The Right Words

I get frustrated sometimes.  (I pause to allow time for your collective shock and dismay at such a thought…)  I get frustrated sometimes and I get angry and I become tense and hard to read.  That is how I deal with my frustration.  I will put a lid on every thought and feeling and say nothing, because the alternative is to say something I can’t take back.

Maybe you have been there, in that moment when you are so angry and frustrated that you want to spit.  Feeling the words coming unbidden to your lips, and knowing that if you spoke them you could inflict damage to someone, perhaps someone you love.  I have personally been in that place many times in my life and I am sorry to say that I let those words go.  In almost every case I was instantly sorry for what I had said.  In almost every case it was a long hard struggle to try and fix the hurt and anger that lived on long after the words were spoken.  Sometimes it never got fixed and just left me feeling like the bully on the playground, knocking down the weaker kids.  It used to happen a lot.  For most of my life, my temper was quick and ferocious.  I never held back. Now I have a much longer fuse, and the likelihood that I will explode is very small.  But I wonder if it is better to hold the words in, just because they may sting a little.

Sometimes those words that you are holding back are really the indicator that you have something you need to say.  Without the various swearwords and insults there sometimes lies a real issue that needs to be addressed.  Its how we get those words out that is the challenge.  I am still trying to master communicating hurt and anger without condemnation and derision.  Since I am not very good at it , I usually just shut down.  Not the best solution either, this one does almost as much damage.  The damage is just more to me than the other person and usually leaves me feeling trapped between my own feelings and the other person’s.  Not really a great solution.

So let me ask you, how do you deal with frustration and anger?  What do you do to tell people “What you did or said is not ok.”  Do you give in to that inner bully?  How do you balance the need to be heard with the need to be kind.  How do you find the right words?


One response

  1. Not easy. I suspect it’s not easy for any of us. Letting others into our innermost thoughts and feelings is too often taken as a sign of weakness and provides them with weapons that can be used against us–even for those we love (actually, most especially for those we love). It takes lots of trust to share successfully and without regret. All we can really do is to keep working toward the techniques that work best. But in the end, we are human. We are not perfect, and neither are those we love. We make mistakes. We find ways to remind those important to us that they are, yes, important to us. We carry regrets. We distance ourselves from those who too often and too hurtfully betray our trust. We say “I love you” to the people we love–sometimes, even to a bit of excess. We say “I’m sorry” when we are truly sorry. And we ask forgiveness when it’s needed. All that is much harder than it sounds. But I think you know all this. . . . Still, sometimes it helps to know others are in the same place.

    By the way, I love you and I’m proud of you.

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