Food for Talk: Card 2, Speaking in anger

30 Sep

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” –Proverbs

Share a time when you stopped yourself from saying an unkind remark in anger. How did you feel about yourself? Had you said what was on your mind, what would have been the outcome? 

I wrote a whole post responding to thiis, and when I re-read it, I realized it turned into another different post entirely. It turned into how I get angry mainly when I judge a person’s (usually a friend or family’s) actions that I don’t agree with. But then I thought that was really a different post about my judgmental streak (maybe subtitled: what’s one of your more unattractive qualities??) and I started over. This one was harder than I thought.

Alrighty–talking out of anger. When I get angry about something (which doesn’t happen too often, but when i get riled up, I get RILED UP) I don’t think of myself as wanting to say unkind things. I might say very DIRECT things, which might be seen as harsh, but they aren’t untrue and they aren’t unfair. I really don’t think I fight dirty. So this question is tricky. For instance, today I helped a patron who immediately gave me attitude for no reason. I could’ve told him to drop the ‘tude or else leave (and I thought about doing that), but frankly I was taken aback, and also I knew that he needed help and maybe he just had a bad day. I thought it’d be easier to just not confront him and move him along. But his rude attitude angered me, and a big part of me wishes I had told him to be nicer. But sometimes speaking up causes more trouble than it’s worth.

However, I feel one of my better qualities is not being passive aggressive–when I’m angry with someone, I tell them very directly why. I don’t beat around the bush. I don’t think I fly off the handle like I used to. I can get very quiet, and sometimes I’ll hit back with a retort which is laser sharp and right on the money. But just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s nice. So I think i’ve gotten better about holding my tongue as i get older. When I was younger, I would take on battles that didn’t even involve me, out of some misguided sense of self-righteousness (one or two of my high school friends on Facebook have at one point been on the other end of these rants…a much-belated sorry is in order!) I might be as self-righteous as ever (Jen G. will laugh and agree), but I try to stay out of other people’s arguments. Hey, I’ve half-improved! The outcome to me lashing out was just a lot of drama, and mainly it’s just…exhausting. It’s a lot easier to let things go, especially when it doesn’t even concern me. But occasionally I still want to fight back and i have to catch myself…it’s not the easiest job in the world to be the bigger, nicer person!

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