I used to have a terrible temper when I was a kid — I would get angry over the smallest things, and it was simply uncontrollable. I remember so many instances when I blew up at my cousins because they wouldn’t listen to me or because they wouldn’t play the games I wanted to play; I remember snapping at my parents all the time whenever they said anything that offended me or because if they didn’t let me use the computer or something as trivial as that.

Somehow or other, this anger has ebbed and abated over the years, which is indeed a fortunate thing. And while stupidity still annoys me to a large extent, instances in which I feel genuine, white-hot burning anger have fallen dramatically since JC. Maybe it’s having to control my emotions so much during Secondary 4 (which looking back, probably was one of the more darker moments of my life), or maybe it’s just growing up and being more responsible — whatever it is, I find myself slower to flare up at people nowadays; more patient (yes, you can just imagine how terrible I was when I was younger then); more willing to just stay silent when other people are tossing nonsense about.

I think Becks described this as something along the lines of “you can annoyed with people easily, but you don’t get angry with them”; and I guess it’s true to a certain extent. Annoyance is one thing because honestly, incompetence and idiocy frustrate me to no end. But it takes too much energy and too much effort to be angry, and stay mad with someone — that coursing feeling of hatred and self-righteous fury is simply too draining to even comprehend.

Sometimes I feel like my ability to emote has dulled considerably since university started; but I’m chalking it up to cynicism and general laziness to pursue anything that is detrimental to my emotional/physical health. Why bother being angry at a person when you can use that energy to do something else instead? Why bother continuing an argument when it’s just going to make the situation even worse? What’s the point of staying angry at a person, even after they’ve apologised, even if you really think they’re in the wrong?

(Even in this, I can see my laments about the pointlessness of life peeking through.)

Anger is blinding in the way it makes one self-righteous. It impedes you from seeing an issue from different angles; it short-circuits your ability to empathise with the person you’re squabbling with, and to try and figure out why the person is saying the things they’re saying.

Maybe that’s why I’m so quick to back out of any arguments now (general laziness aside). I just can’t be bothered to converse with a person who’s incapable of empathy, or who’s simply irrational with anger. There’s a certain pointlessness when arguing with a furious person because they will never concede that they’re wrong (even if they are); and there is no proper way to reach a calm, rationale conclusion — at least, it seems that way to me. While that makes me seem like a coward and smacks of an emotional self-defence mechanism, at least I’m way calmer than what I used to be (although also a lot more submissive, which is definitely a problem).

But that being said, don’t get me angry. Because in the wise words of a certain green bulk of a monster, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

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