Getting Mad

There are many different kinds of anger. Today, I'm focusing on the people who just don't GET mad. They don't have that moment of "hey-- I deserve better than this!" where anger is supposed to kick in and help us speak up for ourselves. We're so busy trying to make everyone else feel good that we often don't even notice how bad WE feel in a given situation. Maybe you don't even feel it's worth defending yourself or you don't think, "Woah! I would never treat someone else that way-- why is it okay for them to do it to me??"

When this has been your system of operation, and you are now slowly working to be more self-assured, self-aware, self-accepting and self-serving (in the sense that you finally realized nobody but you can give you what you need out of life)... Those little moments when you DO GET MAD because somebody stepped over your boundaries and tap-danced on your comfort zone or your right to be treated with fairness and respect... those are great victories in your quest for emotional health. Celebrate your mad moment.

For example, about two weeks ago, somebody gave me the deadline of November 15 to respond to a specific request. Yesterday, they emailed me with a demand for ASAP response on that request. You know? It made me mad. I've been working on it. I'm still well within the deadline. (I've got a week left, thank you!) Why are you hounding me?? ... and the fact that I got mad, instead of trying to make that person happy ASAP... for me, that was a little victory. That person is no more important than I am in my life now. The rules don't change just because they are tired of waiting or because they don't respect me. But it is up to me to enforce those same rules, to expect respect, and not to feel like I failed THEM when I don't get it.

I sent that person a clear, polite, and honest response. I clarified my position and maintained control of my process. HOW COOL IS THAT?!

Here is the deadline you set me. Here is what I've been doing in relation to that request. Here is why THIS PROCESS is important to me, and how it could also be of value to you. I know you think THIS PROCESS is a waste of time, but I appreciate (and expect) that you will humor me and do it this way anyway. Thank you.

Getting excited about getting mad helped me see just how far I've come in becoming my best self. I'm finally starting to respect and value my needs, expectations, and actions-- AND DEFEND THEM WHEN OTHERS DISAGREE. You see, anger problems go both ways. You can be someone who gets angry out of proportion to the stimulant-- you can be an ANGRY PERSON... or, you can be someone who fails to acknowledge their anger, who thinks they don't have a right to get mad and to defend themselves. They don't acknowledge their own needs OR their own feelings. This is just as self-destructive and unhealthy, people.

If you go around saying, "it's okay to step on me"... well, then people will step on you.

You have to take responsibility for getting your needs met, and you have to respect yourself, or nobody else will do these things either. We define our own worth in many ways, and acknowledging how we feel is one of the biggies. Acknowledging that we have a reason to feel that way, and then intentionally deciding on a course of action based on ALL of our awarenesses (intellectual, personal, emotional, professional)-- well, THAT's a healthy way to live.

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