Am I an angry person or do I just get easily frustrated?

Impatient? Check. Opinionated? Yeah. Passionate? Uh-huh. Grumpy? Yup. Hot-tempered Greek? You'd better believe it! Angry? Of course...but doesn't everyone show a little innocent indignation sometimes?

Honestly, I just think I have too much energy for my own good. And people don't know what to do with that energy. My friends will half-jokingly accuse me of being full of rage when arguing a point or asserting my opinion. I always thought a little spark of impassioned feeling went a long way when it came to debate. But, like I said, my boisterous manner is often mistaken for unadulterated ire. People take it personally. Personally, I think passionate would be a more accurate description of my so-called anger.

According to Belief.net's "Are You Wrathful?" quiz, my score falls in the category of "Even Jesus got angry once in a while." I'm sure he did. Wouldn't you if you had nails driven into your palms and had to dangle from a cross wearing nothing but a skimpy loincloth? And don't forget his dad. He certainly knew a thing or two about wrath.

Deadlysins.com defines anger as being "manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury." Sorry to disappoint all the doubters in my group of friends, but that's not me. I LOVE love and I do not spurn it whatsoever. In fact, what makes me angry is that I have so much love to give and so little time to give it. So there!

Now, I'm not saying that most of us couldn't use a chill pill every now and then. We all overreact sometimes…or, often. That, I will admit, is my sin, although it's not all that deadly. Is it? Lately, I have been making an extra effort to cope with my over-reactivity. I've been doing some DIY awareness training. Whenever a situation may cause a negative reaction in me, I take a deep breath and a step back for a moment. Not a literal step back. A figurative step towards distancing myself from the situation. This way I reflect on the big picture. I ask myself, calmly, Does it really matter? Is it really worth it? Would I sound like a total ass if I said X? By doing this, there has been less tension between the rest of the world and me. And less chance of my having a fatal heart attack.

Does the tension disappear entirely? No, unfortunately. A few crumbs of tension are left behind each time. They end up collecting and turn into a pile of depression and inner tension that surface and are sometimes hard to shake off. (Not all that unlike the Seinfeld episode where Frank Costanza attempts to squash his temper using the "Serenity Now" technique that ends up backfiring on him in a big way.) This, of course, leads to a new question. Is trying to subdue my reactions working against me? Perhaps. An entire day of feeling down, on the verge of tears, doesn't sound like the best alternative, but at least my over-reactivity is gone almost as soon as it comes. I'm getting better at letting go of the stuff that used to really rile me up.

There has to be a way to balance it all out—to create harmony between my serenity goddess and my inner wrath demon. I'm still trying to figure it out, and maybe with some more years of maturity I'll become a much calmer person. There are counselors and books for that kind of stuff, but I just don't think I'm at the point where I need that kind of help. And I am a do-it-yourself kind of gal who likes to figure out things on her own. I guess the days of wrath-free existence will just have to wait until I'm ready to give up that part of me.

So, yeah, I'm angry. So what?

 

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