Quick, think back to the last time you got super fucking pissed. So pissed you threw something. So angry you said things in the least graceful manner and it all just sort of came out like cold gravy.
Or maybe you didn’t blow up on anyone in particular. Maybe it happened all alone at 1am. Same fucking thing.
And maybe I’m being a little dramatic here. It doesn’t even have to be a full-on fire and dark magic and goat sacrificing emotional explosion. Maybe its just a few disdainful comments, or a sore forehead at night, and thats it.
Maybe it was a loved one doing something that was grinding your gears for so long you couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe it was a friend that made fun of how young you look for the fucking 5056th time and you just couldn’t seem to get your cold shoulders and distasteful laughs through they’re half-retarded and empathy lacking eyes and ears.
How did it make you feel?
No, not like how you felt when you got pissed. You were pissed, idiot. I mean just now. What did the memory of it cause you to feel?
Maybe you have apathy. Maybe you don’t regret it, and feel totally justified.
Maybe its a mixture of self loathing and even a little regret. Maybe you wish you could take the words back. Maybe looking back on it, you actually feel disgusted with yourself. You feel guilt, or worse shame. You feel upset about being upset.
This is how I feel a lot of the time when I look back on my emotional explosions, with the exception of a sexual harassment situation I was in, and even sometimes I wish I handled that better.
“Why the fuck did you do that?”
“You wouldn’t forgive someone that treated you that way.”
“You’ll never get them back.”
“You’re a shallow piece of shit.”
Says the gremlins and demons deep in my amygdalae.
But its okay. This is a part of the human condition. Accept it, adapt, and move on.
The reason most explosions happen is due to a emotional coping technique called “bottling” which is done by consistently suppressing emotions. Men are encouraged in many cultures around the world not to show their feelings and be “tough”. This actually just encourages bottling. Woman do it too, but not near to the same degree. I hate how men commonly call woman “emotional”, because the truth is they are just far more open about how they feel. Funny how they tend to actually get over things faster and live longer.
You don’t get tough because you avoid your feelings, you get tough because you’ve expressed and weathered them, leading you to understanding them.
But anyway, all these things boil down to one thing.
Your needs aren’t being met – With other people or yourself
I mean, we’re basically a bunch of big little kids. Always crying and bitching when they don’t get something they want or need, for better or worse. As we grow older, we just change the way we go about expressing the same present emotions.
If you’re blowing up on someone, chances are they aren’t for you, or you need to let go of some expectation you have of them, and fulfill those needs elsewhere.
If you’re melting into your pillow frequently, you probably need to let go of some expectation you have of yourself.
Ive tried apologizing and mending my friendships that turned stale or ugly a few times over the years of my life, only to end up disappointed. Its not like in the TV shows where the two protagonists get in a big fight, and then one buys the other some article of whatever signifying their inside whatever joke and they make up a few days/weeks later and everything is back to normal. This is a seriously abnormal and rare occurrence. Thats why its art in Hollywood. If it does happen at all, its usually after several months to a year.
The only place I’ve found this to be true is extremely intimate friendships and family. And even then, we still had arms length for a month or so. More times than not however, and after enough turmoil, they end.
And this fucking sucks. Theres no pretty way of saying it. Basically, you’re right about things you haven’t recognized or cognitively expressed.
I had this really close friend once, we’ll call him Aron.
Aron didn’t give a fuck about a thing in the world. Me either. Or so I thought.
We would go drink, talk about philosophy and ex girlfriends (Same thing). We would stay up watching old films. We would take pain killers for fun. We would go camping. We did it all. We always laughed, we always enjoyed ourselves.
But there was this thing going on. We would give each other endless shit about the things we were into or things about ourselves. He would call me a pussy. I would call him the tallest degenerate I’d ever met. Then he would turn around and tell me that at least he wasn’t 96 pounds and a bitch. Then we would laugh, say we were “kidding”, and go back to whatever perfectly acceptable and normal activity we were up to.
We went on for 5 years like this.
But heres the thing; it always bothered me. I hated how he constantly shined the spot light on my insecurities. I hated how he had all those same distastes about himself, but wouldn’t ever admit it. He always assured me he didn’t care. Actually, Im pretty sure he was even more repentant about life than I was. He had some of the worst false apathy I’ve ever seen in anyone, and I never noticed how much I was starting to take on those characteristics within my personality until I pissed off just about every person around me and wondered why people thought I was a dick.
So one day, I finally had enough of it. I was ready for change. I went off on him. I told him the way he treats me and especially himself was detrimental. I told him I hoped I would never end up like him. And there it was, out in the open. Friendship ended just like that.
I ran into him a few months later. We acted like it hadn’t happened. Not a word was spoken about it. But it was alive and thriving in the back of our eyes. I wanted to apologize. But I didn’t.
Because heres the thing about why we get so pissed about personal shit, and usually repeatedly:
They aren’t compatible with the level of relationship you’re trying to sustain. Maybe they aren’t right for you period. Your mind elicited those negative emotions within you because its trying to tell you something.
There are needs that aren’t being met. There are desires that outweigh reality. Those negative emotions are trying to motivate you to change things in order to fulfill those needs, externally and/or internally.
In my situation with Aron, I wanted him to be a friend that I could fully empathize with and vent to. If I asked him for personal advice, Id like for it NOT to be about how much of a lobotomized beef curtain I was being, and tell me what he would honestly do, and leave it at that.
If you’re a mature grown man, how can your response to most things be, “stop being a little bitch”? Sounds like you haven’t come to peace with most of your own shit, because we treat people the way we treat ourselves.
And its not that every single time he said those things to me they didn’t have a grain to truth to them, but that doesn’t mean they’re constructive pieces of information to reinforce. You don’t fix depression by telling someone their just depressed and need to cut it out. You can’t make someone happy by just telling them to be happy. It usually just makes it worse. You have to address behavior and emotion first, and locate reality second.
So naturally, I only felt worse when I tried to express my genuine self and thoughts to him. But over and over again, I kept trying to. And honestly, there was probably a little bit of neediness going on for me. If I was actually smart about it, I would have just dialed back the friendship and expressed my truth elsewhere. I didn’t have many other options going for me, and I rationalized this. Because we were compatible in other ways. We liked to do the same things, we liked to talk about the same stuff. We liked the same music. We both liked useless intellect. We both liked a well placed F-bomb. Those things kept me coming back, but not in a healthy way. I should have moved on.
Because my need of personal, honest, and accepting connection were far greater than those things. It just took me a long time to recognize those things through all of our false apathy and let go of what got me by, and start grasping for what would lift me up.
So next time you feel explosive, theres probably a good reason for it, and its worth the honest analyzation. It most likely has a plethora of things to do with you and very little to do with anyone else. The opposite is also true. If people blow up on you, I can promise it has everything to do with them and little to do with you. Im even inclined to say that “heart to heart” conversations happen because YOU aren’t filling THEIR needs, not the other way around. Obviously this varies by the situation, and if someone is being that honest with you its probably best you listen up. Its most likely beneficial for the both of you. But I keep the previous fact in mind, and take it for what its worth.
Locate where your needs are and figure out what thoughts and beliefs you need to hold on to, or let go of. Ask yourself if they are useful. Knowing where you stand with your morals is a pre-requisite, and these could even be part of the problem.
Focus on expressing your negative emotions in a socially acceptable manner. So you can have less emotional explosions, avoid bottling, move forward joyfully, move on peacefully, and enjoy your relationships, including the one with yourself.