Wednesday, May 23, 2007


"Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger." - J.R.R. Tolkien

I wish right now that the above quote related to me. For the past few months, I have become angry, with brief periods of sanity, and unfortunately, I'm not a wizard, and so have no excuse.

I have a book on my shelf that my mother gave me several years ago titled "The Dance of Anger." It's a self-help book promoting good ways for women to express their anger, since we have a tendency to hold things in, thus denying ourselves, or burst out violently, thus living up to the "bitch" label given to lots of us. I have read some of the book, and am not ready to claim it fully good or bad, although I think the author is doing a good job discussing the emotions that often occur as a result of gender roles. However, this is a side note to the larger point, although perhaps I'll blog about the book once I've finished it.

I've become quite good at hiding my anger in public. Unfortunately, my fiancee gets the brunt of it, most of the time undeservedly, behind the closed door of our home. This makes sense; I'm a social psychologist, and know the tools of impression management well. But I don't like it.

I'm tired of being angry. It saps my energy, it makes me dislike myself greatly, which leads to low self-esteem and a general feeling of malaise. It also makes me quite irritated at little things that used to roll off my shoulders. Most of all, anger is not the best emotion to be feeling when trying to have right relations with others. Anonymous had it right when s/he said, "Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love."

Obviously, I'm not going into the sources of my anger. There are quite a few, dealing mostly with family, and I don't feel like venting them here. But I can't seem to get the anger to go away, so perhaps publicly discussing it will help spur me to action. Or, perhaps I can just change my occupation and become a Wizard!


Drek said...

Hey, look on the bright side: instead of one kind of wizard, you might have ended up as a completely different sort.

With anger, as with all things, it's important to keep a sense of perspective. And really, don't feel too bad- we all get angry sometimes. If we didn't we wouldn't be human.

TDEC said...

Oh yes, anger management. I agree with Drek - anger is normal. If you don't allow yourself to get angry at the time of the event every once in a while you just end up being very angry for a long time. If you can accept being angry then it becomes (a little) easier to let go of it. Don't try to get over things before you've acknowledged that they exist. Maybe that books helps to find good ways of expressing anger. In my experience you will express it, whether you like it or not, so you may as well try to pick your timing. Being angry with your family is very, very hard, because it is so hard to take a step back from it, it is so hard to be an adult around people who've known you as a toddler. Clear boundaries and agreements help quite often.

And if you are at all like Some Other People I Know, then don't forget to forgive yourself once in a while. Anger really is a normal part of life. (No, this does not mean I always know how to deal with it.)

Doogman said...

Curious why you linked the word 'family' to one of my images? Fine that you did, that's a photo of a spectacularly disfunctional group (myself included). LOL

Practicing Idealist said...

Doogman, I tend to do Google searches for pictures when I link them to the blog. I think your picture was one of the ones that appeared when I searched "hippy family," and it reminded me quite a bit of similar photos from my family. If you'd like me to remove the link, I'd be more than happy to.

Doogman said...

I suspected. (laughing) I think I'm beating Mr. Warhol's stated time limit.

Please, let the link remain, I sent it forth upon the waves and thus it washed up here.

Tickled to be part of your cultural martrix!