Emotions with a HairTrigger usually only have negative consequences. In my marital sruggles over 28 years, I have allowed myself to develope a HairTrigger on my anger when it applies to my wife. It used to be very hard to get me angry. It still is with anyone but my wife. I can explain how I got that way, but there's really no excuse. Just came back from watching KingKong. Now that's one dude with a HairTrigger on his anger. -- BrucePennington
Interesting topic with anger. One that I've struggled with (not that I consider myself particularly angry, but well,... hmm, not sure I have accurate information on how I appear in that regard), but have mostly found constructed a process for working with anger out of others' processes that works well for me. Process works like this, somewhat (it is not rigorous):
With regard to martial arts, I consider this somewhat like "emotional aikido." Instead of trying to bash anger, step aside and use its momentum...
I hope someone might find this useful (although I'm seeing it could use some work). :)
Yes, Jason, anger is what they call a secondary emotion. It is almost always the result of fear - a primary emotion. The key, like you said, is to stop before reacting angrily, and phrase your reply in a way that says something like "that really hurts my feelings when XXX happens" or "help me understand what you mean by that." Often, the person causing the offense didn't even mean for their statement to be hurtful. When you give them the benefit of the doubt, and you find their original intent is something else, it can rapidly deflate the situation. -- BrucePennington
When I get really, really angry -- which is most of the time -- I find it helpful to annihilate the cause of my anger. Sure, this occasionally means I have to change identities or move to another country, and I maintain a staggering arsenal of loaded high-powered weaponry under my pillow to guard against revenge, but in the end it's all worth it for the peace of mind it creates. The only downside is the lumpy pillow. -- DaveVoorhis
I'm familiar with the married-with-trip-wire phenomenon.
I might suggest that a couple of things may apply here.
. People tend to persist as a way of asserting rightness, especially when challenged in some regard. For example, someone may insist on standing in a particular place (knowing that this creates inconvenience for another) or insist on leaving dirty dishes on the counter (when it would take only seconds to rinse) or insist on asking others to "bring me that blarg" when, only moments before, he or she was standing right by the blarg. Expressing resistance, criticism, disapproval, etc. may actually lead to him/her sticking on that. In the future, you (having already pointed out that this is unacceptable) may conclude that this is being done specifically to irritate you, while the other party is simply (and without actual thought) asserting rightness. Okay. You can deliberately let it go. Deliberately be unoffended. Knowing that pushing back will only lock it in place, just let it go. Without comment. Eventually it will tend to "discharge" and be less of a compulsion.
YouOwnTheKnobs?. Your emotions are entirely yours. That one can be harder to grasp than it might seem. You do this every day in social contexts with strangers. I don't know what this guy may say or do, but I'm going to be unruffled no matter what. How is it that someone capable of that level of emotional deliberation can't keep it together when the wife says "boat" instead of "ship" about the USS Iowa? On the one hand, you are completely willing to allow some stranger to be who he is without reacting to it. When you met your spouse, the same thing applied. Never mind how that changed, who started it, who's to blame. Your emotions are still yours. YouOwnTheKnobs?. You can still just allow someone to be.
Here we are. Front door. Long day at the office. Key in the lock. Deep breath. No matter what happens on the other side of that door, I will remain unruffled.
Not that I, personally, need to work on this. At all. Much.
LOL! Good stuff Garry and so right! "Love keeps no record of wrongs" -- BrucePennington