Thursday, April 1, 2010


Anger is an odd thing for me. I have a long, slow fuse. Push me a little, and I'll move. Push me a little more, and I'll move again. Again, and I'll withdraw further - maybe a big step, so I don't have to deal with you. Push me far enough, and eventually I will go for the throat - which usually comes as a surprise to the sort of person who thinks that a lack of immediate response is a reason to keep pushing.

I don't suppress my anger - not consciously or deliberately, at any rate. But I have a hard time getting angry, and it doesn't happen very often. As a result, I sometimes don't realize that I *am* angry until we're well past the point of no return. There have been times when the sudden rush of anger is a great relief: finally I know how to react to this. It's a relief because the times when I've reached this point have been well past the point where any reasonable person would already have gotten angry.

And once angry, I don't easily let go. Oh, I don't stay angry; what would be the point? I'm not vindictive, for much the same reason. But if someone manages to get me truly angry, I don't forget it. And I treat that person accordingly. There's no point in communicating with someone like that; no point in treating them like a person.

My brother has a much quicker temper; also a much firmer, more black-and-white sense of right and wrong. (So does my mother, actually.) Cross his boundaries, and he'll let you know immediately and in no uncertain terms. I've watched him do this, and sometimes I'm jealous of it. Sometimes, it saves him an awful lot of trouble. Other times, it causes problems that he could have avoided with a more patient approach.

As a general approach, they both work; what I'd really like is the ability to use both, and to know which response is appropriate to the situation. Because sometimes one is a real advantage, and other times the other one is.

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