Yesterday I was at my youngest sister’s dance competition. I’m so proud of her and she was beautiful on stage! Her tap solo won second place and her group tap number won an overall best. This was her first competition and she did amazing!
It was at the competition that I had to practice self restraint. It was painful and I guess you could say I half did it, meaning I didn’t snap at the person but did so out of ear shot.
My Mother, Nanny and two sisters were coming back from lunch and making our way to the balcony part of the theatre. We were walking through the theatre lobby doors when I feel something rub past me. I turned my head to see what it was and I see a woman who loudly whispers to an older woman, “Sometimes I just want to push people out of my way.” She clearly thought we were walking too slow. One of my sister’s heard the woman say this as well and made a face. I stopped walking, looked at the woman and loudly said, monotone and stone faced, “Oh, sorry.” I decided that should be the extent of my interaction with this rude woman and kept walking towards the balcony doors.
Walking away didn’t stop the rage that I could feel bubbling up inside of me. A guaranteed way to send me quickly into a rage is saying the wrong thing when I know there are a million other ways you could have communicated the rude comment. For example, this rude woman could have said, “excuse me.” That’s a basic phrase we teach to our young children so they learn the importance of being polite and so that people like them. It will never cease to amaze me that adults seem to think that being polite doesn’t apply to them anymore.
Anyways, the rage is bubbling and the only I can do that is moderately productive at that point and not involving the rude woman directly is saying mean things about her.
“I hope she fucking falls down the stairs.”
“I hope her child loses.”
“I hope she dies on the way home.”
Despite these thoughts being common for me when someone sends me into a rage, I am usually bothered at how good they feel. In those moments I am completely lacking empathy (not that I need to have any for this rude woman) and I feel like if something bad did happen to whoever I am directly my hateful statements I would be perfectly content with their unfortunate fate, if not a tad happy.
What do I do with this? When it comes to strangers, I’ll do nothing about it. if I start feeling this way over people I care about then I will take action but that has never happened. It comes down to the so-called “black and white thinking”. When you’re in my good books I care about you very much. If you’re in my bad books, well, that’s tough shit for you.
Still, the moral of this whole story is that I can walk away from a situation that is making me rage. I can therefore apply this to other area of my life. It’s more important that I walk away from raging towards those I love.