Last weekend, I was enjoying watching my Rugby Union team, the Auckland Blues, play the Cape Town Stormers, from South Africa.  There are a fair few South Africans who have figured out New Zealand is an awesome place to live, and so the Stormers had some very vocal supporters despite it being an away game for them.  There was a particularly vocal group just behind us, clearly enjoying the game and in good rugby tradition, pointing out the referee’s mistakes.

Here’s a picture I took of the game from my seat:

Angry Man - Overcoming Social Anxiety Blog

About 10 minutes into the first half, a man down the row of seats from us suddenly stood up, and abused the opposition fans behind us, telling them to shut up, that he would “eject them” from the stadium himself and shaking his fist at them.  He was quite serious, and clearly very angry and a bit scary.

It got me thinking about anxiety and what happens when peoples emotions get the better of them.

Largely we all ignored him, and I’m sure most people thought he had been out of line.  His friends looked uncomfortable.  And the opposition fans quieted down a bit, but not for long.

You see I don’t know exactly why it got under this guys skin, but clearly his anger took over and he behaved in ways that were aggressive.  And despite what the emotion is, this is what happens when our emotions are powerful enough, they take over our behaviour.  He had probably been drinking, which also decreases our ability to manage ourselves.

I thought, that guy needs to do some mindfulness.  And I also thought, he’s probably not that happy.

And then I got back to the serious job of cheering for my team.  And telling the referee how he was getting it all wrong

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