When I am angry, I fully realize that I am not in my rational mind. It feels very out of control; out of control does not feel good. Many people recognize the lack of feel good, but miss the bit about “not in rational mind mode”. It’s at this point when people become hurtful towards each other and things spiral out into the stratosphere. Next thing you know you’re apologizing for saying “things I didn’t mean”. To my way of thinking that’s a real waste of energy when it’s far easier to give each other space to get a grip on yourselves, get to the source of the hurt or anger, learn what needs or desires are not being met that brought on the anger or hurt feelings in the first place THEN talk to each other about the source of the issue(s). From there a good solution can be reached. Work out the anger/hurt/disappointment for yourself first so you can see clearly and have a coherent discussion. I prefer this way of dealing with intense emotions. It helps prevent the later discomfort of having to explain something I said that yes, I did mean but probably not the way you understood it.
It sounds like a hellacious amount of work and steps but it can all be done at the same time. While you’re cooling your heals and getting your rational brain back you can help the process along by acknowledging that yes, you really are angry. As soon as you acknowledge you are angry/hurt/disappointed/whatever you can then move immediately into dismantling said anger. I like to write it out. For me working my issues out on the page keeps my irrationally controlled mouth from spouting anything awful. My “something awfuls” tend to be all the worse because I am speaking my perceptions, I tend to be brutally blunt and I definitely mean them. Thus the above comment that I may say things I mean but maybe not the way it would be understood. I hate explainng myself. It’s damned uncomfortable. I prefer to think about things and give myself the opportunity to decide if what I’m thinking of saying is worth sharing and if so, how to share it in a way in which it will be heard and received the way I mean it; if not, it can just get tucked away into my thoughts for later deconstruction. This doesn’t always work but it’s always worth the effort. Any insight gained can always help keep explosions at bay should a similar situation arise another time.
Sometimes I need days or a week or two to work through things, repeatedly revisiting the issue(s) from different perspectives until I can have a coherent conversation without diving head first into emotional overload city and exploding on the hapless individual expecting a more reasonable (pliable?) being than the scalding, raging she-beast in front of them. Sometimes the ish just needs handling in the moment and the chips will fall where they may. In those moments where I am a tiny ball of red matter* it really is best to leave me be. I will courteously request/warn you to do so. Most people are perceptive enough to do as I request. Those who aren’t…. Well, I’m back to the part about needing to explain/apologize for the way my truth spewed forth. If you find yourself in need of space, please be kind enough to request/warn those around you. And in the event you have someone in your environment who likes behaving like a dorkwad, when you spew on them they can’t claim they weren’t warned. You spoke, they didn’t listen.
My preferred manner of handling anger/hurt/disappointment has lead people to believe in some instances that I am infinitely patient (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA) and/or don’t really get angry/hurt/disappointed. I’d just rather not work my feelings out in public, thankyouverymuch, though I will if the moment calls for it. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and it has nothing to do with any one person in particular and I need space. If I get demands for my attention instead, I can get ragey and that tiny ball of red matter is there all shiny and cute and red and…. ready blow worlds to bits on impact. Again, I need space (and if you’re in a similar state, you do, too). Breathe deeply and get to work on sorting things out. It really is better to take issues to the page (or the gym or for a run/hike or….) to get your brain back to logic land so you can have relatively rational discussions that won’t require later apologies.
*red matter: red, liquid-like matter that creates black holes (and subsequently destroys any nearby planets) from the 2009 Star Trek movie. Seriously adds new meaning to the phrase “a little bit goes a long way.”