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Anger Management…

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Being angry is a type of reaction a human being would show to express his psychological discomfort by being hostile and aggressive. It is a totally normal reaction and would only reflect that you are a human being. However, some people take it to a whole different level when they start harming people either physically or emotionally and sometimes, even murder. Well, let us hope that none of us would reach that extreme. Anyways, ever since I was growing up, my family always tells me that I have anger issues and that I am aggressive when I get upset. At first, I thought this was a plus as people started to fear me and try their best not to annoy me. However, with time passing, you will realize that being angry or on the edge all the time will cause people around you to hate you and avoid you bit by bit every day until you end up with no social life. In addition, without you knowing, the anger will take control over your life and affect any social relation or interaction you make in a negative way that will eventually make your life miserable.

 If you don’t admit that this anger problem is an issue, it will grow even bigger and bigger. You can relate it to being similar to cancer, it keeps growing and spreading notoriously until it takes over your life, your relationships, your work, and eventually destroy your life.

Anger is never a good a solution in any situation unless you make it as a drive for dedication. An example would be a situation where you trained hard for a competition and did not win. Anyone would get angry because of that, however, if you direct that anger in yourself and force yourself to train harder and better, the next time you are in a competition you will definitely win.

Nonetheless, we all know that nothing good comes out of anger and controlling it is easier said than done. My father used to lecture me every time I get upset or mad about how you should never pass judgment, take actions or even say something while you are angry. The reason is that when you get angry, your mind is lost and almost everything that you do or say is always not meant. Every time I would listen to my father yet I never realized it until one day the anger just took over me. That memory was so intense and very vivid every time I remember it that it makes me remember why I should control my anger every time I get upset. In that day I realized how anger can take over your soul and make you do things you would never do. And what makes it really disturbing is that the reason behind me being angry was so ridiculous. I used to collect weird keychains and one day my younger brother took one of them and just threw it outside! Ridiculous right! Now why would someone snap because of that? I snapped to a point where I took a baseball bat and an axe and went after him. Yep, that bad! My father tried to stop me and I threw him like he was nothing and I was only 13 at the time! It took my father, his friend and my uncle to stop me. My father was shocked when he saw that state of mind that I was in. I was glad that they knew how to handle the situation and how they calmed me down and explained to me what I was doing. In the meantime, my brother ran away and never came back until very late at night. My father related that outburst of mine to the accumulations of anger and suppressed actions that I refrained myself from doing in a long period of time as well as the provocative act by my little brother. From that moment on, I realized that nothing good comes out from being angry and if something really gets under your nerve, then try alternative ways to disperse the anger and never let it build up inside like punching a wall, squeeze a stress ball, or be active (running, going to the gym, riding a water jetski…etc). I am still the same person with the anger issues, however, I learned how to control it and why I should control it before something really bad happened that I might regret in the future.

Numerous ways of controlling your anger that has been developed over time and proven effective. One way that I use was advised to me by my father, he told me that my grandfather used to write a letter to the person who made him upset and never say anything or do anything while he is angry. After he cools down, he would open the letter read it again and see whether to modify it and send it or just discard it. Nowadays, if someone upsets me, especially if it was a dear person, I would remain quiet and later write down all the thoughts that came across my mind while am angry and review it before after I cool down. It turns out that almost every time I write, the content does not reflect what I truly feel about that person and may have caused serious damage if it was said at the time. Adding to that valuable advice, there is a list of things that you can do to release the anger which it can be found in this link here.

Well, one can never fully control his anger and emotions easily. It takes dedication and realizing from the beginning that nothing good comes out from getting angry to make one reach that level of being able to manage his anger. 

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The Day I discovered the “Dunning-Kruger Effect”

When you start being a member of the work force and a productive member of the society you will start dealing with coworkers from different levels with different mentalities. I remember before started working, I learned throughout college and teachings from my father techniques on how to deal with different people. It is essential that you realize how to coop with people in order to survive. Regardless of how many negative and narrow thinking people out there, sometimes you will be forced to work with such people and if you can’t handle these kinds of people, you’ll perform poorly and ultimately fail. Well, during my experience in the work force, I have come across different kind of people with different mentalities. I have seen good people who are willing to teach you and improve you, people who are acceptable & welcoming to fresh ideas, visionaries, and glowing with positivity as you meet them. On the other hand, I have met close minded, arrogant, not willing to pass any knowledge, rude, and incompetent that you just can’t stand being with. Some of these negative people that I met were actually in managerial positions! This was confusing to me at first as I grew up thinking that people are only evaluated and elevated in the ladder of success based on competency and interpersonal skills. Therefore, I was shocked when I had a manager who couldn’t finish his training when he joined and all of a sudden he was our section’s head. I had to endure the suffering of explaining things to my manager who have lack of simple common sense, logic, engineering logic, technical background, and interrelation skills. He was so jealous of my success story in the company that he made it his mission to tarnish my reputation. This was basically done by assigning impossible tasks to me, excluding me from tasks that are challenging while knowing I’ll excel in, placing me in nightshifts in jobs that are in lower levels as if he was demoting me, and give out negative feedback to the management board whenever there was a meeting or chance he got. To me, it was depressing at first, however, I made it my mission to excel in any task given to me and always be positive and treat him back in a good way. No matter how hard he tried, the better my reputation has become. I felt sorry for him, the reason is that this kind of behavior looked to me like it is a psychological syndrome of some sort and thought to myself that “hey you know what, maybe there is a syndrome or something in management studies that can justify this kind of behavior?”.

