Thursday, May 28, 2009

Madder than a wet hen

Well...I have been hemming and hawing around this one, as anger is no fun (for anyone). It doesn't give one warm fuzzies (maybe cold fuzzies?), but we need to know some constructive and christian ways of handling it. Somehow, it feels as if God is nudging me here and I am balking, so maybe He needs to use this to help me and others "grow".

It is true that Jesus got angry with the people who were desecrating His Father's place of worship by selling and buying goods right in front of the Temple. There is such a thing as righteous anger, but it's too easy to say it works in all our situations.

In most of the times that I lost my temper in the past, I can honestly say that the ability to look back on those sad times makes me wonder that it even happened. It's times when I wish I could re-wind and do it over.

Michael used to ask me the answer to so many problems in the world (when he was first coming back into the church) and another "God moment" inspired me to say that "No matter what the problem, love is the answer." For Jesus, the love and honor for His Father was at work in the Temple that where does that place us when someone cuts us off in traffic or runs ahead of us (with 552 things in their cart) to an open register (where is the love here)??? So now I pray (it's okay to pray not to follow through with bonking the person over the head or saying something sarcastic), ideally, that I can remain kind and calm, but also for that person to be more loving.

As for the venting of our anger, there are so many terrific ways to "let it out":

1. In the case of a genuine injustice that has harmed someone in some way, we use the judicial system, not so much for ourselves, as to not let it happen again to anyone else.

2. House cleaning...a great way to have a spic and span home...just beat that dirt and dust up!

3. Exercise (bonking people over the head does NOT count) in some form or manner...walking, lifting (carefully) your furniture as you move it around to confuse family members (my late husband came home once and almost fell trying to sit where there used to be a chair!).

4. Pray, pray, pray.

5. Force yourself to do something nice for someone...even a little note on a sticky pad.

6. Use your sense of humor of find something funny to read or watch.

7. Do something nice for yourself .

8. Take deep, relaxing breaths for several minutes.

Finally, here's my little family story. Growing up, my daughter Ria became very serious as a teen-ager and had her sense of values about what was proper and improper. We were in Germany at the time, walking down a street in the downtown area of Bamberg when a serious case of silliness hit the younger two and myself (my husband Mario usually just looked on in amusement). We were doing kind of a Star Wars thing and "shooting" each other and laughing like crazed maniacs. Ria was horrified, mortified and then "madder than a wet hen". In fact, she was so angry that she walked as far away as she could from us and you could practically see the steam coming out of her. This made me sad for her, so I went up and started talking calmly to her, but she just stayed angry. This caused me to pull out my "ultimate weapon", my crazy sense of humor (which she could accept since no physical actions were involved). She started to snicker a little, then she actually laughed and finally she said "stop making me laugh...I want to be angry." Her own comment made us both laugh and the anger was gone instantly!!

Let's all remember that Life is too short to get angry over too little (things) and LOVE is the answer.

Here's a little tidbit I snagged from the internet:

"Ok. Let's move to anger. Now anger is a really difficult emotion. And, it's really different from fear. First of all, the action of anger is completely different than the action of fear. The action of fear is to run away from something. So when you are afraid, you run away. And the action of anger actually is to do almost exactly the opposite. It's to run towards something and attack it. Now, another action that goes along with anger that is usually not there with fear is the action of thought. It's kind of what we start thinking. So we start thinking 'this shouldn't be this way, this is unnecessary, things could be different...' When we're angry at people we almost always think they should not be the way we are... they are. And so the two things to look for in anger are going to be first you're going toward something and want to attack it. And the other thing is that somewhere you're thinking that whatever is there should not be there. "..


So here's a cute joke to go with today's musings:

A young girl who was writing a paper for school came to her father and asked, "Dad, what is the difference between anger and exasperation?"

The father replied, "It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me show you what I mean."

With that, the father went to the telephone and dialed a number at random. To the man who answered the phone, he said, "Hello, is Melvin there?"

The man answered, "There is no one living here named Melvin. Why don't you learn to look up numbers before you dial them?"

"See," said the father to his daughter. "That man was not a bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with something, and we annoyed him. Now watch . . ."

The father dialed the same number again. "Hello, is Melvin there?" asked the father.

