‘Say Zoë….do you like, ever get angry?’
It was an unexpected question I got Tuesday, when a colleague just asked me this out of the blue. We’d just joined a meeting and exchanged the normal pleasantries and then BAM. There it was.
Now – my initial response was a very a-typical giggle, followed by a quick ‘no I don’t. Not really’.
The fact that I’ve spent the last 20 minutes cleaning up glass shards from my carpet and floor after VERY angrily kicking a side table that still contained two glasses and a bowl of M&M’s is proving kind of the opposite. Who knew. I get angry. Man. I get SO SO angry.
But there’s a distinction, as I discovered just this morning. Seriously. I DO get angry. A lot. Passionately. I think everyone in the world does. And I’m VERY good at holding grudges and I can keep the flame of hate burning for a long long time when I (feel like I) am wronged. Plus, a LOT of things have the power of getting to me. A lot of my emotions happen to translate to anger as well. I get sad – I get angry. I get hurt – I get angry. I get tired – I get angry. I get hungry – I get angry. I get insecure – I get angry. And then proceed to get angry at myself for being so easily swayed to anger. VICIOUS CYCLE!
But when my colleague asked me – I instantly translated ‘getting angry’ as ‘getting angry AT people’. And that – I don’t. I won’t yell at someone. I won’t throw things at them, or shatter plates (at least, I haven’t yet). I won’t get in heated discussions, make a scene or turn into flaming headed mister Anger from the Inside Out movie. None of those things.
I do however boil on the inside. I rage, and seethe and burn. I do very much get vindictive. And creative in exacting that revenge. I am the queen of the silent treatment and I am epically equipped with an insane fantasy to wreak havoc upon my unsuspecting victims. You won’t SEE me get angry though – and in that lies the true danger that is moi. You better be perceptive enough to notice my anger even when it’s not shown, just so you can prepare for the brunt of an attack that is definitely coming.
The thing is: anger sucks.
Not just because it’ll have you pick up pieces of glass and vacuuming extensively (all the while hoping you’re not going to be getting sharp slivers embedded in your foot the rest of the week) but because it EATS at you. Especially when you don’t show it outwardly. Especially when you’re so very stubborn in keeping all of the anger boiling at a constant simmer. You can’t get over things that way. They just rot your core until inevitably (and yes, that IS inevitable) you DO explode. And that ain’t pretty. Especially because all of that inner-worked-up anger might come as a total surprise to the unwitting receivers. Or the poor glasses on a side table.
It’s too late for them now though. And too late for me to be un-angry. So today is an angry day (fed purely by non-angry emotions that now cause anger, obviously, because that’s how it goes).
WOOSH – flamey anger head activated.