I’m usually able to keep my temper in check, but my personal danger zone is when I’m “hangry” (hungry + angry). A few evenings ago, with a stressful week behind me and another one ahead, I behaved badly with a friend. She expressed an opinion I disagreed with, and I went salty.
I wasn’t proud of myself. And I did apologize.
In our culture, we’re encouraged to express ourselves, told that every thought and opinion is fair game for public airing. Free speech, right? But I’ve always believed that rights come with responsibilities – just because we *can* doesn’t mean we *should*.
Whyever not? Why not just let it all hang out?
Because we care for one another. Because we want to build relationships, not tear them down. Because there are ways to disagree without expressing anger, without hurting or humiliating someone we care about.
Because I don’t want to be that person who loses my temper. I want to cultivate patience and kindness, and stay aware that when someone disagrees with me, it doesn’t mean they’re my enemy. If I want my friend to think my viewpoint is valuable, I can start by treating her with respect, even if I think she’s wrong.
I try to keep a handle on my rage because the short-term gratification of the outburst isn’t worth the long-term consequence of alienating someone who’s important to me. And sometimes, I have to take a deep breath and remember that.