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Don be a hot head! Keep your cool...

We have put up with your impatience, your hurtful words, nasty comments, volatile arguments, moodiness and temper tantrums that could last for days. And we've endured all manifestations of your anger, just because things sometimes don't go exactly and precisely your way. Now we are fed up. This is a message to all extremely short tempered people out there. Know this for sure: Verbal and physical displays of unrestrained anger and temper tantrums, can lead to dire consequences. Anger negatively affects people's relationships, with their spouses, family members, friends and potential partners. It can even jeopardize working relationships with bosses, employees and coworkers because bad temper makes you a very difficult person to deal with.

Many of us have come across people who are quick to express their anger. We experience this not only with people we know well, but also with total strangers, and it can be exhausting and nerve racking.

Surprisingly, people who act out their anger don't seem to realize the negative results of their behavior until it's too late, and yet they still do nothing to rid themselves of this negative behavior. There are always excuses. Some argue that lashing out in anger is a human characteristic, which afflicts some people from childhood and continues to fester if not disciplined. Some say there is in fact a genetic link responsible for bad temper. Some argue that it could be due to the social environment we live in, or due to a traumatic experience that perpetuates an angry state of mind. Certain demonstrations of anger can be due to suppression and oppression and are therefore totally understandable, but unacceptable especially when anger turns to mindless and violent acts of aggression.

In the West there are many places where they coach anger management. Sometimes in court cases, judges order defendants to take compulsory anger management classes in addition to any sort of punishment. Now, there are many online forums and groups that claim to help those who find it hard to control their bad tempers but genuinely want to change their ways.

I found international websites that listed anger management classes available in many countries around the world, but none in Saudi Arabia! I searched some more and found online Arabic forums that discuss anger and ways to control it. They also quote verses from the Qur'an and Hadith that confirm Islam's aversion to displays of anger, and how as Muslims we must always keep calm and keep our tempers under control. For example, a Hadith reported by Abu Hurairah: A man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) "Advise me!" The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Do not become angry and furious." The man asked the same question again and again, and the Prophet (pbuh) answered each time, "Do not become angry and furious." [Al-Bukhari; Vol. 8 No. 137] Yet why don't we abide by these teachings? Educational, medical and religious institutions in Saudi Arabia should exert more efforts to educate people about the dire consequences of unrestrained anger and how to control this type of behavior. I believe there should be a national campaign that deals with it, starting from parents at home, teachers at schools, imams in mosques, perhaps even companies should give anger management classes as part of training for their employees.

I wonder why some enterprising clinic did not catch on already and set up anger management classes, next to nutrition clinics or those that help you quit smoking. That said, of course bad tempered people first have to admit that they have a problem to begin with.


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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jun 21, 2012
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