Controlling and Managing Anger

Controlling and Managing AngerControlling and Managing Anger

Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization (ILMO) reports that in the first month of the current calendar year that started in March, 6,928 people were injured in street altercations and brawls in the capital city, and among them 1,595 were women.

While the figures show a decline by 5.2% compared to the same period last year, however, it indicates that on a daily basis at least 230 standoffs occur in Tehran,” said Amir Mahmoud Harirchi, sociologist and a board member of the Allameh Tabatabaee University, Alef News Agency reported.

“Some believe that people in big cities are civilized and more law-abiding, therefore the number of street brawls on average is less compared to smaller cities. This is a wrong impression.”

The metropolises have only developed in size and population, but not evolved strong culturally, he complained.

Noting that different factors such as poverty and unemployment can lower people’s tolerance level and morale, he said the use of illegal drugs and alcohol also exacerbates violent and aggressive behavior.

Pointing to the efforts of judicial officials and legal practitioners to help parties settle their dispute amicably through compromise, he said “the rather high number of compromises reached between disputing parties in court cases can also have a negative impact.”

Elaborating, he said as violators are not punished after reaching comprise they could repeat the offenses, while the punitive measures help instill fear and act as a deterrent.

“Penalty should be severe enough to outweigh the urge to commit a crime in the violator’s mind,” he said. Strict punishment for repeated offenders is warranted partly because the first-time penalty has apparently proved ineffective in preventing the offender from repeating the offense.

  Economic Differences

He said as the differences in the rich and economically weaker sections in the bigger cities is discernible, and the concept of good neighborliness is slowly fading with people hardly knowing their next-door neighbor, such indifference is also more likely to contribute to animosity.

According to figures released by the ILMO, last year, 101,109 fights were registered, among whom 66,551 injured were men and 34,558 were women. During this period, street and domestic fights caused the deaths of 98 men and 26 women.

Also based on the figures, Tehran, Khorasan Razavi and Isfahan provinces, with 16429, 8289 and 6671 cases had the highest rates of street altercations.

There are social and individual aspects to anger management and prevention of street brawls. On the social front, naturally when people have welfare, they feel less stressed and show more flexibility and tolerance, according to Anahita Khodabakhshi Kulaei, a university professor.

For instance, one of the most common public quarrels in Iran pits cab drivers against passengers over taxi fares. Such wrangling has its roots in financial issues; however, all blame should not be pinned on economic problems; rather, we should invest in social and cultural solutions in the long run as well, Kulaei says.

  Rise of Individualism

Life in megacities stokes individualism which in turn prompts people to show less flexibility in dealing with others.

If in Iran, as in many countries, courses on anger management become compulsory, people will learn about mutual respect and civic duties; consequently, such problems will be fixed.

There are larger and more populous metropolises than Tehran in the world where street brawls are few. For example, in Tokyo, order has been internalized in individuals and everyone is automatically respectful of other people’s rights.

Another emerging problem is the growing involvement of women in street standoffs. The larger presence of women in society might be the reason, because inevitably it exposes them to more harm, she said.

The stage must be set to promote patience and respect for other people’s rights as a value and institutionalize order in society.