Slow Simmer, Fast Boil?

I know that we all have tempers.  I’m just confused as to the way we all handle them so differently.  I’m a total *slow boiler* and it’s something that all my life, I’ve wished I could change.  How do we just change the way we are?

Some people can just say right up front the way things are and the way they feel.  Without any guilt or any worry over hurting someones feelings.  That’s another thing, hurting someones feelings.  Is it temperament, compassion or what is it??

I can probably say with utmost sincerity that if I was at a restuarant, I’d eat cold food.  I might even eat the wrong thing if it were brought to me.  I’ve seen people send back food time after time thinking, I’d never do that.

I am very slow to anger.  But the down side to that is that once I’m mad, I’m really, REALLY mad and most times, I’m mad about 25,903,483 things and the thing that gets brought up first might be something like “you forgot to shut the door.” Every single thing I’ve ever been mad at that person for, gets brought up and then, I’m very hard to get over it.  I hang on to it sometimes….well… forever if I’m going to be honest.

Then you have the people who just come right out and say what I’ve done, hurt them.  Right now, clean cut, over and done with.  So just what is it that makes each of us handle this differently?  I have two boys and my oldest will tell you right to your face if he’s mad and most importantly, why.  My mom is like this and so is my husband and his family.  Now my youngest, he’s just like I am.  The madder he is, the quieter he becomes.  Just like my dad, my brother and I.

I don’t fight either very often.  I’m just quiet.  I feel that once something is said, it’s never forgotten and when you say things in anger they never go away and that person will always remember that.  Another thing I hate about myself is that I expect people to read my mind.  If I’m mad, they should damn well know why since I’m mad at them!!  Total wrongness, I know that but how can I change?  I’m more worried about hurting someone else’s feelings so I just keep things inside.

What about you?  How do you get all fired up and how do you handle it??

This entry was posted in anger, family, feelings, forgivness, people, relationships, thoughts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Slow Simmer, Fast Boil?

  1. spillay says:

    I am just like you…..a slow boiler. I call ANGER one of my demons and even blogged about it being like an active volcano. You can never know when it is going to erupt and when it does,… well,… you know…. I really, really want to change this part of me.,.. especially now that I see that my eldest son (8 years old) is also taking after me…..

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. woowooteacup says:

    Hi, Joy – I am the slow-to-anger, stay-quiet-when-I’m-mad type. Drives my Hubby crazy. He’s always trying to get me to just say when I’m mad and why, but sometimes I’m mad without being able to articulate exactly why. I need to be quiet in order to figure it out and so I don’t say something I don’t mean or that I’ll regret late.

    Sorry about not explaining a meme right away. Somehow I saw your comment about heart attack snow and completely missed your first sentence. Silly me. If you bop on over to that meme post again, I’ve got it explained in the comments. 🙂

  3. Joy says:

    @ spillay, I also wish I could change the way I handle anger. Not just the anger though, I’d like to learn how to handle “hurt feelings.” Not a lot makes me mad but a LOT of things hurt my feelings. I do talk it out very well though…with myself 🙂

    Thanks for checking out my blog.

    @woowoo…it makes my hubby really mad too since he’s the one who has to live with me when I’m having one of my “fits.” He never knows if it’s him I’m mad at or what. But like you, I’m very hesitant to say anything out of anger because I always know I’ll regret it so I just stay quiet until the anger has subsided. I’ll bop over to your site soon and check that thing out. Thanks….

  4. jane says:

    I guess it would be easy to say I just get it out. I don’t hang on to things that anger me. If I were to just be ’quiet’ (pout) to my husband, we’d never get our jobs done. We’re farmers and have to talk to each other so if I were to hang on to things that made me mad, it would be hard to communicate things we needed to say. Whether it was about calving or immunizations, where this particular cow was…..I can’t do it that way. I find it’s just easier to say up front what’s wrong and move on. Maybe it is because we work so close that we don’t handle things like that. I’m from a farming family and we all are pretty much “get it out in the open” types.

    My grandma was this way though. She carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. You could always tell when something was wrong but when I’d ask what was wrong, she always *sighed* and said ‘nothing’ when you know ‘something’ was wrong. Given I’ve seen two sides, I feel it’s healthier to get things out.

  5. kweenmama says:

    I tend to hold things inside as well. I think it is because I HATE conflict. I’d rather simmer on the inside than end up in a boiling fight on the outside. Not sure if that is good or bad.

    BTW, thanks for checking up on me during National Turn Off Your TV Week. I survived it!

