Anger & Anxiety

I’ve been arguing with myself for weeks about whether to write this entry or not. On one hand, I want to get it off my chest, but on the other hand, I don’t really feel like it.  I guess I’ll write the damn thing and get it out of the way.

I lose my temper very easily. A lot of people have witnessed that. Some have found themselves the targets of my anger. Sometimes I get so mad that my vision blurs. I don’t know why I’m like this. I can make some guesses, but they are just guesses.

I’m a monster. I’m not above dragging people through the mud if they piss me off to a certain degree. I’ve really torn people down at times. I can be very vile, mean, hateful. But then, when the smoke clears, I’m angry with myself about the things I said while in a rage.

After losing my temper, I often feel a need to hide from people. The shame overwhelms me. Questions rotate in my head. Was my anger justified? Did I overreact? Did I take the issue more personally than I should have? More times than not, I decide that, no, my anger was not justified and, yes, I overreacted and took the issue too personally.

Which brings me to anxiety. Worse than my struggle with anger is my struggle with anxiety. I have a hard time looking people in the eye when I talk to them. My gaze automatically flicks from one corner of the room to another, to the ceiling, to the window, to the lamp on the table, and, of course, to the floor.

Some people take my difficulty to make eye contact as a sign of disrespect and get pissy with me. That usually results in me getting pissed at them, and then they’ll probably have eye contact with me.

I have other habits that people don’t seem to understand. When nervous or bored, I’m often touching my head or running my hands through my hair. I’ve been asked on a few occasions, “Do you have a headache?” No, as a matter of fact, I do not. I rarely ever have a headache, not even after a night of drinking.

At any gathering, I tend to pace back and forth from one end of the property to the other. Most of the time, I don’t realize I’m doing it until I’ve been doing it for a while. It’s pretty embarrassing, but I’m unable to stop myself for very long. I’m not sure why I do it, but I think it might be a combination of anxiety, Tourette’s and pure boredom.

When I go to a gathering, I go with the idea that I’m going to enjoy myself. But often I end up feeling like I’m not involved. This is largely due to the fact that I can’t hear a damn thing anyone is saying. Everyone is talking around me. I hear their voices clearly, but their words are gibberish.

I’ve been told that I need to start inserting myself. Into group conversations? Are you kidding me? Am I supposed to say, “Hey, what are you guys talking about?” and completely interrupt their brilliant exchange of words?

They might turn to me and try to explain, but they’ll likely have to repeat themselves several times and I still might not understand them. Then, after I’ve moved on, they might not be able to resume the conversation that they were apparently enjoying.

If everyone involved in a group conversation starts laughing, I might ask “What’s so funny?” Or if someone is passing around a cell phone, showing pictures, I might ask to see the pictures too. But I’m not going to insert myself into a conversation that’s being carried on by a number of people.

Although I’ve gotten better at being around people, sometimes I feel like I can’t deal with anyone. That I need to stay out of sight and be forgotten. This is usually when I find myself thinking about something I said or did that was stupid. It can take me a while to overcome that feeling and get to where I’m comfortable interacting with people again.

I wish I could be one of those dudes who is always mellow, confident, outgoing. But I’m not and I probably never will be.

3 Thoughts to “Anger & Anxiety”

  1. Fred

    There are two kinds of people in the world; Introverts and Extroverts. Extroverts must often be around people and engaged in meaningless small talk or they feel they will wither up and die. Introverts feel exhausted in meaningless small talk, because it is fake and restricts them from being their true selves as they are just being polite and not really sharing who they are. Plus meaningless small talk prevents them from get to know the other person. Introverts hate this.
    An introvert who accepts himself as he is and knows there is nothing wrong with him, becomes his own best friend. He doesn’t need other people to feel good about himself. He accomplishes that on his own. He also recognizes that he is unique as most of the world is extrovert and those extroverts like to tell introverts that they are in the wrong with comments such as “I’ve been told that I need to start inserting myself. Into group conversations?”, which is completely false. If you were to insert yourself more in meaningless conversations you wouldn’t be being true to yourself AND that can lead to anxiety by itself.
    Extroverts are shallow and usually selfish people, while introverts are the creators of art, music, and fiction. Some of the most talented people in the world are introverts. The rock stars we know are almost always introverts. That is why they often turn to drugs, because like us, being around all those people constantly wanting their attention is too much and the drugs offer an escape. They suffer from intense anxiety without drugs.
    Barrack Obama is an introvert, while donald trump is clearly an extrovert as he never shuts up and everything he says is stupid and useless information. You might think Obama would be very chatty in a social setting, but no he isn’t. He only speaks and others listen and everything he says is thoughtful and carries a lot of weight.
    i would much rather be an introvert doing my own thing by myself and knowing how intelligent and thoughtful I am compared to all these extroverts talking their heads off about nothing. I feel good when I am by myself for days. I feel energized, so that when I do have to be around groups of people I am most calm, but I can’t be with them too long or I too will become anxious and exhausted. And that is not because something is wrong with me, but because I am in a place that I don’t belong in as I have very little tolerance for small talk and people who don’t really know me, but pretend to be my best friends. The people who really know me know that I am deep and appreciate long in depth conversations about meaningful things and ideas.
    This explains my perspective a little.

    No you are not wrong for getting angry. People are often patronizing to you and impatient, and that is not okay. However, its probably better to find less aggressive ways to express it. Enforce your boundaries in a healthy way and plan for how you will act if someone attempts to violate them. I think what often happens is we are caught off guard and we react aggressively. It happens to me often too. I try to response in less aggressive ways. If I find someone is being patronizing to me, I decide it is time to go home and I leave. That is why I left so abruptly Saturday.
    The best way to not be anxious and angry is to be true to yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that its the wrong thing. Do what makes you feel comfortable as often as possible, not what others say you should do.

  2. Rob Darnell

    I know what an introvert and an extrovert is. I don’t think it’s wrong to be an introvert. I’m fine with being an introvert. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to spend time with other people once in a while. I don’t agree all that talk is meaningless, and it could be a fun conversation. Nor do I agree that all the people talking are extroverts. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with being an extrovert.

    Extroverts have things they struggle with too, anxiety being one of them.

    I’m not just talking about going to gatherings or being patronized. I’m talking about myself and my experiences. There are a number of times when you yourself have told me I have no reason to be mad, and things like that. I’m talking about all the times I go off about anything.

  3. Rob Darnell

    I said I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being an extrovert. But I think there’s something wrong with the extroverts who put pressure on introverts to insert themselves. I never agreed when I was told to do that.

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