What I Learn About Anger Management from Serena Williams

Keith KettenringChristian Living, Motley Christian

Watch the video first, if you didn’t already: – Serena on Anger Management

We all have anger issues. Maybe we can learn to handle them better by observing how top-notch athletes deal with anger…or not.

Here are some off-the-wall lessons we can learn from Serena’s example of anger management:

  • Anger is justified when you’re losing.

  • When someone contradicts you, make sure to take it as a personal attack (“you attacked my character”).

  • It helps your cause to disrespect those around you who are actually trying to help or point you in the right direction.

  • When you call people names or label them (like “thief” and “liar”), use names that are universally true of all persons and say them in a manner that justifies their use.

  • Expect that your rantings will garner support and sympathy by those who are already supportive and sympathetic of you.

  • Don’t let go of the anger if it is for a noble and commendable cause. In the case of Serena, the causes are women’s rights, victim’s rights, player’s rights, and cheater’s rights.

  • You need no real, logical argument if you repeat “not fair” and “not right” over and over again. Your assailant will eventually see your point if you keep repeating these words at regular intervals preferably with more volume and animation.

  • Assume your assumptions are always correct. In this case, men do say worse things and your assailant is always wrong.

  • Destroying something physical is always a good way to let off steam. Throw a pan, punch a wall, smash a racket, or slam a door…all good!

  • Accusations do not have to be accurate or correct as long as your agenda or cause is supported.

  • Always embarrass, slight, dismiss, and belittle those around you so that the focus of attention will remain on you and your cause.

Here are some real lessons

  • I understand that anger comes from shame. When I feel shame or feel someone is shaming me, I often react in anger. That’s what happened here. Knowing myself – what within me triggers negative reactions – is extremely helpful in dealing with conflict.

  • My pride (ego) is the arena for anger especially when I take contradiction as a personal attack. Dying to self is called for.

  • “Letting go” of anything like emotions, assumptions, beliefs or causes is one of the most difficult of human tasks. Developing a heart of forgiveness and thankfulness is essential in learning to let go.

So, don’t be a Serena. She may be a top-level tennis player. But, here she showed herself to be a lesser-level human being.