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

Management consultant. Working at the intersection of the Customer, the Enterprise, and Technology. Deep interest in human existence. Disposed favourably to the Existentialist stand. Penchant for originals and original thinking, as well as stimulating thinking and rocking the boat. Otherwise, thoroughly ordinary.

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