I don’t do anger well. Never have. When I get angry, I get quieter and quieter and draw inward. Yelling and loud noises upend me, looks of fury frighten me and perhaps as a result I don’t ‘fight fair’. I can’t engage at times like that. Words may be said that can never be retracted, always remembered with a flinch and perhaps causing emotional damage that can’t be repaired. So I withdraw – my tendency is to wait until the timing is better, deliberating my delivery perhaps for days.
There are some people who can let it out and let it go, trusting that their words will be taken in context, perhaps offering an apology thereafter, perhaps not. I have a hard time with forgiveness in those situations. I am not a quick healer. I resent (or perhaps envy?) the confidence it must take to throw emotional caution to the fates and risk so much.
This isn’t about temperament as much as it is about the importance of getting past such moments that leave us breathless and conflicted. There is a skill in letting something really go, losing the anger before it builds into some large, unwieldy fire-breathing dragon in your stomach, invading all pleasurable thought and spreading with virulence. Clearly, I’m still a work in progress in a gazillion ways – and learning that I can be damaging my spirit, my sense of well-being by perseverating over moments and people who have made me angry – is a lesson still to be absorbed. The thought that no one is hurting me more than me, by waiting and stewing and ultimately holding something toxic in my soul, is a reminder that bears repeating.
What about you? Where do you fit on the anger/forgiveness scale? How good are you to yourself when the inevitable happens and someone you love totally ticks you off?