Curiosity opens doors; anger closes doors.

The Apostle James gives us solid counsel when he said, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger for anger never brings about the righteous life God desires for us.”

Unfortunately, if our Life Skill Toolbox only contains the survival tool of anger, we are akin to a carpenter having only a single hammer in their entire toolbox.

Anger is an effective tool, but only if:

Anger is used with correct intent in the correct circumstance. Uncontrolled anger is destructive, while controlled anger, when correctly measured, can have positive results.

Anger begets more anger; therefore, do not use anger to motivate an angry person.

The opposite of anger is apathy. Use controlled anger to impact apathy positively. Use controlled anger to motivate the “I don’t care” types of people.

Use sadness and disappointment in dealing with angry, defensive people. Soft gloves with controlled sadness work effectively in aggressive, anger-filled situations.

Curiosity reduces anger. Rather than yelling, instead ask questions of interest. “I notice you are outraged. Tell me about your anger.” “What is it like for you when I keep asking if you have done your homework?” “How would you like me to help you stop making so many mistakes?”

This works on the basketball court, with chores, forgetfulness, rudeness, etc.

Excellent and elegant question:

“When you do ____________ I am curious what your intent is. Can you help me understand?”

It is very difficult to be angry and curious at the same time. Choose curiosity over anger; you will be pleased with the results. The key to effective use of curiosity is to ask questions to understand the anger of the person you are attempting to help through a problem.

The all-time Curiosity Master used elegant questions so effectively.

“Who among you who is without sin? You cast the first stone.”

“Are you the Christ? Do you ask this of your own accord?”

“Who do you say I AM?”

Curiosity uses questions to solve people’s problems, where anger can heap up blame, shame, and guilt.

You get to decide which tool you want to use.