Helping Youth Deal With Anger

 

Raj Kumar (Former ETASHA trainee. Vocational Training Program)
Raj Kumar (Former ETASHA trainee)

By R. Nithya

He had a job, true. He also had enough money for his family to survive in the resettlement colony of Dakshinpuri in South Delhi. But Raj Kumar, now 26 years old, wanted more. Not more money, but something more important and rather more difficult to earn. He wanted respect.

I never cared about money or job posts. I just wanted to work in a company where I could feel respected,” Raj Kumar said.

Perhaps the lack of what he deeply desired made him extremely aggressive over the years.

Looking back, he doesn’t understand why every other morning he fought with his mother and his sister – the only family he has. Sometimes the fight was over food, and sometimes over things that are too unimportant to be recalled now. But there would be a fight every other morning after which he would storm out of the house in a rage. The evenings were silent – toxic aftermath of a fight.

Raj Kumar left his previous job as a bus conductor with the Delhi Transport Corporation before his fight with his depot manager could turn ugly. “I was very aggressive before. I would get into fights easily,” Raj Kumar said. “I wanted people to do things my way all the time. I had a very strong ego.”

After a friend’s suggestion, he joined one of ETASHA Society’s several vocational training programs – Computerized Office and Data Entry (CODE) – in February 2014 in hope of creating a better life situation for himself. During the anger management session as part of his course, Raj Kumar became open to understanding that his anger was detrimental to his career, and to his relationship with others and with his own self. He realized it was time for him to deal with his anger.

Anger management training at ETASHA Society began in 2008 with the realization of the urgent need to understand and deal with aggressive behaviours and attitudes of the youth in the communities. Anger in these young people is highly instigated by their social, financial and individual situations, and by the violence they see around them or towards them in the form of harsh parenting or teaching. Many face bullying within and outside their communities which leads to deepening of suppressed anger in them.

ETASHA Society recognized the absence of a proper venting mechanism for the anger these young people experience, and the need to provide them the skills and methods required to cope with resentment and deal with situations that trigger anger in them. While the three-hour long anger management session at ETASHA is conducted once during the training period, frequent one-on-one sessions are arranged with a counselor during the individual feedback sessions to support students in their emotional and psychological growth.

“I remember a story that was told to us during the session. It was about a mother and a son,” Raj Kumar said. “They have a fight and then the son stops speaking with his mother. They don’t speak to each other for a very long time, and one day the mother dies. That story affected me. It hurt me. It was a warning signal that something like that could also happen,” he said.

Raj Kumar has experienced a transformation in the past few months. In his current job as a Building Management Operator at Tata Communications Limited, any time he faces a stressful situation or deals with a person who makes him angry, he distracts himself by ignoring the situation or the person in order to avoid exaggerating the problem. Often he takes up and busies himself with more work to keep his mind from drifting into anger.

However, the biggest change that he has noticed in himself is that now after every fight with his mother and sister, he drops his ego, ends the fight and the silent treatment by speaking with them again. “I don’t think they notice this change, but that’s okay,” he said laughing. “I don’t want to stop speaking with them. I don’t want to be egoistic anymore,” he said.

About the author – R. Nithya is Communications Coordinator at ETASHA Society.