Claudine Barretto and Raymart Santiago (NPPA Images)
The Mon Tulfo-Claudine Barretto-Raymart Santiago "Thrilla in NAIA" could have been prevented had the three people involved knew how to chill, or, in a psychologist's parlance, learned how to manage their anger.
It's human nature to get angry. But, as the airport incident showed, how you handle that anger makes a world of a difference. It could spell the difference between violence and a peaceful end to a problem.
Psychologist and anger management specialist Randy Dellosa says that "when handled poorly, conflict can easily escalate into verbal mud-slinging, finger-pointing, character assassination and violent outbursts."
You've seen it on YouTube. You've heard the charges and counter-charges in this Tulfo-Santiago brawl. And you know how it has grown to be downright ugly.
The Tulfos and Santiagos ended up losing something precious: the gift of living their life peacefully — for the time being, at least.
The sad thing is the situation could have been averted. Yes, you can argue. But there are rules for fighting fairly.
Dellosa ticks off the rules: 1) Keep it private 2) Remain cordial and respectful despite the differences 3) Focus on root problems 4) Understand each other's perspectives and 5) Focus on solutions. Obviously, Mon Tulfo and the Santiagos forgot these rules. And all hell broke loose.
Dellosa admits it's hard to keep one's cool in a situation such as the one that happened at NAIA.
"People consumed by their anger do not think logically and commit acts they would later regret," Dellosa states.
But then, they could have breathed deeply and walked away from the heated situation until they have cooled off.
"The goal of the 'break' is to meet again at a later time with cooler heads and with a focus on finding solutions instead of making personal attacks on each other," Dellosa points out.
To Mon Tulfo, Claudine and Raymart, the psychologist has this to say, "One can be assertive without needing to be violent or aggressive."
And the lessons all this shows us?
Dellosa declares, "We need to learn how to treat people, even our enemies, with respect and dignity even in the midst of conflict. Keeping peaceful relations should be a priority over winning an argument or forcing what one thinks is right. And finally, we need to let our bruised egos heal and be willing to forgive."
Let this "Thrilla in NAIA" serve as a lesson, not just to the Tulfos and the Santagos, but to the rest of us who must learn how to manage our anger before it brings out the worst in us.