Dealing with Anger

I am known as a happy camper among my friends. And at a recent optimism test I took, I scored 95 out of 100. Years ago I remember a then-colleague asking me how I maintained the apparent joyful energy at work.

My personality type according to the Myers-Briggs test is INFP – and I am a dominant feeler. Which means I can feel something very strongly, including anger. So it may sound paradoxical that an apparently happy person like me can also exhibit a fiery temper–but it makes sense once you consider how that stems from my being a strong feeler. But that’s another point for another post, because as I cool down from an angsty episode this evening I think I have finally realized how I managed to stay happy. (In fact I am bouncing back now after almost starting an argument with my innocent close friends. Sorry girls. One of them even said, after I explained my odd behaviour, that it’s good I didn’t bottle things up, and that at least they were close enough to understand.)

My secret, I think, is this: I allow myself to explode. Without causing damage to property, and lives, of course. But I know I need to be mindful as to the possibility of damaging feelings.

I let myself walk around with a scowl on my face when forcing a straight or smiley one feels just too fake. Sometimes I drive up to my favourite place and let myself step a little more on the fuel pedal than usual, turn on my favourite rock music to high volume, and scream. Once another driver was blocking my way and instead of being polite (like I usually am on the road) I allowed myself the luxury of honking to my heart’s content. Not to be outdone that woman made some vigorous hand gestures towards me, so in my already fiery mood I gladly slipped into fight mode: sitting in my car, I stared directly at her for a few good seconds, flashed my right fist, and drove off laughing. So that worked.

And being a wordsmith, of course verbal expressions of anger is another avenue I use quite a lot. Words–they can be amazingly cathartic! But I have mellowed over the years, so giving offending parties a good piece of my mind is something I do only very selectively.

So I guess the conclusion I am coming to about dealing with anger is that…playing ‘nice’ and trying to bottle things up in the name of patience and tolerance does not necessarily work. We may just find ourselves walking around with accumulated unresolved anger weeks, months, and years later.

I would vote for, well, moderated outbursts and ventilation. I wonder how many of you agree or disagree with me–how would you deal with your anger?

Liberty to Laze

I had some grandiose plans
Of a spanking sparkling kitchen
Nary a speck of oil on the stove
Floor so spotless you want to dance barefoot.

Dust and dirt vacuumed to perfection
Laundry all done and swaying happily in the wind
Powdery freshness pepping up the air
Only thing left to do is wash my hair.

But I chose the better way
So dishes sit in the sink
While I breathe garlicky air–the aftermath of Chinese cooking
Indoor slippers feel better than clean floors.

I ignore my army of detergents, brushes, and mops
Grab a book and a glass of wine
Some chocolates and nachos
And gleefully indulge
In the liberty to choose
To laze
To just be.

The wine is good.

How Do You Eat An Elephant?


Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

I have too many elephants staring down at me–work elephants, personal elephants. Oh gosh how do I eat them all? One bite at a time, so say the wise ones. Take this one rather complex elephant–a big project I am starting at work. It’s going to involve many different parties–many whose expertise the entire thing cannot do without. So Elephant Project, how do I eat you?

First, I need to get clear on what I want to achieve. Second, I write down all these goals. Third, I need to flesh out the work details–what exactly needs to get done, by when, in order for the goals to become a reality? Like if I want to build a showhouse from scratch with the goal of charging people to come and view it, what are the nitty gritty?

Uhhmm (yes this really requires a lot of hard thinking!), I would probably need to finalize the concept of the house, and then engage a reputable and reasonably priced, and reliable builder; and then there’s the interior decor, sourcing of materials, so on and so forth.

Fourth, armed with a clear list of work to be done, I need to set out to recruit the right people to work with me. People whose expertise, talents, and interests match the things I have on my list. Oh dear, even the recruitment process itself alone can be broken down to at least 10 steps, I reckon.

Fifth, I need to keep my eye on the ball — on all the deliverables that are being worked on by these various parties. And make sure I regularly touch base with my team members to get updates, find out what challenges are being faced, and play the part of the motivating presence (I hope)…and hopefully everything pans out well and the elephant gets eaten, digested, leaving everyone happy and satisfied in the end.

This post is part of SoCS:

What the Heart Really Wants

To be heard
When I speak
To be noticed
When I sigh
To be needed
When I give
To be caught
When I leap
To be loved
When I fall short
To be welcome
When I bring nothing
To be seen
When I smile
To be embraced
When I am tired
To be missed
When I am absent
To be cherished
When I am old
To be mourned
When I am gone
To be remembered
When I no longer am.

Are you
Any different
From me?