very badly, and he would fall down - but I never saw him getting angry with any of them. He would get up slowly, and start to move again. His face would tell us that he did not get bothered by the tackle. Sometimes he even smiled as he got up. Somehow I believed that only that man could teach me how to manage anger.

One day I went to him and asked him straightway how he controlled his anger, while he was practically bitten by others. He said, "I don't mind that; I only mind the goal". I continued to ask him the same question again and again, but he would not say anything beyond that. But I kept persisting, relying on my own belief that this person must tell me a way out of anger. And then, one day, perhaps to make fun of me, he told me, "Okay, let me tell you the way out. Any time you get angry on anything or any person, you move your body or open your mouth ONLY after you finish counting from one to ten."

He might have made fun of me, I did not know, but you will not believe how it worked for me. Every time after that, I counted from one to ten, before moving any part of my body as I got angry with anyone or anything. And it is still working. I am now father of two children, my children would have died if my anger level had persisted like the old days. Thanks to that man.

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