Talk about interesting timing. On Sunday I had a post titled Why Do We Dwell On The Negative? go live. It was talking about why we let small things bother us when we have so many good things going on around us. I had written that post almost 36 hours before it went live; how funny a thing timing can be sometimes.

Sing It Back
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Just hours later I read the verdict in a particular trial that I'm not in the mood to mention right now; anyone in America knows what that trial was, even if you don't watch the news all that much. I don't think anything since the O.J. Simpson trial really captured the attention of the country as far as legal things goes. And I got mad... really mad... anger that I haven't felt in many, many years. It's hard to explain that kind of anger when you're not used to it, but that's where I was.

These days you have outlets where you can express yourself in public; I chose Facebook. Even in my angry state I wrote something fairly innocuous; I wasn't really in the mood to inflame things, although I felt like if I was living in Los Angeles or Florida I'd have wanted to go on a rampage; scary isn't it? Certainly not my style but I had that flash of anger and I was by myself and, hey, we're all human right?

In that moment I wanted commiseration and nothing else. For the most part that's what I got, many people who agreed with me. But like most things I got the other side as well, and I wasn't in the mood for any of it. So I deleted every message I didn't like. And those people didn't like it. And I didn't care.

There's this thing about timing; sometimes people just don't know how to gauge when they should try to be a voice of reason and how they should do it. If you'd just broken up with someone or had your spouse file for divorce against you, do you want someone walking up to you saying "well, I always thought she was too good for you so now you can find someone who's more at your level?" If a family member just passed away do you want someone coming to you saying "they were only holding you back anyway, so now you can go out and do great things"?

There are times when, even if you don't feel it, you have to be kind and consoling, or just shut up and move on if you can't do that. I've never understood the mindset that says "let me step into the fray and state my opinion, no matter what anyone else thinks" at certain times. There are people who don't have a filter; that's scary, but it is what it is.

So, how did I get over my anger? Strange as it may seem, I got over it by talking to the guy who caused me to get angrier than I already was, the guy whose messages I'd removed more than anyone else's. He was upset that I had removed his messages and felt I made him look bad. I was upset that his timing was so poor and told him so. This is a guy I actually rarely agree with on anything, yet he's a good guy overall so I've never blocked him from my Facebook stream.

Still, we had to have a conversation about the whole thing, and about some other things that have occurred online in the past. I said that it's rarely the opinion that irks me as much as the lack of sensitivity and timing. I pretty much said the stuff I wrote above, and of course went a bit further. One of my last lines was that I always understood his point of view because it's a common one I've seen from people who don't agree as I do, but I wondered if he ever really understood what I was saying, especially since he couldn't know where I came from.

As we talked, and it was all written, I calmed down. Because when all is said and done what calms anger the most is communication. People stay angry when they can't talk, when they can't find the words to express why they're angry and when they don't get the opportunity to address why they're angry with those who either made them angry or helped to make them angry.

If you've noticed in your own life, sometimes you try talking to someone else who has nothing to do with the reason you're angry and it just doesn't work to help in making you feel better. There's a skill in doing that sort of thing, and even with a practiced skill it doesn't always work. Sometimes you just need the opportunity to talk to or address the matter with those who have angered you, or hurt you, or wronged you in some fashion to overcome it all.

This worked for me, and it only took 30 minutes. Now, maybe it's because I don't get that angry all the time so I don't know how to sustain it anymore, or maybe it's because I got to say everything I wanted to say. Either way, I calmed down a lot. And in the days since I've stayed calm, avoiding any more news on the subject because I don't want to go there again. Removing yourself from things you know will bother you is one of the smartest things you can ever do.

How do you deal with anger? Do you agree with my words here? Let me know. As for me, onward and upward.