Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

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The benefits of well-managed anger

There are times that I really envy my old boss Tom. He had some occasional anger issues -- you could rely on him, once in a while, getting totally ripped about something, going red as a beet, yelling, the whole nine yards. But it was always brief: he'd be completely ripshit for about five minutes, then it would pass. He rarely seemed to be bothered by the matter at hand afterwards; he'd made his point, and moved on.

I, on the other hand, have a tendency to be at just the opposite end of the spectrum. I eat my negative emotions. I despise emotional confrontations, and manage them *very* badly. Sometimes I'll go into brain freeze; often I'll simply run away from the topic at hand, which I have painfully found sometimes just makes things worse. On the occasions I do get genuinely angry, I usually get wholly irrational, and make things *much* worse. So I tend to just swallow the confrontation instead.

The problem, of course, is that I wind up internalizing it quite badly. Instead of getting past it, I'll usually wind up in a bad mood for days, even weeks afterward. I begin to dwell on the argument, which is always the worst possible course of action, because it makes me progressively more miserable -- it's pretty clearly central to the depression I've been fighting. Since I never get any resolution to those emotions, they fester, and only heal slowly.

*Sigh*. It's really maddening. I'm good at holding my own in almost any intellectual debate if I care to try, but I am *so* bad at emotional arguments. Need to find some appropriate techniques to deal with that...
Tags: diary, navel gazing
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