When You Say Things In Anger – The Nail In The Fence Story

Kumar Gauraw

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. One day, his father gave him a bag of nails and a hammer. The father, then asked the son to hammer a nail into the back of the fence every time he lost his temper going forward

The Nail In The Fence Story - When You Do Not Control Your Anger You Only Do Damage

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger a bit, the number of nails hammered daily gradually started

to dwindle down. Soon he discovered, it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence….

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper. He was thrilled to tell his father about it. As he shared this achievement, the father suggested that he now go ahead and pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The day passed and the young boy was finally able to eventually remove all the nails from the fence. He was even more excited this time to share this new achievement with his father. As expected, the father was extremely pleased. He congratulated the son and told him how proud he was for this achievement.

However, the father, slowly led the boy to the fence and se said, “You have done well, my son. I am very proud of you for what you have achieved today! But look at the holes in the fence. They will remain there forever. The fence will never be the same. Similarly, when you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.

You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. But, a verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends and loved ones are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Water your relationships with kindness… and they will grow. So be careful little lips what you say… and you won’t chase friendships away.

The boy now stood silent as he began to understand the value of the lesson his wise father tactfully taught him.

This was a life changing lesson his father just shared indeed. This story is probably not new and you might have read or heard it before. But to me, every time this brings a fresh perspective and each time I am reminded of the side effects of not keeping my anger in control.

(I received this story in an email. I have no information on who the original author of this beautiful story is.)

Question: How measures do you take to control the feeling of anger? What steps do you think are effective in keeping the temperament in check at the time when one feels angry?

Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

8 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Kumar,

    Something you may not know about me, is that I single-handedly solved the MAD COW disease.
    How? you ask! Easy… I sent them all to ANGER management. 🙂

    You’ve probably heard, “If you don’t control anger, then it will control you” … so I think these are GREAT questions worth exploring and responding to.

    First and foremost, I remember my dear grandmother echoing the words… 

                                                     “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.” 
    There’s no sense being angry if something is beyond our control. 

    Secondly… I am DEEPLY AWARE that there will be consequences if my reactions are not handled properly. I also remember that ANGER is contained in the word DANGER.
    So, in the heat of the moment, when it so easy to lose your cool… count to ten… walk away and return shortly… OR… simply REMAIN CALM and pretend for a moment that you are a third-party observer. 

    Third… I ask myself… “What will diffuse this situation?” So rather than focusing attention on the issue, I focus on what can be done to improve the situation. I recognize that I am flawed just as much as the next person, so have no right to expect that I am correct all the time and the other person is wrong.

    And speaking of WRONG… I think it’s important to recognize that ANGER in and of itself is not wrong. Sometimes we experience “righteous indignation” and feel justified in feeling that way.   Fourth… ANGER serves the purpose of letting us know that we are discontent with somethingand it calls forth CHANGE. It is usually better to have INSPIRATION be the driving force behind change, but sometimes DESPERATION is what is necessary, especially if time is of the essence.

    Stay cool.

    • Bill,
      THANK you very much for solving that MAD COW problem! It was a big problem:-)

      Wow! As usual, the inputs coming from you add so much more value to the original post. Thank you for taking time to sharing the nuggets of wisdom with others wherever pilossible! This is just AWESOME!!!

      • You’re welcome! A wise man once said, Teamwork makes the dream work.

  2. Sana

    I won’t say it’s a good bed time story but it surely has a lesson for all of us. I wish if my father had gifted me something to control the anger, rage, and hatred my heart has been crafting for years.

  3. Hello Sir
    I sure have enjoying reading this post.
    Being angry is not WRONG, but it is how we react to others while going through the situation that makes us angry.

    Everyday there are given opportunities for us to be angry or choose to be happy.
    Our state of mind defines us, so I would say to us, walk away, take a deep breath and make yourself calm down.
    My life’s experiences have shown me that anger does hurt me, not the other person.
    Today we choose to be happy and not angry.

    Thank you, Kumar

    Gladys posted “Reach Your Summit in Personal Development

    • Hello Gladys,

      I am so glad to know you enjoyed the post and thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. Appreciate you for doing it.

      And yes, today, I choose to be happy and not angry 🙂



  4. I am Learning This Article. Really Very Nice Story. Thanks

  5. Very nice article sir, keep it up…

Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.