Anger and me

My relationship with anger is several generations old. I inherited the gene for being hot, short, tempered from both my parents. The outcome wasn’t a hot chick but a girl with a temper not measurable by any meter.

Anger is one letter short of danger. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The tradition of being short-tempered runs on my father’s side. Genetic transmission and successful expression of this gene have kept it from diminishing in its impact on the bearer. Though I must add, I happen to be the coolest of the lot. It isn’t my own belief but my observation that the time-lapse between any incident and shooting of one’s temper is inversely proportional to how younger the person is in my family.

This means my father is a lot cooler than what my grandfather was and he, in turn, was way calmer than what my great-grandfather was. The sad saga of being hot-tempered doesn’t end with the exchange of angry words, but I have actually seen my father and even grandfather tremble with rage and stay annoyed for a period of not just a few minutes or hours but also days together and in rare instances even years.

As I grew up, I realized that though I did face occasions when I had upset my parents to trigger intense anger, they had the immense self-control to never ever be tempted to raise their hand to shut me up. Maybe, it was also because a few angry words almost always were enough to shut me up. Most of the times they go quiet when they are most angry. You can see their hurt and anger in their expressions but other than that there is pin-drop silence. The trouble began, when their anger was replied by anger on my part.

I was often called hot-tempered and moody but I have been one of those crazy people who cry when they are very angry. You’ll never see me throwing things or yelling angry words or swearing at anyone when I am angry. Though I wasn’t so composed till long ago. When I was a kid, I would stamp my feet hard to show my disapproval, would start crying in less than ten seconds and give up on anything I’d be doing for emotions would get too overwhelming for me to even think about anything else.

As maturity dawned and self-analysis stepped in my life, I spent many hours wondering how could I change myself to a calmer being. The main reason was resentment I felt each time I was angry. The hurt of having hurt someone with my words would make me uneasy, but nothing really worked till I moved to college. My best friend there was among the coolest souls on the planet. She wouldn’t get agitated over anything, she would continue the conversation in the same controlled manner despite our disagreements and she would never cry or let herself lose control of the situation under any circumstances.

I didn’t notice the difference in our temperaments in the start, but when I finally did, it gradually dawned on me what a fool I had been to waste my energy and several opportunities only cause I had failed to keep my calm at those times. My friend’s company gradually transformed me to someone way sensible than I had ever been in my life. But, bad habits are like bad masters, who resist any and every change they are subjected to.

There were many occasions when I’d try to stay calm but my resolve would fail me. It was the start of my inner volcano to cool down, but the person whom I credit to actually changing me from an active to a dormant volcano is my ex. Although I dislike giving him credit, it’s a fact and I don’t want to deny it.

The day he stepped in my life, which was way before we actually got married I sensed something very calm about his personality. Till then I had seen people in my life get irritated over slightest of irregularities, lose patience over tiniest inconvenience. But, I was now with a man who never seemed to lose his composure even if a meteor struck the ground right before his eyes. I silently pledged to learn to control my emotions, change myself for a better life.

It was way later (when I got married and started staying with him) that I realized that all I had been impressed with in our initial courtship days was a mere pretense. He had his own mood swings and spells of throwing his temper on anyone he could get hold of, which unfortunately on all times happened to be me. His erratic behavior was tinted with strong shades of sadistic tendencies. If he’d be upset about anything, he’d shout at me till the time I would break into tears and feel miserable. The minute that would happen, he’d break into a charming smile saying he’s feeling heaps better.

Despite the bitter experience life threw my way, I have definitely grown to control my anger (or so I’d like to believe). I do get disturbed and turn edgy on many occasions (which unfortunately have been ample in the recent past) but I have been successful in controlling my temper. Ever since I have moved back to my parent’s home I can actually see the difference in myself. I now sound like the coolest soul in the household who knows how to stay calm. Though the reality isn’t as impressive as it sounds, for I too have my moments of emotional meltdown and burning in rage.

Ever since I have moved back to my parent’s home I can actually see the difference in myself. I now sound like the coolest soul in the household who knows how to stay calm. Though the reality isn’t as impressive as it sounds, for I too have my moments of emotional meltdown and burning in rage.

Life has a way of teaching us at every step. Just a few moments ago, Pari was stamping her feet seeing me fiddle with the laptop. She has her own set of anger genes, which I am determined to cool down and transform with my new learned calm and composure. Not because I want to control her, but because staying in control of the situation you are in, with an open mind is definitely better than losing it over everything.

Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry. ~Lyman Abbott

The song on my mind: Woh hain zara, khafa khafa ~ Shagird

41 thoughts on “Anger and me

  1. I love the last quote, it’s not about “how never get angry” but “how to get angry”…
    I hate shouting or saying bad words in a fight or arguments… The guilt kills me later but what has been said is said…that’s why I always make an effort to control my voice decibels and words…
    luckily for me, DH is just like this…his expressions convey his not liking something but not voice or choice of words…

    I read somewhere kids can’t control their emotions (their brain is still developing) and that’s why they throw tantrums…that book was very good, gave lots of info about babies/toddlers/kids and how they change over time and how to help them in understanding their emotions, logic and how to calm them down…I can’t remember it’s name now, will write that later…

    I’m sure you would do a wonderful job as a parent. Hugs


  2. Felt like reading my own story ME. I too have a friend who is my opposite and for the past 3o years we have been friends. Life bitter experiences have worn of my anger and now I look at things ina detrached way. Earlier anger, tears used to be my ornaments ;P, no more now.
    My husband luckily is a rock, a sensitive rock though and he has helped me to be mature


  3. Add me, add me to that list of crazy people who cry when they are very angry. I have failed miserably in controlling my tears especially in front of people who care a shit about it. Is there any technique to control tears?

