Sound is energy. This is a highly significant statement that effects you every time you speak to someone. Your tone of voice creates a specific type of energy. A soft and smooth tone of voice creates peaceful energy. An upbeat or joyous tone of voice creates positive energy. Both of these are in stark contrast to an angry tone of voice that creates an angry loop.
When you speak, your tone of voice creates either positive or distressful feelings in the person on the receiving end of that energy. The other person is likely to speak back to you in a tone that is similar to your own. For this reason King Solomon (Proverbs 15:1) advises us: “A soft reply turns away anger.” A soft tone of voice has a calming effect both on you the speaker and on the listener.
Do you want others to speak to you in an upbeat tone of voice? Then speak to them that way. A word of caution: For some people an overly enthusiastic tone of voice is too intense. So observe the effects of how you speak and modify your intensity according to the reaction of the listener.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Happiness”,p.171
“A soft reply turns away anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
When you communicate to others in a soft manner, this will calm someone who is already angry at you. This refers to both your tone of voice and the content of what you say. Be mentally prepared to apply this to someone who is likely to speak to you in anger.
When the person who is angry has a valid complaint against you, admit that he’s right – and this will calm him down.
Sources: see Vilna Gaon – Proverbs 14:30 and 15:1; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – “Consulting the Wise”
Since you are part of the planet, and also part of the entire universe, by your making yourself a more joyous and serene person, our planet and the entire universe is automatically a more joyous and serene place. By your reacting in an elevated manner, the world has become a better place. Let this thought empower you. This will broaden your feeling of self-importance and increase the value of what you say and do.
Sources: see Rav Zelig Pliskin’s “Anger: The Inner Teacher,” p.340
One person who frequently lost his temper, finally learned to control it with the following method:
Whenever he felt angry at someone, he would take a sip of water and hold it in his mouth for five minutes. Only after the five minutes passed would he criticize someone.
During this time his anger subsided and he was able to talk calmly.
Sources: Erech Apayim, p. 85; Rabbi Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.211
There is a mitzvah in the Torah to judge people favorably (Leviticus 19:15). When we fulfill this commandment properly, we will not get angry with others.
Whenever you get angry with someone, it is because you are blaming him for doing or not doing something. If you realize that it’s not his fault, you won’t be angry with him. For example, if someone took your umbrella, you might get angry with him. If, however, you find out that he is blind and mistakenly thought he was taking his own umbrella, you won’t be angry.
By making it your habit to judge people favorably, you will be able to assume that perhaps the person made an honest mistake, and had different intentions than you assumed.
While we should be on guard to protect ourselves from possible harm, when nothing practical can be done about a situation, we should not assume guilt. Keep asking yourself, “How can I judge this person favorably?”
Sources: Erech Apayim, p.45; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.203
The Talmud states: “When a person becomes angry, he acquires only his anger.”
There are usually no benefits in becoming angry at others. Becoming angry merely causes harm to your health and makes you feel miserable. Your anger does not help you, and the person you are angry with usually pays less attention to what you are saying than if you’d have said it tactfully and patiently.
Sources: Kiddushin 41a; Toras Avraham, p.440; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.189
When strangers are present, a person finds it much easier to control his temper than when he is just among family.
The next time you feel angry at a member of your family, think how you would act differently if a stranger were present.
Sources: Maaneh Rach, ch.5; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.210
Have compassion on people who become angry easily. The person may have negative feelings about himself. By understanding the source of his anger, you will be able to deal with him more effectively.
As regards yourself, if you have chronic feelings of guilt or inadequacy, you are apt to lose your temper easily. For this reason many perfectionists have bad tempers. Since they make almost impossible demands of themselves, they feel tense and strained, which often leads to anger.
While always trying to improve, accept yourself. This will lead to the most healthy growth.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.196
Realize that even the greatest people make errors of judgment when they are angry. Moshe was on an extremely high spiritual level and had profound insights. Nevertheless, when he became angry he erred in understanding the Almighty’s will.
Think of three incidents when you made mistakes because you became angry. Right now, mentally “relive” those situations and imagine yourself handling them instead in the best possible way. Let this serve as a resource for the future.
Sources: see Ralbag – Shaar hasavslanus, no.10
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – Found at the website promoting the book “The Light From Zion.”
A basic reason we get angry is because we exaggerate the importance of things. When we realize that something is trivial and unimportant, we don’t become angry.
Whenever you feel angry about something, try to see how petty the matter is in the big picture. The vast majority of occurrences fall into this category. Keep in mind that we are in this world for a very short time, and the things that upset us are of minor importance in the entire scheme of the universe.
Sources: Erech Apayim ,p.94; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p .202-3
This would be another way to tone down the vitriol on social media including in the blogosphere if we could all take a minute to examine our reactions (and this applies to me as well as to anyone else.