Don’t Be Angry

My flight to Spain was delayed by 13 hours. The airline told us not to be angry.

Telling someone not to be angry is much like telling someone not to be tired. They couldn’t do it even if they wanted to.

A sure-fire way to ignite a difficult situation is to tell someone how to feel (or worse, explain why someone is being irrational).

Anger is an automatic response to inputs and how we interpret those inputs. The only way to reduce anger is to change the inputs or change how an individual interprets those inputs.

If you’re staring down the barrel of hundreds of angry members, it’s far better to listen (sincerely), explain why something occurred and highlight what will happen next.

But don’t ever tell people how to feel.


  1. Dean Samways says:

    See. People telling others to, “smile! It might never happen!”


  2. Piper_Wilson says:

    I actually wrote about this a short time ago on my student blog. I started by confessing an embarrassing anecdote.

    Too many years ago to mention, I yelled at my roommate’s son to stop acting like a child. The poor kid. He was so confused. He said, “But I am a child!”

    Now, if the airline had asked passengers not to be angry, I think they’d’ve had a leg to stand on, albeit a weak one.

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