But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.
Let’s look at the six upsetting emotions and then we will look at the alternative.
To remember these negative emotions, we can use the words, SAD SAD.
First there is shame. Shame is the opposite of joy. It means “Not glad to be with you.” Toxic shame is used to try to manipulate and isolate a person. Then there is healthy shame which is used in healthy relationships to build up the relationship, by inviting the other to to act like yourself.
Next is anger.
Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.
The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Anger is probably the most common of all our upsets. Leaders get angry. We can get angry when someone doesn’t follow through with a commitment, angry with incompetence, even angry that we allow ourselves to get angry! There is no limit to what might perturb.
Here’s the problem, if we don’t know how to return to joy quickly from anger, anger will itself be our primary motivator. It will become hard to get anything done without it.
To return to joy from anger is not to get rid of it, but to remain relational and act like my best true self even when I am angry. As I develop this skill, I can still value you as much when I am angry with you as I am when I am happy with you.
When anger is controlling me, I stop caring about our relationship and I just want to fix or walk away from the problem you’re causing for me by making you understand how upset I am.
I focus on and say things like,
“What were you thinking?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Are you kidding?”
“Do you know how much trouble you are in?”
Mature leaders are able to quiet themselves and elevate the relationship over the problem. Instead of cutting off the relationship and using anger to get a desired outcome, I acknowledge my anger, continue to value the other person, and address the problem in the context of the relationship. A helpful phrase to remember is this:
Value people and use things, not use people and value things.
Why is anger so common? More than anything it is not getting our own way. Sometimes things aren’t fair. Why not get angry?