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Thread: Expressing Anger

  1. #1
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Expressing Anger

    I'm really terrible at it. If something bothers me, my instinct is to lock it away until the situation changes and/or I've calmed down enough to approach it with stone cold logic.

    I have this habit of totally avoiding conflict and just singlehandedly "fixing" the "problem" to my own satisfaction, often in state of simmering rage because it should never have been my problem to fix. This is also maddening for others who feel that I've pulled a rug out from under them (that rug should never have been there in the first place!).

    I recognize that this is not the most constructive way to handle things, but I find emotions difficult to deal with. This is especially the case when not only do I sense that my own emotions are clouding my rationality, but I also believe that my adversary will react to my rage with an even greater irrational outburst of her own.

    Thinking of my sister here, though the pattern holds any time I feel greatly frustrated.

    Oddly enough, with my sister, we're both highly intelligent and intuitive, so we can usually figure out and handle the conflict that I'm trying to avoid while it's still in the simmering stage. I guess you could say that we enable each other (true of families in general?).

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    Married Mouth-breather JohnClay's Avatar
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    My dad gets angry with my mum sometimes, especially in the past. It is really annoyance. I get annoyed at my mum too. I sometimes push her out of my room. Since my wife witnessed my annoyance with my mum (e.g. me saying "yes!!!!!!" to her nagging) she would sometimes sound annoyed with me. I remember one time when I was a teen a boy asked me why I didn't talk much. I felt like killing him.

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    I sympathise with you, @TeresaJ. The biggest challenge for me was living with roommates, whose thoughtlessness and uncleanliness would chagrin me to no end. I would silently put up with it for six to twelve months on average, hoping that politeness and being a good example would make them reconsider their behaviour – which, of course, never worked. At the end of it there was always a big fall-out in which I was blamed as the culprit for "not having said anything", and since I was unable to be combative in domestic matters and to simply kick them out, it was I who would move. I ended up going through seven apartments in less than three years before I finally found a place to live alone and in peace.

    Since you seem to be writing about personal matters – is it easier for you to express frustration in your job? This is something that comes far more natural to me, since flying into the occasional fit of rage in work-related manners does not only satisfy my petty aversions, but actually benefits a greater cause (in that it gets people who hitherto hadn't taken me seriously to do actual work).

  4. #4
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    I sympathise with you, @TeresaJ. The biggest challenge for me was living with roommates, whose thoughtlessness and uncleanliness would chagrin me to no end. I would silently put up with it for six to twelve months on average, hoping that politeness and being a good example would make them reconsider their behaviour – which, of course, never worked. At the end of it there was always a big fall-out in which I was blamed as the culprit for "not having said anything"
    Hahaha, classic INTP. But yeah, silently seething (for six months!) and then flipping the fuck out one day is not generally regarded as the healthiest or most effective approach to communication.

    I can sympathize, though. Just the other day I was at Chipotle (which is mediocre and overpriced but the best of the options I've discovered near campus) and there was a huge line and some guy cut in with friends, right in front of me. I stared at him for the whole rest of the time, silently wishing death, but not saying anything. It ruined my mood for a little bit and I knew I would have felt better if I'd just said "hey man, don't you think you should go to the back of the line?" but I didn't. It's not always easy, but I do think straightforward communication in situations like that is almost always best.

    I feel like with people who are close to you it's especially important to communicate feelings of anger or dissatisfaction early on so that you can find a solution. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. I think it doesn't always need to be resolved immediately, especially if there's a disagreement - it can be really helpful for people to take some time and cool off and think about things - but at least communicating that there's an issue is really important imo.

  5. #5
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    it's rare nowadays but, if/when somebody does something to make me angry, i generally don't believe in merely "expressing my feelings" unless it's something they can learn from.

    i've done really immature shit when angry that didn't hurt anybody, like i've thrown away something of theirs i knew they wouldn't miss. i felt stupid, it didn't hurt anybody, i could laugh later.

    i'd much rather do things. preferably not involving that person. sometimes i feel desperately that i need to get away from them and give my own life some attention and actively fix something. if this person is in a position to regularly annoy and/or anger me, i tend to look around at the entire situation and figure out why the hell they're getting so close, what i'm doing "wrong." if it was possible to communicate with the person, i would've done that already. there's no point in trying to talk to an asshole who's not gonna listen and is only gonna try to provoke me. it's just... yeah. take care of yourself first.

    with other people who are more open to communication, usually it's brought up later when everybody's cooled down. just get used to saying and being sincerely sorry. most of the time you were both wrong.
    I was fine when I came, and fine when I left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    Hahaha, classic INTP. But yeah, silently seething (for six months!) and then flipping the fuck out one day is not generally regarded as the healthiest or most effective approach to communication.
    Yes, I see what you're saying. I didn't throw a tantrum at the end of it either, just calmly pointed out what had been bothering me all along. I even went so far as to use passive constructions ("dirty dishes keep being left out..." "food has been vanishing...") whenever possible, in order not to point fingers. But apparently this approach also is wrong, since people (mostly SJ's) just got offended anyhow and started shouting at me for no reason other than that someone had neutrally made them aware of their own shortcomings. At which point I'd drily declare that if they were "dissatisfied with [my (!)] behaviour", I'd be more than happy to move out. Etc.

