anger handlers

Have you ever seen someone in a fit of rage?  They are not themselves.  They almost become another person.  They say things that don’t make sense and they even look different.  Arms tend to fly around a lot.  They almost seem possessed.

Over the years in ministry I’ve seen people blow it.  I’ve seen a lot of arms flying and a lot of hurt feelings.  I kicked a kid out of camp once and he didn’t talk to me for two years.  He still barley comes around.

I have seen fits of rage where stuff breaks, where people get busted up, and even worse relationships get ruined.  My biggest problem with fits of rage is that they are not productive.

If you blow up in front of someone, it won’t cause others to act differently it will probably just make them more recluse and hard to talk to.  Fits of rage causes things to be done, “my way” and these fits don’t allow for creativity.  When dealing with someone who is super angry there is usually only one way to pacify him or her.  That is to agree, which is inherently not productive or creative.

Anger is going to happen on a daily basis.  But maybe we need to come up with a more creative way of dealing with it.  There is a proverb that says, “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  (Proverbs 15:1)

Maybe a few thousand years of wisdom works.  One thing that I keep coming back to is that the people who receive the wrath, rage, or anger usually handle it wrong.  They take it personally.  I’ve taken things personally before and that is not productive either.  I think one of the most productive ways to handle someone else’s anger is to not take it personally but to see their anger as an issue that they have with themselves.  The issue that one of their needs was not met and now they are angry with you because they expect you to fulfill it.

The challenge is to not diagnose the person and to not take their anger with you personally.  Your challenge is to receive the anger and handle it well.  Your challenge is to open a healing and productive dialogue in the midst of their anger.  Your challenge is to love in the middle of the mess.

So how do you handle it?  When someone unloads on you, you become a handler of their anger.  Will you gradually bring healing or will you make it worse?

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