Temper’s the one thing you can’t get rid of, by losing it.” – Dr. Buddy Rydell

Ever since I saw the film Anger Management (with Jack Nicholson & Adam Sandler) in 2003, I have a taken a small piece of advice to heart from Dr. Buddy Rydell that has helped me in my work life (& sometimes my real life) tremendously. I don’t honestly know what would have taken its place in times of anger at work.

In the film, Dr. Rydell uses a word with his patients to calm them down when their anger becomes too much and/or starts to rise too fast: Goosfraba.

[say it with me!]

Goosfraba is actually a word that Eskimos use to calm their children down. (Also a word Eskimos use when they’re having sex, oddly enough, …but I digress.)

For years now, every time I feel like I am about to explode with frustration, anger, or sheer spite, I say this word to both myself and my colleagues (those that can take a joke at least) or send them an email with this:

This always guarantees a laugh and I and/or my group tends to lighten up almost immediately. [Sometimes we may even break out in song with some I Feel Pretty, from The West Side Story. 🙂 ]

Some people hum Om to calm their anger, but I chose Goosfraba for these particular circumstances.  I can’t tell you how many times this word has saved me from having a really bad reaction to my superiors, colleague(s), and/or friend(s) who were getting me angry.  Thank you, Dr. Rydell. I needed a way to break the tension, as it happens too often in my line of work.

Give it a shot!   [See the film first, of course.] You’ll be amazed to how much it works, especially if you’re easily amused.

**Real credit is due to the writer of this screenplay: David Dorfman – and of course, the Eskimos.**

One thought on “Goosfraba: The Calming Word

  1. Pingback: On Unfairness | Unfolding Leadership

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