Failing the Self
There are always times that other people are hateful, rude or nasty to you. There are also times when other people blame you for their mistakes. I have had a temper since I was young and long ago made a decision about how I was going to approach my anger. I have tried to become the person who can respond to aggressive and hostile behaviors with calmness. I have become better at this. But this morning I feel that I failed myself. This isn’t to say that I am angry at myself or that I feel like this makes me a bad person. I just feel that I responded to verbal aggression with more verbal aggression which led to the other person pushing me. I believe that there is never an excuse for putting your hands on another person with anger. However, I feel that I contributed to the situation leading up to that act. This does not excuse the other person’s action. But I think that it is important to consider the entire situation. It is more important to consider what I could have done differently then what they could have. I have no control over their actions. I can only change how I do things. Thus, considering my part offers me the chance to prevent this kind of thing in the future. In my consideration, I feel that my approach was not the best and I feel that I did fail in my goal of being calm. I think I have a hard time with some accusations more then others. I loath being called lazy. I have many faults, but being lazy is not one of them. There is only one thing that angers me more (being called or treated like I am stupid). When this accusation was made, the anger poured in. I should have walked away right then. But I didn’t. I felt compelled to defend myself and to demonstrate how I had done my work. But what did I prove? Nothing. What purpose did it serve? I let my pride get the better of me and that has never led me in the right direction. I think walking away would have helped me more. I generally do not ascribe to avoidance behaviors. But I think that in response to anger avoiding your triggers is important. Had I walked away and given myself a chance to cool off, I think things would have gone better. It would have given her a chance to do the same. Once I had cooled off and given myself a chance to structure my thoughts, I would have been better prepared to have the conversation while maintaining my calm.
How do you approach your anger? Are there things that evoke your anger strongly enough to cause you to loose focus of something you feel is very important (like my idea of staying calm)? What works for you?