A close girl friend, 20 years my senior, wrote me a letter many years ago where she railed at me because I was going to leave my husband. My friend was an important part of my husband’s and my life and she must have felt I was leaving her, too. Her anger was stunning.
Anger is enervating, unbecoming and a complete waste of time and I’ve spent far too many hours of my life wrapped up with this emotion, whether it emanated from me or from someone else.
I’ve finally learned that it’s okay to be disappointed, frustrated or mad at someone or something, but there are smart ways to deal with these feelings. Angry words and actions are not smart. Lashing out is not smart. Asserting how we feel and what we want–calmly and unemotionally--is smart.
Diffusing someone else’s anger also accomplishes a great deal more than fueling the fire, so to speak.
My friend and I eventually had a rapprochement, but she is an angry woman to this day. Not at me, but at life. She also has advanced cancer, which makes her angrier. It is a pity that her anger is consuming her.