I don’t like getting angry. I’m not talking about “shouting at the kids” angry, which frankly, if I didn’t pull that out on a regular basis, my kids would be doing exactly what they want to do ALL THE TIME – namely, eating snacks naked while playing Wii. I’m also not talking abut the everyday irritations at a partner. I mean, who hasn’t looked at their partner of nearly twenty years, blurred their eyes and imagined a strapping young Italian named Eduardo who didn’t speak much English? What I mean, is getting angry at friends. They’re not like family, where if you make a mistake and go too far, they will eventually forgive you and love you anyway. Particularly with friends you meet at your kids’ school, these are relationships that you can permanently damage, and you can be guaranteed that their kids will be in the same classes as yours for the rest of eternity.
I was angry at a really good friend last week and really struggled to express it in a non-damaging way. My family’s method of fighting, which I try not to do, is to go on the attack and bring that person down – at all costs. The aim is to win the argument, regardless of the validity of either person’s viewpoint. So without that to go to, or my other, more useful go-to method of pretending it didn’t happen, I was really at a loss.
In the end, I stopped myself from saying anything at all for a week. By that time, I’d had hundreds of conversations with her in my head, sorted out what was going to help the situation and what was just my anger speaking. I didn’t f*** up my friendship, which was more important that the issue the argument was about. The adult within is proud of me, even though I didn’t get to use some of the serious zingers I thought up.