    I can sympathize, though. Just the other day I was at Chipotle (which is mediocre and overpriced but the best of the options I've discovered near campus) and there was a huge line and some guy cut in with friends, right in front of me. I stared at him for the whole rest of the time, silently wishing death, but not saying anything. It ruined my mood for a little bit and I knew I would have felt better if I'd just said "hey man, don't you think you should go to the back of the line?" but I didn't. It's not always easy, but I do think straightforward communication in situations like that is almost always best.
    Grah, those cutter-inners. These things really can ruin your mood indeed. They may lead to a small epiphany, though. I made a similar, rather petty experience not long ago which was something of a pivotal moment for me – now, everytime someone tries to walk over me, that situation springs to mind, I remember how awful I felt about not having said anything then, and all of a sudden it's really easy to speak up and vent my anger.

    I feel like with people who are close to you it's especially important to communicate feelings of anger or dissatisfaction early on so that you can find a solution. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. I think it doesn't always need to be resolved immediately, especially if there's a disagreement - it can be really helpful for people to take some time and cool off and think about things - but at least communicating that there's an issue is really important imo.
    Agreed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    I feel like with people who are close to you it's especially important to communicate feelings of anger or dissatisfaction early on so that you can find a solution. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. I think it doesn't always need to be resolved immediately, especially if there's a disagreement - it can be really helpful for people to take some time and cool off and think about things - but at least communicating that there's an issue is really important imo.
    yes, but it gets harder when the relationship is dysfunctional or they're "angry" at you cuz they're stressed out about something in their own life and see you as an outlet.

    i guess i have too much experience with that. i have to calmly remind these people that i've got my own life, with my own stressful stuff to deal with. that usually works, but sometimes it doesn't, and it becomes necessary to remove yourself from the situation for the sake of your own sanity.

    i've been on both sides of this dynamic, tbh. it usually signals a profound incompatibility in communication styles. fortunately, this isn't my life now.
    I was fine when I came, and fine when I left.

  8. #8
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Its actually remarkably rare that I actively get angry these days. I've always had a naturally calm demeanour, and time has merely calmed it more. There's just so little worth genuinely having an emotional stake in. I can see how this could very quickly lead me to being labelled as the dreaded "passive man"

    I haven't been majorly pissed off since being at home with my mentally ill mother...and frankly maybe that's drained some of my anger at every day events.

    I do dislike that certain other people seem to be socially accepted in expressing their anger, or just being jerks, but it would be impossible for me to express myself or act in the same way without being interpreted completely differently/being socially unacceptable.

    <internet tough guy>
    Now, i worked in security, and trained with a guy responsible for self-defence/fighting with some of the arms of the government that send people over seas. I'm not proclaiming that I could fight my way out of a wet paper bag, but one of the interesting things from that training was that it was designed to automatically instigate the opposite response from that expected from most of our responses in stressful situations: which is to say, rather than shutting down which is the most common response, it was designed to evoke a pavlovian response of outwardly engaging and taking action when placed in stressful situations, which is very un-intp. I have to admit its had some effect. I still disengage when faced with most situations i don't particularly care about, but i do feel an undeniable response to actively and physically fight my way out when people are trying to intimidate or shit is getting real. That was totally lacking in me before. Knowing my luck, i'll spend so much time repressing that that I'll sit there and get 1 hit punched to death if any shit actually does get real...
    </internet tough guy>

  9. #9
    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Well, I don't tend to get angry very often unless I am around extremely irrational people. My frustration can boil over into quite obvious anger. I don't really bottle up anger as much as everything else I have, the frustration is usually too strong for that.
    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    I guess you could say that we enable each other (true of families in general?).
    Absolutely not. My sister (and my dad, and some of his relatives) have extremely dominating and irrational personalities. They insist on something because they, in their SJ way, regard this as something that has to be done, no thinking or discussion involved. They often have quite irrational prejudices and a tendency to make examples of people too. All of this I cannot abide and so I tend to get more angry around them than just about anyone else.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Ah, apparently this is a correct way of dealing with SJ's.

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