Another Kind of Anger Management

Remorseful ManUsually, when we hear the phrase “anger management,” we think of someone who is set off easily as a result of someone else’s actual or perceived actions. Also, when that phrase is used, it often serves to indicate that the violence or destructiveness of the person’s outbursts need to be put in check. However, I believe there are cases when one’s anger is triggered by one’s own actions and, once called out on them, the “management” that’s required is in fact to take a long, hard look at one’s self.

In his blog entry last week, Torn referred to his feelings of sadness as a result of “a falling out of sorts with [his] longtime friends,” adding that he “take[s] such things particularly badly since I don’t have very many friends and the ones I do have I keep forever.” Little did I know I would find myself in a similar situation a few days later, although I choose to hope that not all is lost and that we will be able to talk things through eventually.

That being said, I am, for now, extremely angry with myself. Some of my actions that have caused the rift simply can’t be explained away, and that’s what’s causing the anger in me. Some other of my actions, compounded to those that are inexcusable, were interpreted in a way as to give them intentions or meaning they didn’t carry. But my anger with myself has been eating at me all day and will probably continue to do so for a while because, as I work on identifying the root causes of my actions in order to avoid them in the future, I can’t help shake the feeling that this exercise in itself may seem like a massive rationalization. Not even this blog can provide me a safe environment to expose the many, many thoughts that have been roaming through my head all day.

Along with anger at myself, there’s a huge dose of sadness for having made some friends feel as they do. Sadness and shame, actually. While never my intention, the consequences are the same. And the many thoughts I can’t expose here or to anyone are pushing me to look far beyond the situation at hand.