A Regrettable Choice of Words


“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
― Ambrose Bierce

You’ve all probably heard of the saying “You got up on the wrong side of the bed”, and that it means the person is in a bad mood and are easily annoyed all day. Well, it seems to be quite common in my life. Some people just can’t control their anger. Anger is an absence of control. When someone is angry, hateful words flow out automatically and cannot be stopped. Once a person starts shouting, they can’t be stopped until they feel like they have got their point across, even if the point is wrong. To this person, everything they say is right and you cannot dissuade them of their opinion. It’s a paralysing emotion. The relation between the two (or more) individuals involved will be changed, and it’s almost always for the worst. It creates a tense atmosphere til the person in the wrong apologizes and means it.

I understand that anger is always triggered by something; daily stressors such as work and deadlines, and kids, but it can be controlled. Anger builds up, but the angry person does not have to take it out on an innocent person. In psychology, we call this Displacement. It means that we take out our unconscious frustrations on other people, blaming them for our own problems. It means the redirection of an aggressive impulse onto a powerless substitute target. It’s destructive.

There are two types of anger: wet anger and dry anger. Wet anger is crying your eyes out and your voice shakes and no-one takes you seriously, and it makes you feel vulnerable and weak. And dry anger is when your face is stone cold and your voice is sharp, and if looks could kill they probably would. Wet anger shows that you care too much and dry anger means you’re done.

Anger is hurtful either way. When someone takes their anger out on someone else to the point where the receiver is crying or shouting back, it’s not a healthy relationship. And I understand that people can be annoying and if the annoyance persists then the person has reason to be angry – the annoying person will not stop being annoying even if they are told to stop nicely, so harsh words are necessary. But I suspect that one of the reasons is a desire to be the complete opposite of our parents. We grow up in fear that we will end up like our parents and that we will raise our kids just like they raised us.

Anger and shouting, especially if it happens all the time in your home can have a bad effect on a person. You become immune and you become helpless. You start to tread on eggshells; you form your sentences and conversations in a way that won’t offend or annoy the angry person. You start to behave differently so the angry person doesn’t lash out again. But you never get it right because there’s always something minuscule like not washing up, not reloading the toilet paper holder or talking back in the wrong tone of voice which will aggravate them, and they burst at the seams. You can physically see the smoke coming out of their ears. It’s the reason I’m so quiet in real life and the reason why I write. Arguments can damage the mind of the receiver. Sharp words can rip the joy out of someone. It is something akin to emotional abuse. And it’s even harder when it’s someone you care about so you have to forgive them so you don’t lose them. Go figure.

Words can kill. Words can be frightening. But words can also be uplifting, so chose your words wisely and your life will be better, happier and people will enjoy being around you. Think of the person who you lash out at and think of how they feel. Would you want to be in their position? You don’t have to hit to hurt.

P.S. If any of you want to talk about anything you’ve been through or are going through at the moment just know that I am here to support you. Even if it’s something small, I’m here to talk.



5 thoughts on “A Regrettable Choice of Words

  1. Pingback: What Can You Learn From A Narcissist? – Little April Shower

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