If you’re being accused for something you have not done or said in a meeting, what would you do when anger is the first to kick in ?
I think recognising and knowing that the anger is kicking in is the right first step!
Many a times, we will probably just get led by our emotions and lash out.
Taking a quote from Lamrim Commentary Track 62A:
The 《Collection of Indicative Verses》: Those who are childish and know themselves to be childish are wise in this regard.
Only by knowing that we are in the wrong, can we want to work on it to correct it.
So, what would I do in such a similar circumstance?
I would probably still get angry…then later feel bad about it…and resolve to better control my emotions next time…haha
I often have this thought…if I don’t really care what others say about me or accuse me of, I most probably will not feel much anger or any emotion.
however, I recognise that this kind of attitude is probably frowned upon in our society - one will be viewed as aloof or not receptive to criticism (“bo chup” in hokkien).
anyone else feel the same way? is it aligned with Buddhism teachings to be “bo chup” ?
sharing 2 candid responses from His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
“anger…instead of solving problems, it creates more problems…
that kind of thinking becomes a habit of your own mind…that’s the way to reduce anger”
“anger may bring some kind of energy a short moment a short period but that energy is actually blind energy…
destroy your ability to investigate the reality”
jumping into an Ajahn Brahm talk that I think was conducted in Singapore - answering audience questions, and one on anger.
the rest of the Q&A was interesting and pretty entertaining too.
Venerable talks about how to calm yourself and not feel dejected (helpless).
I look back on myself and realised quite a many a times when I lose control and erupt in anger, it is due to me facing frustration at not being able to change the situation.
Venerable’s advice will come in handy. To calm myself down and understand that being 氣餒 (dejected, frustration even) will not help and will just add to my suffering.
Why the person accused you? Because he/she doesn’t have a full picture of the whole situation. They are stucked in a situation, only recognising what they think are correct. Keep calm and analyse the situation with them if time permits hee…
A timely video here from 如得法师 on this topic:
- when facing the situation causing the anger, one can retreat from it if one is unable to think through it calmly
- Then, to keep diary of such situations and list down how one responded and compare it to how a good practising Buddhist would have responded.
The intent would be via reflecting daily on such occurrences and understanding the right way of coping, we will be able to change our negative behaviour!
Been there done that. Anger sure is a common reaction. Good for you if you are able to catch it arising before you take the next step of action which could cause you regret in the future or even in the next minute. Just remain calm and stand firm that the accusation is not true, there is no need to even stay angry for long. Those who believe in you naturally would, those who do not will only believe what they want to believe anyway.
From the Buddhism perspective, this would be negative karma ripening and to take it positively, this is your best chance to clear your karma so that it doesn’t have to get worse in the future. Just anger alone is non-virtuous which can lead to rebirth in lower realms, so it’s definitely not worth it!