    I so so agree to this “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry. ”

    Hugs ME..


    1. To be honest, there isn’t any technique that I know of…though I’d love to learn any such things myself 🙂
      But yeah, you’ve got to pledge to yourself to control your emotions and fight back tears. There’ll be failures, but you’ll definitely feel better and things will change from the point you started. Having a role-model helps immensely 🙂
      Hugs Ani


    2. Anna

      Yea, there actually is a technique to help keep from crying. when you feel the tears rising, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, similiar to what you do when you have a headache because of eating ice cream too fastly. I dont know why, but it does help. Try it.


    1. I am so glad that you have finally found peace and a calmer self. My cooling down actually began when my husband came in my life, I changed dramatically over the years of my marriage. When I first met him I was the hot-headed one, but in no time I became the cool soul who used to keep my husband cool (how…is a different story!).


  4. Very well written!!! Totally agree with the last line. I have issues with anger too…but I am so queer, whenever I am angry, I go off to sleep. That actually irritates my hubby more than anything else!


  5. We share this streak then. I inherited some of my anger from my mom and we both have this tendency of saying the most hurtful things. My dad, who is the sweetest soul on earth suffers. I feel really bad after I say such things and it kills me from inside. I know I am not evil or mean, but when I am angry I tend to say really horrible stuff, assume things and yell. I have pushed my boyfriend or hit his hand or back in irritation and I feel terrible when I do that cuz even he is a real sweetheart. My best friend in India is an angel and she has calmed me down quite a bit and so has my boyfriend. I have to learn to control my temper and my sharp tongue for the sake of ppl who love me.
    Well, I would not just blame it on my genes, but certain experiences from childhood. I’ll elaborate those in my blog sometime.


      1. Thanks a bunch ME. I have resolved to keep my temper in check and try super hard not to hurt ppl who love me cuz of anger over those who mean nothing in my life. Thanks for writing this. 🙂


  6. I am a short tempered person… *accepting this with shame* and I do get emotional, tears flowing down my eyes in less than 2 mins.. But I get angry only for proper reasons (just that they are more sometimes) These days I try only one thing – the choice of words when I am angry. Most of these days, the cause & effect of my anger is the husband( who remains cool always). Getting back to calmness takes a while – I will apologize quick if the mistake is on me, at the same time I expect him to realize and console me if its the other way round.


  7. M glad that you managed to cool down…but m still the same. I can say my tantrums have reduced…but still i do shout, yell at times, especially on Samu. I know it is not right…but sometimes it the outburst of frustrations with In-laws.

    That’s a different story…will tell you someday….till then…a big smile right now 🙂

    Take care dear….I can understand the pain….but all i can do is just pray that you get the strength..!!



  8. “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” – what a thought! Thanks for sharing this.. and your own experiences with anger.

    I have always felt the same about anger – and yet haven’t been successful in learning the ‘right’ way to deal with it!


  9. Sigh!!! Anger is one thing that even I need to battle with. Though I do not have a tendency of losing my temper ferquently but when I do….like you even I take to crying when am verrry angry. But yes controlling ones anger is an art which needs to me mastered and I like your reason for having a control on Pari’s anger. Good luck & cheers 🙂


    1. I know, anger is one of those emotions that is so overpowering over our sanity at most times that we realize our mistake long after the damage has been done 😦
      Thank you for the wishes Smita 😀


  10. I think it is important for anyone to channelize their anger in the right direction. We can keep thinking about a few incidents all over our life and might be even temporarily happy for having got back at the perpetrators. But the anger will never go out. It will keep burning us.

    There is a cool quote that I read in my library (back in college days) that subconsciously changed me, but slowly. The gist of the quote was something like, “You are responsible for whatever happens to you and whatever happens around you”. In the beginning, I thought what non-sense of a quote is this? But then as I kept thinking about it again and again, the truth in it dawned on me.

    From that time, I have been extremely patient and think a lot before showing my anger. Of course, there are these days when I do display anger on impulse, but they have gone down to a huge extent. These days I am able to control my anger, and I am proud of it!

    Destination Infinity

    PS: Do consider that people are not inherently sadistic. They become sadistic most probably because they have been exposed to sadism themselves (at work or elsewhere).


    1. I agree to your point on sadism. My husband not only inherited it but also mastered the art by being a victim of it (quite regularly) from his father. So now when they are together, they make a killer duo (in literal sense).
      Thank you for sharing the quote, it actually holds true to quite a large extent 🙂


  11. I have had a lot of problems with my anger , but i think over age I guess I am being able to control it better, there use to be time if someone banged into me while i was walking they got a punch or a slap .. college days..
    now i have learnt to ignore a bit or just take an EXTRA second for that punch to land … so things re improving I guess.

    I dont have any patience AT ALL.. but then i can hardly remmeber my parents to be that angry so i wonder who i got it from …


    1. I am glad you are gradually getting calmer and taking that EXTRA second, every step counts for anger isn’t worth risking our sanity for!


  12. You could have written about me there..I have always been short-tempered and I think it comes from my dad ..But now, I have become a lot more patient and have learned to maintain my calm..Guess you grow up in ways you never imagined you would and for the better..I still have my tantrums but it’s less compared to how I was a couple of years back 🙂


    1. It feels good to realise that we did something to change ourselves for the better…occasional tantrums are alright, till we know how to stay in control 😀


  13. Loved that quote… But honestly, I seldom get angry maybe once in a bluemoon. Same goes with Abbas too. But on the rare occasions that we do, it can get ugly 😀


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