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What it was like to defuse other people’s revengeful anger

December 30, 2012, 1:22 am | This story has an Influence Score of 1045

By riazhussain

Moreno is a thirty year-old rosy youth who studies psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He likes psychology, philosophy and mysticism. He has read Rumi, Carl Jung, Freud, Osho, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Ostad Noorali Elahi,Paulo Coelho and other philosophers, psychologists and mystics. In addition, he has also attended classes and lectures of spiritualists and life coaches. He has travelled widely in Europe, the Americas and Asia.  His friends call him Marco Polo. Of all the places he has visited, he likes France, Finland, UK, Italy and Hungary. 

He is  searching for meaning in life. Yes, meaning of life which no dictionary or encyclopedia can tell us.  After reading books extensively, he has come to the conclusion that wisdom lies beyond the books. He says, ‘After several stages of self discovery I realized that only life is real. So, I again came back to ‘the real world’ where I learned much more than what the books had taught me. But all those theories and experiences helped me to gain insights about life. I asked him to give me an example of how he learns more from real life and how his studies help him do better in real life. He told me an interesting anecdote.

‘Some years back when I was twenty five, I fell in love with a girl. She was studying journalism and wanted to study broadcasting in the USA. My friend fixed our first date. I was crazy. I did crazy things in love like going to USA from the UK for just 48 hours  just because she was sad and wanted to visit me’. I asked him to explain the things. He said,  ‘After having a fiery spell of love, my girlfriend went to the USA. After a month, she began to feel the pangs of being away.  One day, she called me. She was crying on the phone and insisted that I must meet her. She was really feeling miserable. I bought a ticket from London to El Paso, flew to Houston which took 10 hrs and then to El Paso. Thus, I spent 36 hours on the way to spend 48 hours with her.

When I reached there, she had rented a Zorro costume for me to accompany her to a big college Halloween party. We were drinking, dancing at the party. When I got a bit tired I told her that I was going downstairs to take a little rest and that she could carry on partying with her friends. I was still tired from the flight journey. I sat down and relaxed. After five minutes, I saw a girl coming toward me. She came up to me and made some jokes about the suit. I was a little tired but I didn’t really want to be rude. I started talking to her. She told me that she was studying fine arts and was working on some books that focus on Jungian archetypes. I got quite excited, as by synchronicity, it was one of my main interests.

While we were talking, she suddenly (she was quite drunk) came very close to me . I was not expecting all this. I hesitated but I did not want to make a scene. I tried to get away from her with a smile telling her that this was inappropriate. I told her that my girlfriend was upstairs. She was so overwhelmed and drunk that she almost got violent. I later found out why she was so overwhelmed. Actually,  she had had an argument with her boyfriend at whose house we were having the party. 

I had quite a strange feeling; not trying to make a scene when talking is not working is really difficult. I managed to put her down, immediately left the place and tried to call my girlfriend. When I turned around, I discovered, to my amazement, that four sturdy guys were coming toward me with revengeful and threatening looks. The drunken girl’s boyfriend was also among them. I could see that they were insanely drunk and I could never convince them rationally about the incident and my own innocence. I never choose to be aggressive. But it seemed so out of reach.

I immediately took off my Zorro mask  and just stared him in the eyes while he was coming toward me. I didn’t move a bit. I wasn’t paralyzed but somehow after this moment, my nervousness converted to a state of stillness in a matter of seconds. I thought ‘what if I don’t meet this with force’. I didn’t blink and constantly stared into his eyes.

When he came up to me, I could see the anger and sadness in his eyes. He was breathing heavily with clenched fists. I tried to control my breathing.  I remembered that whenever I don’t want to answer a question, I usually change the subject. I had to act or say something quickly or else things would be topsy-turvy. I tried to keep cool which in my opinion made him a little calm as well.  I told him in a calm voice: “Where is the alcohol? I am out of beer.” He suddenly seemed to be very confused by this unexpected question and asked me, “what?”.  I answered: ‘more beers’.  I stood there with my arms wide open as if I was about to hug him.  I gently took a step backwards to give him more space and sound less threatening. One of his friends yelled, ‘Hell yea! More beers!’ and they all started to scream “More beers! … More beers!” and then they went in’.

Thus, Moreno deftly managed to defuse the anger of the angry guys. If Moreno had resisted them physically, or he had tried to justify his position by reasoning with them, there would have been injuries and chaos at the party.   There are situations when people approach us in a fit of irrational anger. We have to defuse their anger. In order to defuse other people’s anger, we have to listen to them. We have to convey positive messages with our gestures. This is what Moreno did. He stood there with his arms wide open as if he wanted to hug him. In addition, he moved a step backwards. We can also defuse other people’s anger by changing the topic. The attention of the guys was fixed on revenge or physical fight but Moreno changed the topic by asking them about more beer. This unexpected change of topic brought a change in their emotional state. The guys realized that they had misplaced their anger.  Thus, by sending them positive verbal and non-verbal messages, he was able to defuse anger of not only the revengeful guys but also of the girl who tried to be close to him. Above all, he was able to save his own love from destruction caused by the ensuing misunderstanding. If his own girlfriend had seen him in that inappropriate position with that drunken girl, we can very well imagine the horrible consequences.

I asked Moreno what happened after the party. Moreno says that he told his girlfriend about that drunken girl. His sweetheart , then , gave him cross looks. So in order to cheer her up, he hired a helicopter from Las Vegas and they went to see the Grand Canyon.   

 

 

 

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