The Worst Mistake I Ever Made

I think probably the worst mistake I’ve ever made was to chronically imagine — over the course of decades — that my own anger would be perceived and understood by its diverse observers as rational and justified when rather to the contrary it has for the most part been construed as irrational and wholly unprovoked.

I can’t speak for anyone else in saying this, but I feel quite confident at this point in asserting that whenever I personally feel anger — or any of its siblings and cousins (frustration, annoyance, irritability, etc.) — it’s a safe bet that anyone who finds out about these feelings will judge me to be overreacting or out of line, perhaps a bit ridiculous.

At least in my own case, it seems clear that my own anger is only rarely seen as legitimate or taken seriously as a rational and valid communication of useful information regarding a problem that should be solved. As a direct consequence of this pattern, my own anger has rarely accomplished anything useful and has often contributed to the failure of many interpersonal relationships.

Conclusion: good rules (for me, at least, to follow) appear to be, in the first place, don’t get angry, and second, if I do get angry, keep it hidden till I calm down.


Image Credit: Pixabay

 

4 Comments

  1. I’d add to the siblings and cousins, bitterness and resentment. I know they are obnoxious but wouldn’t it be nice if I could be angry and relatable/likeable at the same time like Mr Grinch or if I could turn all that anger into superpower like The Hulk.

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    1. Oh, yes, absolutely. The anger family is broad and diverse. I guess another way to state the rule would be something like “always seem relatable and likeable”. I know that seems absurd and impossible, but I think as long as I understand that these rules merely identify an ideal — a star to shoot for to help me hit the moon — and as long as I don’t let the inevitable failures get me down, then I predict that these rules will tend to improve my relationships with people. Hey, at the very least I think they’re better than the rule I appear always to have followed: “Assume that folks will view my anger as rational and justified”, which I think I have finally debunked for myself and come to see as fundamentally preposterous. 🙂

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