On Overcoming Anger

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In the process of growing and bettering myself, one thing that I have really tried to focus on in the past year is being positive, improving my overall attitude. I guess to put it more specifically, I've been trying to not be so angry.

Even though I'm happy in my life overall, anger and bitterness and other obscure negative emotions managed to gradually creep in. It happened slowly enough that I didn't even realize it. They made a home in me so snug that it seemed normal. I wasn't consumed by anger, but it did become a part of me. 

Looking back at the things that angered me so much at the time is embarrassing. Thinking of who I was and how I acted feels like I must be getting myself confused with someone else. I did that? I don't even recognize that person. Playful ~sassiness~ had turned into just being mean. Hypocritical statements and double standards were common. If my life was a TV show, I'd have hated my own character, and maybe you would have too.

As much as I would like to say that one day I had a sudden realization that changed me overnight and I immediately set out to fix things, that's not what happened. In fact, I had multiple wake-up calls, all of which I took for granted and ignored. I'd promise to not act like such a jerk, and it'd last for a little while, until I ended up right back where I was, like a short-lived New Year's resolution.

I had my reasons for acting how I did, but there comes a point when you have to stop letting those reasons have so much control over you.

"Just because you're sad doesn't mean you get to be mean to people." This was said to me once, and it stung, but it's true. I needed that. I needed to be called out, for someone to tell me, "Hey, I cut you some slack before, but what you're doing now is not okay." I'm so appreciative of that, truly. It's important to have people in your life who are comfortable enough with you and secure/confident enough in your relationship – romantic or not – to call you out on your shit. It's SO important.

I hate that I ever acted the way I did, but at the same time, I'm proud of my growth. I handle anger much better. I don't place unnecessary blame or prolong stupid arguments to try to prove a point. I (do my best to) focus on the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives. Making a conscious effort to separate myself from anger has put me in a good place.

I'm sure every year I think to myself, "This is the happiest I've ever felt." Yet it only gets better each time around.

We all have periods of time where we're shitty people. What matters is that we grow out of that, and that we come out the other side a better person.

Negativity will creep in sometimes. It's okay. It's unnatural to be positive all the time. Just don't let it stick around too long. Acknowledge it and deal with it in a healthy way. It'll be better for you and the people around you.

Strive to be less angry, less resentful, less jealous, less whatever negative emotion keeps getting in your way. And a year from now, you'll be able to look at the TV show version of your life and root for your own character.

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