"Now look here!" came the heated reply. "You just called this number, and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You've got a lot of nerve calling again!" The receiver was slammed down hard.

The father turned to his daughter and said, "You see, that was anger. Now I'll show you what exasperation means."

He dialed the same number, and a violent voice roared, "HELLO!"

The father calmly said, "Hello, this is Melvin. Have there been any calls for me?"

~~~Thank you Lord for the blessings of being able to become better people by finding positive solutions to our shortcomings.


  1. I liked this post a lot, especially as I have a very short fuse and am quick to anger, although I've been a little more patient as I get older. So this post is especially helpful to me!

    Are you feeling angry about something in particular or just the random rudeness of strangers that gets under the skin of all of us? What I try to do with strangers is assign a name or personality to them, I'll say to myself, "Oh, Barbara (one of my best girlfriends) just cut me off in line" and then I let it go of course instead of fighting for my place in line! I tell Ray to do that all the time too when he's getting annoyed at other drivers (which seems to be always WOMEN DRIVERS!), I'll say to him, "Pretend that's me in that car, would want some crazed man getting angry at me for making a wrong turn?" It usually works.

    Thanks for this post, Marcy! I LOVED ALL THE JOKES!! And I loved all your tips!

  2. Great post, Marcy! I have had a lifelong battle with my Irish temper, and still hven't beat it, but am always trying. A wonderful priest told me that there's nothing wrong with anger -- or any emotion -- it's how we act on it that gets us into trouble! Like you said, better to clean the heck out of the kitchen than to bonk someone in the head. &:o)

  3. My kids love that joke. (They heard it from their dad first...)

    Thanks for this great post. Great advice!

  4. Oh Marcie I know that feeling.........."stop making me laugh, I want to be angry". My hubby Keith does thst all the time, drives me mad bt it does defuse the situation. He's so laid back, see, and I'm a cross patch.

    love, Angie, xx

  5. Marcy when you were describing Ria as a teen it so reminded me of Katie. I think that she's afraid she will turn into me if she laughs! And this to shall pass! Hope you can find out what that flower is or I may go insane not knowing!

  6. It must be contagious, I forgot to tell you that when I get really angry, I vent to my husband and that helps. That along with a little time.

  7. Maybe there should be an anger management course in high school or a requirement when applying for a marriage or driver's license :) I agree Love is the answer to everything...issues of family, country, friends, or stangers...I really enjoyed your post!

    BTW...I did leave Diana the answer to her flower's a "spiderwort"...they grow wild in my woods.

  8. Hi Marcy! Loved your post today. For some reason I get angry when I am afraid! Weird. My hubby smashed his face on a rock, when he went on his four-wheeler with my son, who had just come home from rehab after being in a horrible accident with a tramatic brain injury, his face was horrible and before the two actually let me see his face (it is funny now) they sat me on the bed...and told a silly story about some crazy man and a 4-wheeler incident...not knowing it was my husband then he removed this towel from his face and I exploded in anger and was ready to charge him and beat him up even more...lolol because I was scared! anyway...I loved this post.. I totally recognize my anger now and what brings it on... my hubby has always told me, that "no one has the POWER to make me angry, or sad, circumstances do, and I am in control!" I always have a choice! hugs

  9. What a great post! I usually don't get angry but a couple of weeks ago I went to confession. I was in a hurry that day. As I was walking across the church this young man ran through the pews to cut me off. He tried so hard to get to the corner first that he actually ran into the door of the chapel and fell down on one knee. Then he took cuts in front of all of the other people already waiting to go to confession. I was mad especially because several of the people were very old. I bit my tongue. When the guy went into confession he was there for forty five minutes! That's when I realized he must have something far more important going on in his life than I had in mine.

  10. Marcy my little red head friend, your true colors are showing....Loved your post, as human beings we all share the emotion of anger from time to time and love is an answer as well as patience and understanding. Thank you for sharing......:-) Hugs

  11. Hi Marcy

    Great post. Here in Australia we are likely to say 'Mad as a cut snake', although this can also imply that you are slightly loco, queer in the head, a few sheep short in the top paddock, the elevator doesn't go to the top floor, a few fries short of a (Mcdonals) Happy Meal, the lights are on but no-ones home.

    Love you jokes, they make me laugh!

    Have a nice weekend.

    Cheers - Joolz


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