How I defused anger through laughter

I was with my parent yesterday – enjoying their company in their home.  One minute everything was peaceful and then my father launched his missiles at me:

  • You have disowned our religion;
  • You failed to marry within our own and according to our customs;
  • You have wasted your money and not amassed riches;
  • You have failed to use your intelligence, your promise, and convert this into status for you, me, us;
  • Most of all we had such high hopes for you and you have abandoned us in our old age.

Ordinarily I’d get upset and walk out and go for a walk.  Occasionally, I have launched my own missiles back at him.  This time for some strange reason I just laughed.  It started with a small laugh and I enjoyed that so much that I laughed more.  And then more and more until my stomach was hurting from the laughter.

Then the most amazing thing happened: my father started laughing.  And so there we were the two of us laughing together.

What was the source of my first laugh?

At some level I got that this was my father simply being my father rather like a rhinoceros being rhinoceros.  And when I got this I started to laugh at my own stupidity:  look I was about to get upset with my father for being himself, how foolish.

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

1 thought on “How I defused anger through laughter”

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