I didn’t mean to take this long—part of me was waiting for inspiration to write, but I’ve concluded that waiting for the right moment is silly. Because you miss what’s in front of you.
I’ve been acknowledging emotional arches in people, meaning that I’ve seen how this time of year can make people egregiously emotional. This is usually the time of year where conflicts emerge. I myself have encountered conflict with people who have been consistently angry with me. People who clearly have an internalized struggle with the self. Being calm and level-headed in these circumstances where I encounter these vipers has made me empathize. I don’t want to see them this way, and I don’t want to cause a rift that displaces trust. However, I know that people can genuinely only see from their level of perception and that if someone hasn’t made peace with the self, then that person will be very reluctant to make peace with you. Once people talk about things that have happened and attain closure, then both parties can move on. That’s the ideal situation. But if there’s jealousy involved, that will impede that occurrence. People will be angry that they are feeling the way that they do, but even more, they will be angry that you aren’t feeling that way either (assuming that you are still living your life.)
When people explode at you, it’s most likely because they haven’t come to terms with something, or have not tried to face it. They feel out of control of the situation and immediately seek ways to regain that control. They haven’t admitted that they have an issue. They haven’t noticed the root of their anger. Usually, they’ll want you to be angry, annoyed, and in the same broken boat as they are.
And let me tell you: it’s childish. Fear is debilitating, and it feels uncomfortable to experience vulnerability. The unhealthy coping mechanism is to push it down, all the way down until nothing matters. That’s often what people who experience depression do. Aside from unhealthy, it makes people selfish.
Anger is one of the most blinding emotions because it manipulates you into placing blame. Immediately in our minds we create spider webs for who can fall right into the blame we have created for them to become tangled in. It’s an emotion that is incredibly anxiety-inducing. Suddenly what once didn’t matter, does now. Details begin illuminating like crystals of every situation of the past, and it augments until it becomes a huge rock that weighs you down and that you’re aching to throw.
My own anger recently has been related to trying to escape from reminders of the old me. I know that if people continue to make assumptions about me without even getting to know me then that’s their problem. If they have an issue with me and refuse to tell me, that’s their prerogative. I admit I have flaws and I’ve been trying my best. Sometimes I’m chill, other days I’m bugging and thugging, but I’m never inauthentic with people because that’s not me. I will always wish the best for everyone even if they hurt me because I know they’re hurting inside. If it makes you feel better to put me down, then that unveils your own insecurity. I’ve learned to owe it to myself to keep being productive and to keep being myself.
Deep down, we all want to be at peace. We have different methods of attaining that peace when it comes to anger. Some people vent profusely and curse to get everything off their chest. People hit too, as I’ve experienced from bearing the bruises from past relationships. Narcissists often use anger to manipulate you into suffering on their behalf. These individuals especially can’t understand what they’re doing, and they often lie to escape blame. It’s a caustic, attention-seeking method, but it often is an attempt to speak out the truth about where you stand and how much they do or don’t respect you. Others clam up and let it be. In both of these situations, I’ve experienced some anger, or at least resentment when viewing how to end a quarrel. Anger as a lens for seeing the truth is sticky and dangerous. Anger is an exacerbated form of dissatisfaction. It’s a dangerous push and pull between absolutes. Whether you push it under the rug, or you scream it out, there will be remnants of tension because we all want to be right.
So my advice for dealing with anger is to be as logical and as calm about it as possible. I’ve learned that most of the time, it’s useless to flip out because people can use anger to paint you as the crazy person. Anger is an entirely personal thing. Its remedy is communication. But in order to be able to do that, you have to be willing to face yourself before you can face someone else. Owe it to yourself.
Vexation is disturbing. Understand that many conflicts you encounter will remain unresolved; sometimes it’s safer for you, and that’s okay. Try to stay as productive as possible. Use your anger to create and to get closer to your dreams. Use it not as a barricade, but as an aperture. You’re in control of your mind. Don’t let your mind control you.
Islam actually has a beautiful quote on restraining anger and choosing forgiveness instead:
“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.”
Another quote from Abu ibn Ali Talib that resonates with me is:
“A moment of patience in a moment of anger prevents a thousand moments of regret.”
For anyone whom I’ve had an unresolved conflict with, I forgive you. One, for the sake of maintaining peace in my life, and two, because I know you will need to hear it someday. And I genuinely do forgive quite easily because it helps me move forward. But I’ll never forget, and none of this means that I will allow you back in. You got too comfortable. You took me for granted. You already pulled me at the roots and watched parts of me die in your hand without caring. I need to know if you want to grow too.