I started googling the management skills website and references and I came across this term “Dunning–Kruger effect”. When I read the definition, I just laughed hysterically because in fact this syndrome is actually scientifically proven and perfectly describes my manager at that time. The definition as extracted from Wikipedia is as follows:

“The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.[1]

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University conclude, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others”.[2]

Once I stopped my hysterical laughter, I took this information to my Mentor and My brother from another Mother (a true friend in this sinful, unjust, and dishonest world where good people are rare) who was a senior engineer at the time with great experience and suffering as I did from the manager. When I told him and showed him the definition, he started laughing, as expected, hysterically. He told me, “How did it even cross your mind to look for such information?” I told him, “I felt sorry for him and just thought maybe it is indeed a psychological illness!”. From that day on, whenever we see someone incompetent and hide his incompetency by being rude, arrogant…etc we just look at each other and simultaneously say Dunning-Kruger!

 

Anyways, now you have it folks. Whenever you find a manager who stepped up the managerial ladder due to being a good brown noser, placed in the position because he is dumb and can be controlled from managers above him, or whatever reason there might be and you find him exhibiting such symptoms, yell out Dunning-Kruger and pray for them because these people are mentally ill. Just try to get to know what sets him off, how to make him trust you, and if all is not working like it didn’t for me, move on to a different challenge and different experience. There is no reason for you to stay in an unhealthy work environment when there are plenty environments equally important and challenging out there in the world.Image

 

To my mentor, Mr. Naeim, N.A.N just like the way he likes to be called

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Education, Engineering

Variations of people’s understanding of Logic and common sense.

Common Sense

During the course of my studying and throughout my life, I would have never expected that I would meet totally different people with different prospective. I never realized that common sense is not necessarily understandable by all kinds of people. Ever since I was growing up, my father used to tell me how to work my mind and realize things by logic. It was natural and only required guidance when I was a kid. With time passing, I implemented the concept of logic, common sense, and critical thinking almost in every aspect of my life. It became a habit and a second nature that helped me throughout my personal life, college and later on at work. Throughout my life I have come across many people who literally can’t understand that if you tilt a bottle filled with liquid with no cap on, the liquid will start pouring on the floor. You might think am exaggerating with this simple example but trust me I am not. There are people out there that cannot realize the logic behind simple facts and the chain reaction it can produce!

Being an engineer, it is very crucial that you realize common sense. There is that engineering logic and common sense that differentiate the engineer from the doctor, lawyer or simple worker (no offence to all occupation as they are all equally important). However, if you are an engineer and you are lacking this ability, then it is safe to say that you only hold a degree of engineering but no engineering at all. The critical thinking resulted from understanding the common sense shall not be underestimated. Like I stated earlier, I used to think that all people can realize it but they don’t. Let’s take this example I had from my previous work, a pump failed due to overload (when the motor withdraws too much current) and tripped. Before I came to know about the issue, the people involved (with no disrespect intended) spent almost 2 months without figuring out the problem and just assumed that it was due to wrong assembly. They re-assembled the pump and again failed to the same problem. The third time when it happened, the problem was assigned to me to investigate. My first thought was that, if the motor was overloading, that means that the motor is requiring more power to turn the shaft which indicates that there was friction and something obstructing the movement of the shaft. This basic logical assumption led me to investigate the service of the pump and what are the possible reasons that might affect mechanical properties of the shaft after confirming that assembly was conducted properly. It turns out, that the pump was a steam condensate pump which is a high temperature operation that affects the thermal expansion of the pump components.  These pumps, and any pump in general, when subjected to higher temperatures than designed and/or was running dry will develop higher shaft diameter due to thermal expansion which will then lead to higher friction on the bearings and bushings of the pump. As a result, the motor will withdraw more current to overcome the friction and hence a trip or severe failure will occur to the pump internals. It turns out that after obtaining all necessary data, the case was as stated earlier and the operations department did operate the pump several times dry. I know this a bit technical and seems straight forward. However, the engineers (who were given the title due to experience only not a degree) did not realize that and couldn’t understand that even after explanation. I was shocked of how some people can really be stubborn and not welling to understand the logic behind anything.

Too many similar situations I have faced socially or during conduction of transactions with different people that I can’t remember at the moment. However, I hope that the example I stated prior can meet the purpose of this blog. Moreover, it is very vital to realize that not everybody understands logic and relate to it. This is the first step that you have to take in order to be able to know how to deal with people with lack of common sense understanding and try to elevate the mentality of the people around you to have the same logical mentality, common sense understanding, and critical thinking.

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