Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anger Strategy

How does one boldly handle irritability that arises for no particular reason or at least has nothing to do with the innocents who cross one's path?

I have an idea that total withholding of the snappishness that longs to surface isn't good for the relationships. But neither is the full-strength snapping.

Intellectually I know that the right thing is to say: I'm in an irritable mood. Then the other person can proceed forewarned. But that doesn't feel particularly satisfying. In fact, the prospect annoys me more.

Exercise is always good, gardening in particular. But I need to work just now.

Looking out my office window to the deck of the house door next has possibilities. The 46 year-old woman who lived there died two weeks ago of pancreatic cancer. As I sit here, that approach is starting to work.

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MitMoi said...

I seem to have two modes. Snap or weep.

Snapping just makes me regretful later on.

Weeping however makes me feel like the most exposed, weak-willed, sniveling baby EVER.

So I go for the snap - which still isn't the right answer. *sigh*

Peggy Payne said...

I'm pretty familiar with the 2-gear system, MitMoi. Cool teeth-gritting and enraged sobbing. And crying when I'm mad also makes me mad at myself. Though done right, I suppose I could think of it as operatic.

Anonymous said...

When I am angry, or irritable, it signals on some level I am out of integrity with my own voice or truth. I know those moments..like the void, reality check, etc caused by the death of your neighbor. Lately, rather then a salve, they make me angry with the world for such tragedy. I usually give myself a 24 hour limit on the anger. Surprisingly, it disappears more quickly than not.

Peggy Payne said...

I'm impressed that you can turn it off when you decide to, Anon.

Anonymous said...

That switch is the result of a great therapist, the powerful hurt of words said in anger, and learning to breathe properly. Sometimes I can't find the switch.

kenju said...

I go back to bed. That usually takes care of it.

Peggy Payne said...

Kenju, you must be doing some of Anon's breathing right to be able to go to sleep while angry.

My psychologist husband is ever saying, "Breathe..." and it can be miraculous what focus on the breath does.

And of course Shakespeare's quite the proponent of going back to bed to knit up any ravelled sleeves.

Debra W said...

Peggy, I am very sorry about the loss of your neighbor. Too young...

Sometimes I make mention of the fact that I am having an irritable day, but sometimes it annoys me to have to admit it. Distraction sometimes helps, but other times nothing does.

I hope your irritability passes quickly.

Peggy Payne said...

Thank you, DW, irritability has passed. For the moment.