A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
~ Proverbs 15:1
Authors have made millions from books about the “Habits of Highly Successful People”, but here’s a tip that you don’t have to buy a book to learn. Don’t say mean things to other people. No matter how righteous you feel or how clearly right you are, and especially, no matter how angry you feel. What, exactly, do you think telling someone “go f*** yourself” or telling him he’s a “moron” accomplish?
What it accomplishes is to ensure that he isn’t going to listen to anything you have to say. You will have successfully destroyed any chance of changing what he thinks or how he acts.
Then, you get the secondary benefit of being in a fight and having made someone like you less. Do you ever wonder how the people of 20th Century Europe managed to kill each other by the tens of millions, destroying their economies and land and ruining any chance of anyone having a good, happy, life? Well, you recreate it in miniature every time you vent your anger at someone.
Let’s make a deal. At least once in the next week, in traffic or in a political discussion, or some other time when you want to inform someone what an idiot they are, instead, smile or wave and say, “You are a beautiful person, have a great day.” Or, “okay, you’re right, we’ll do it your way.” Or, “I see your point, I’ll have to think about that.”
And here’s the kicker: We are going to do this where someone has done something really rude an inexcusable, or said something completely ridiculous. We aren’t going to take an easy way out here. The idea is for us to prove to ourselves that it causes us no lasting damage.
Because, you know what terrible things are going to happen to you, because you smiled and waved at the person who cut in line in front of you, or cut you off in traffic? Nada. Zero. Nulla, nunca, niente. The only tangible result is that your blood pressure is going to drop.
But you’d better be careful. Keep it up, and your doctor will start wondering why you haven’t been coming to see him as much.