What She Wants

The Truly Rich Lady's Foolproof Tips For Managing Your Anger

A smile can keep those emotions in check.

The Truly Rich Lady (that’s me!) is just like you. I, too, am not immune to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, the dagger plunged into the heart by a friend, or the toe stubbed on the leg of a table that appeared out of nowhere. In short, I also come across moments that can turn a smile into a frown. I, too, can become consumed by red-hot anger. 

But you wouldn’t know that I am furious, because I've had this minor operation that permanently fixes the corners of my mouth into a happy smile. Also, I know it is much better to hide my displeasure, so my countenance remains always positive despite the malfunctions of everyday living.

Nothing to see here, folks! My toe is bleeding, but I am so happy.

Once, I asked my nephew to describe me in a few words and this is what he said: “Aunt See-see? She always happy! Like a coo-coo! Si-si coo-coo! Si-si coo-coo!” Then, he threw his French fries at my face. I laughed it off. I swear this boy must be an alien because Truly Rich Toddlers do not act this way. Ha ha ha ha. 

Anyway, how do you keep your cool amid the infuriating events of the everyday?

1. Be thankful.

“I start each day thanking the universe for one thing,” says a Truly Rich Lady, who is into the alternative lifestyle (yoga, expensive vegetables, walking barefoot everywhere). Being a polite person, I nodded in concurrence. “This is brilliant. I start each day, too, thanking the universe that I have no husband to share my bed because I really have bad breath in the morning,” I say. “I really do.” 


I make fun of her ways, but then I started to do it. Each morning, as soon as Yaya shakes me awake (“Miss Si-si, you are snoring again”), I thank this and that (“Thank you, God, that I have an alarm clock, my Yaya”), and I notice that the day seems to unfold in a more pleasant manner. 

For example, today, upon waking and after I checked my phone messages, I thanked the universe that my friend has “an explosive tummy ache” and so she canceled our dinner plans. I didn’t want to go. The day is happy already.

2. Smile.

It is simple but it works.

Try it now: First, remember someone you are really, really mad at. He is so annoying. Grrr. Now, smile. Don't do a demure smile. Do a big smile, the kind with teeth, the kind that reaches your ears. See? It works! A smile instantly quells anger. God is great for giving our faces this natural mood changer. 

Another example: Yesterday, I was replying to my contractor who had the gall to ask why I needed to lower the kitchen counters by a quarter of an inch when I already explained that the Coos are a delicate people of smaller stature and so our custom counters need not be tall.

I composed a very long and pointed e-mail (somewhere in there I wrote, “I am paying you to do this, so do it!”) and was about to hit send, when I caught myself and my anger. I put on a big smile, deleted the reply, and tried again. I said: “Okay!”

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3. Actually, laugh.

This is why my nephew thinks I am Aunt Si-si, the Coo-coo. I am always cracking jokes whenever he does something unruly. I also joke around to deflect negative comments. Mirth masks the awful stench of my annoyance. The sound also distracts my evil thoughts. Use sparingly.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Once, on a brink of a total rage out, a very wise person presented this truth: Whenever you think that people are talking about you, chances are they are too busy thinking how other people are talking about them.

So we are all in a never-ending spiral of paranoia and self-doubt! This calms me down. The snooty lady was not laughing at my horrible bangs, because she was too engrossed about the giant pimple on her nose! My bodyguard, Kevin Costner, is wise sometimes.

5. Keep it in.

Just pretend it didn't happen. Don't talk about it. Don't mind it. Don't feed the angry beast. I didn't see it. I do not know you.

6. Let it out.

I have to tell you my new thing: The in thing to do now is axe throwing. Yes! The cool new way of quieting anger is throwing a sharp axe at a target! There are even specialty shops where you can buy fancy axes—only the best for me and my anger! 

If you are of a gentler disposition, the breaking of plates on walls remains an option. And if you are really averse to clanging and banging, exercise has the same effect. The point is, that terrible feeling that you push down into the pit of your stomach needs to come out.


A friend also told me that shouting over a cliff works, but I am not that dramatic.

7. Let it go.

Anger is a terrible thing to hold on to. One of my many motivations for staying blissfully at peace is the rising cost of beauty procedures. Getting angry means contorting your face, burrowing your frown, hardening your mouth, and making ghastly expressions. I do not want to develop wrinkles on my face, because I've yet to meet my intended.

Consider this, as well: They say your face at 40 is the face you've earned. At that age, which is still far away for me, I want my face to express a life of happiness and contentment, free of poisonous rage and devoid of face wrinkles.

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C.C. Coo
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