Friday, October 29, 2010

Trigger Happy Rational

I have a short fuse.

For as long as I can remember, I've always had problems in dealing with and controlling that particular volatile emotion. When I was but a young'un, the way I dealt with it was pretty simple: I got angry, I exchanged words, I got into fights and more often than not, I would get disciplined in school for it (the majority of my tantrums/fights took place in school).

As I grew older, the way I dealt with that volatile emotion also changed. I stopped getting into fights and instead started destroying inanimate objects and certain body parts. As for the exchanging of unpleasantries, well that basically regressed. Instead of shooting my mouth off with select adjectives, I chose to shoot from the lip with personal attacks.

Suffice to say that soon created its own special brand of problems, primarily in the form of damaged relationships with friends and co-workers.

Another bad side effect of having a short fuse is that I've made a few bad decisions in the immediate aftermath of blowing my fuse. Some I've been able to fix and some, unfortunately, have not.

Which brings me to the present.

In the here and now, because it usually takes me about two to three days to calm down to the point where I can think with the normal amount of clarity that I pride myself on, I've developed and put into place a series of mechanisms that were designed explicitly to neutralize and block those unsavory portions of me that I'm not overly fond of.

Mechanism #1 is the silent treatment. Yeah, you read right. Depending on when my fuse initially detonated, I'll spend the rest of that day hiding in my cube, doing whatever work that needs to get done and whatever work that doesn't need to get done. I'm still polite to my co-workers if they initiate the contact, but for the most part, I stay well hidden.

Mechanism #2 is computer talk. I like to talk to my computer (doesn't everyone?), especially when I'm in this particular frame of mind. I don't tolerate stupid to begin with, so I have a tendency to shoot my mouth off while I'm politely responding to an e-mail. Makes me feel better and it gives my co-workers a chuckle and makes them say, "There goes G again talking to his computer."

Those are the two basic mechanisms that I use in the real world as it applies to work (and no, I will not tell you what I do at home, because home is the direct cause of about 98% of this shit to begin with). The cyber world is a bit more difficult and lot more dangerous, sort of like walking through a convention of members and saying, "George Bush is my hero."

Because of the instantaneous nature of pressing the enter key, the mechanism that I have in place is pretty simple.

Do nothing.

I don't troll on Facebook (can pick a fight too easily); I don't respond to my e-mail (can too easily pick a fight where there isn't one to pick); and as you can see by Wednesday's post, I don't blog.

Yup, the one other problem that developed from my short fuse, is that I now have an inability to either blog or write coherantly when I'm this angry. The writing lesson was learned back in 2006 when a few of my former co-workers read the rough draft of my first self-pubbed novel and said I had a phenomenal amount of anger emitting from it. As for blogging, it's just a natural extension of the overall issue of writing.

So whenever you see a blog post like last Wednesday pop up in your reader or on the screen, just remember its only me protecting you from me.

Because in the end, isn't it better to become upset with me in a good natured way and remain friends, than to become collateral damage through 0% fault on your part and 100% on me?


  1. Facebook can be annoying - I could see where it would be easy to pick fights. Me - I just mostly read others' comments and hit the 'like' button sometimes. :)

    I hope you feel better soon, G.

  2. By the looks of things here, I guess that Jack O'Lantern is smiling again. Have a Happy Halloween :)

  3. I blow up easily, but fortunately I usually calm down again in a few minutes. Lana knows how to deal with me when I have one of my fits. She just lets me growl it out and then I'm ok.

  4. Well good for you for finding ways of coping with those feelings and the resulting actions. All I can say is that after reaching 62 I seldom let people push any buttons for me, anymore. I accept that some people are stupid, some like to pretend they are to get out of doing something, everybody is human and makes mistakes some over and over but hey, those are THEIR lessons, not mine. I don't have to fix problems that aren't mine, I don't have to offer help unless someone asks for it. Most of all I remind myself that ANY negative emotion causes stress in my mind and body and stress helps you on the way to more illness. I haven't got the time to waste letting other people make me angry. My anger has never really solved any problem or changed a situation for the positive. I do talk to myself in the car but everybody does that now so it doesn't look that strange. I will type myself an email if I feel I really have to vent about something. Sending it to myself seems to get it out of my system and I can delete at anytime. I will, on occasion vent in my blog when I think that somebody else out in blog land might need a gentle reminder about certain kinds of behavior.
    You are a friend, I understand and I wish you less stress in your life. I really do. :)Bea

  5. I share the weakness of a short fuse! My problem is sometimes I actually send off the email and sometimes I am not polite!

    Still not perfect, but I'm getting better at it. :-)

  6. General comment:

    I am doing much better today. I was able to talk to a co-worker of mine and explain why I said what I said on Tuesday (which is when all of this stuff went down) and she was more than sympathetic and understanding to what I was going through.

    And now, to the comments!

    Lynn: Some of my FB friends have others who I shall simply say are quite verbose so I try to avoid them at all costs. I've been a little more careful with the pages ever since I got banned from one this past summer.

    And yes, sometimes hitting "like" is the easiest and safest thing to do.

    Joanne: Yeah, Jack is smiling just a little bit and I'm hoping to be back to my abnormal self by the time Halloween rolls around. Got door duties this year.

    Charles: Believe it or not, this is actually an improvement over how I used to do things. Glad to hear that yours blows over just as easily as it comes.

    Bea: I have done some of the same things that you have done, but there are times where simply dropping out of sight helps save me from myself.

    As they say whatever works to solve and control the problem, then so be it.

    I appreciate the thoughtful sentiment and I'm honored to call you a friend as well.

    Jewel: I have unfortunately done that at work and it has come back to bite me in the butt big time.

    I've gotten better by having someone proof my e-mail from time to time, but sometimes, its a struggle to simply close out the e-mail for ten or fifteen minutes to get that needed necessary interruption.

  7. We don't have Halloween in Tasmania

    But some of the outfits I saw today were still scary

  8. I do some of these things myself...usually silent treatment because I am afraid of what I will say. I had a terrible temper when I was in my teens and early 20s and it has been with great effort that I don't react until I cool off.

    I also realized that most of the time when I think I'm angry, I'm just hurt...but having a very masculine personality it's hard for me to admit that.

    Anyways...hang in there and let me know if there are any voodoo dolls I can make for you ;)

  9. Miles: I can't wait to see what's gonna crop up here tomorrow and Sunday.

    Should be quite interesting to say the least.

  10. R: My temper was quite legendary doing my school years. I was what they called "special" and treated as such in more ways than you could possibly imagine, which is why I developed such a complex and a major mouth later in life.

    Still, there is a lot to be said for going underground in order to get a grip and regain control on one's sanity.


    Oh yeah (think of the song by Yello for proper inflection).

  11. I'm glad you've developed mechanisms to help defuse your anger, G.

    I hope you're looking forward to a Happy Hallowe'en. I bet your daughter is :)

  12. Talon: Thanks. It took me quite awhile to develop these because for the longest time I went by the philosophy that people had to deal with as is. Turned out to be not such a great philosophy to pursue.

    And I'm sure she'll have a great one. Things have been so busy that we haven't had the time to figure out a costume for her yet.

  13. I tend to be far grouchier away from the computer than while using it.

  14. Travis: Strangely enough, I tend to be more grouchier when I'm using my computer at work, then when I'm using it at home.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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