  6. Ali says:

    This is an interstioning topic and I like the pic you chose to put there. I am up front. I just say what bothers me and be done with it. I hate confronting but hate it more when no one is saying anything. I don’t fight though. Just when my feelings are hurt, I just say ‘you hurt my feelings’ because….and then it’s over. What makes me upset about that is then dear husband knows, he does it again and then I feel like he doesn’t care. That could lead to a fight but……

    My mom is like Jane’s grandma. She never said a word and that was hard to deal with too because my dad would try and talk to her and she shut him out and he’d fight, she’d get quiet and then the whole house was upset. I feel talking things over and getting over them is more productive.

  7. Christine says:

    I’m so much like you. I will avoid confrontation at all costs!
    Maybe it’s because we are bloggers and express ourselves here that we don’t have an anger management problem
    : )

    Lets not be doormats, ok?

  8. Joy says:

    I try very hard not to become a doormat but there have been times that I have been and then I get mad at the person I was a doormat too and they have no idea why I’m mad!!! Aaaarrrggggg!!!

    Do you think we let people treat us this way and if so, how can we stop???

  9. Lisa says:

    Hey, well I think you know what I’m going to say. I keeo things in so to an point — than I’m very FAST to boil. Wow do I ever feel better once I let it out. I wish I would be slow to boil and not react or over react. But not me!!!

  10. SKL says:

    Joy, your blog gets better and better! Just thought I’d get that out first.

    I tend to be a slow-boiler, too (in real life, if not so much on the Web). It’s something I really need to work on. Where is that fine line between making something better by talking it our, or making it worse by making the other person feel defensive and misunderstood? I guess this is part of my overall personality – I spend a lot of my time wondering if I’ve thought things out well enough, particularly when it comes to interpersonal relationships. I am an extreme introvert, so it takes a lot to get me to “put myself out there” with respect to my own feelings and insecurities. Then, when I do, as often as not, the person who hurt me is just as insecure and, rather than trying to come to a mutual understanding on how not to tick each other off, they end up rationalizing why they were right to put me down or take advantage of me based on some exaggerated account of what’s wrong with me. So, I guess I’m gun-shy when it comes to confronting people who’ve made me mad.

    I tend to be passive-aggresive. If someone gets to that point where I feel too abused, I usually just withdraw. I lose the motivation to make any extra effort for that person, don’t want to have fun with that person, generally don’t want to be in the same room. If they know me, they will realize I’m mad and start a fight just to get me to say why. But if they don’t know me, I just keep it inside and feel worse and worse. Once my boss snapped at me for “thinking I have the right to talk to him every time he walked past my office” (excUUUUse me!). I didn’t talk to him for three days. He didn’t even notice. Hmm.

    I am not sure it’s a good or bad thing to hold back. On one hand, I have to say that after I’ve had time to think about it, I’ve figured out that the problem was more with me than with the other person. I remember when I was a teen and I often had these types of exchanges with my mother. I would not get in my mom’s face, but I would go off and write in my journal. The entry would start out with how I was treated so unfairly or whatever, and a couple pages later, I’d find myself agreeing with my mom. So in cases like that, it’s probably better to hold off on having a confrontation. It’s just hard to find that line beyond which an immediate confrontation is more effective.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hi Joy,
    How I respond to anger I guess depends on when the event hits me. If I get hit with something after a day of crappy things I might blow which would not be my typical behavior, but has happened once or twice in my life.

    In dealing with my spouse, I typically do as SKL mentioned, and withdraw. He knows what that means and as things cool down later on we discuss things.

    The rest of the time I try really hard to be honest with people if they upset me but also try really hard not to hurt anyone’s feelings and hope beyond hope that life can go on as normal without any hard feelings. 🙂 Nudge Nudge

  12. Joy:
    I was looking for an image to portray a message in a book I am writing for family care givers. The message was how a person should vent anger constructively- and a tea kettle came to mind.

    Thanks to Google images I found your weblog- and wouldn’t you know- there was a discussion on dealing with anger.

    Thank you for your art and thoughts. May I use that image and of course give proper credit in this forthcoming book?

    The Rev. Richard F. McCleery
    Carebourne Enterprises

  13. Joy says:

    Sure Richard. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Jenny says:

    My name is Jenny Howlett. I am currently doing an ICT GCSE and i was wondering if i could have permission to use one of your pictures. The picture I would like to use
    is a picture of a boiling red kettle.

    Thank you

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