I was a smart ass. He took it the wrong way and thought I was angry, said my words made him feel badly, which in turn made me feel badly. I thought he knew me better than that by now. I thought everyone did. So I had to apologize, and I had to have The Talk.
"Here's the deal, Darlin'... If I'm ever angry with you, I promise you will know it and there will be no doubt. Fact is, I've yet to be angry with you - not bad for six months, eh? But, know this about me - when I'm angry, I don't waste my words and it's usually prefaced with a stony look and something along the lines of, 'you are really pissing me off,' and quickly followed by the reason why. Ok? Deal?"
Truth is, I really don't rise to anger all that easily. I used to. I used to have a foul temper, but years of self-analysis have taught me that I was mostly only angry with myself and I'm way over that. In my old age I'm a much kinder, gentler version of Barb (stop laughing, Laura!). Note, there's a vast difference between me being annoyed by something and being angry over something. I find that the things that anger me now are things that are largely noncombatable, so I find outlets for my anger. I walk, I create, I play it out on the piano. I've learned that lashing out, whether justified or not, gets little to no result and often, can even lead to undesired results. So, I breathe deep, reassess and stir my boiling pot of grievance gruel, and try to put myself in other shoes and consider how the Wrath O' Barb might best be received. (Sometimes this can take an instant, sometimes days.) It's a daunting task, but it's saved me from ruining many a relationship - whether business, friendship, family or whatever. More often than not, once I've taken the time to do that I find that my anger has abated, the moment has passed, and whatever it was becomes a non-issue.
People tell me I'm calm and rational. Oh really. If trying desperately to avoid conflict is calm and rational... well, boy howdy, I'm the poster child. Yay for me.
Ten things that make me angry:
2. child abuse
3. animal abuse
4. rude behavior
7. litter (see apathy and indifference)
8. leaf blowers
10. manipulative behavior
Billy Joel, Angry Young Man