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How to Manage Anger through Humility

Developing a sense of humility is yet another antidote to toxic anger. It is also a great way to interact with those around you. Being humble is the opposite of

  • Being arrogant

  • Feeling entitled

  • Seeing yourself as superior

  • Adopting an attitude of contempt toward all those you see as not as good as you are

All of these opposites of humility tend to incite anger. Have you ever met a Type A personality who was humble? Probably not! Type B’s, on the other hand, have a refreshing sense of humility.

The world-renowned stress researcher Dr. Hans Selye, when asked why he wasn’t stressed by the infirmities of his advanced age (hobbling up and down from a stage to lecture about stress) and the fact that not everyone in the medical profession agreed with the conclusions of his life’s work, replied simply, “Because I never took myself that seriously.” Talk about being humble!

Humility is born out of adversity. No one gets humble on the way up the ladder of life — humility is what you experience on the way down. People ask all the time, “Why does God let bad things happen?” One explanation is that these instances teach us to be humble. Who knows if this is right? But it does seem to ease their suffering a bit.

Each day, look for ways to be humble. Remind yourself of what the comedian Woody Allen says, “We’re all bozos on the same bus!” You may be the driver of the bus or just a passenger — either way you’re a bozo. It makes it so much harder to get angry throughout the day.

Try getting involved in a community task without being the person in charge. Find some fairly menial ways to make the world a better place. (Hint: Beautify your community by collecting trash on the side of the highway. Or spend a day working for Habitat for Humanity.)

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