You think anger’s dangerous. That you have to keep a lid on it. But it’s actually a valuable news flash from your gut. Well it is and it isn’t. I have one of those tempers…or at least I used to. There were times when I would get so angry it was a physical transformation or at the least a physiological transformation. I could feel the anger rush up from my stomach up to my chest up my neck until I was sure my face was red and steam was coming out of my ears. The juxtaposition was that I didn’t yell when I got that angry but became very quiet and cold. If I knew you, and we had gotten to this point, I would dig back in all the personal information I knew about you and pick the one or two things that would hurt you the most. Yes, I know, I was evil. Then when the demon had left my body I felt horrible for saying what I had said.
I learned in my mid-twenties that this behavior was unacceptable to me. Maybe because I saw it in another person and realized how awful it was, how bitter and cutting, and really in the end I was ruining myself. You cannot say “I’m so sorry” enough when you have really hurt someone deeply.
Pushed to my limit, I made threats I couldn’t uphold and lost the respect of those who’d offended me.
Is it fight or flight when confronted by irritation? Our angry feelings may be so charged and so forbidden that they have to be quickly repressed or vented—for which we judge ourselves mercilessly.
I then learned that anger might be a time to take a step back and reflect before lashing out. Could I tolerate the person irritating me long enough to learn WHY they were annoying to me.
Did my instant heated anger show that I was in control and that people couldn’t push me around?
I realized that showing people they couldn’t push me around was better met with not letting them get to me. Plus it wasn’t good for me…it made me feel terrible after the incident.
The demon is still down there, I just don’t feed it, so it is weak and hasn’t seen the light of day in years….literally years.
Today what you might see if I get angry is that I walk away….I deal with my anger myself and then when I feel like I can return to the situation I can calmly say, “ok, this is what bothers me about what you said”. That earns a lot more respect than the red monster.
I guess I really learned more about me through my self-imposed anger management. I learned that I could stay in control and stay calm and still let someone know that their actions were not acceptable. Also, I still maintain an attitude of “Yes, I could still kick your ass if I really wanted to” (this however couldn’t be farther from the truth). It might lead to a nail break…and that I just will not endure.