How To Be Pissed Off As An Adult In A Socially Acceptable Way


The world is not looking out for you. Events are not obliged to go in your favor. You will, more than likely, want to take a golf club to somebody’s car more times than you can even justify. But showing your aggression is not the answer. And if you couldn’t tell, I’m not talking to the one 41-year-old single dad reading this over his morning joe, I’m talking to the 18 to 20 something crowd who’s gut instinct is DESTROY, DESTROY, DESTROY the moment things hit a sour note.

Shit talking has become a profession in the 21st century. People are paid to smear each other’s names, to tear down those whose lives are slightly better than their own, and it’s an ugly environment. The fact of the matter is that as long as there are people, there will be conflict. Said-conflict can arise in any number of ways and can escalate from minor to severe in the drop of a hat. Until we evolve into cyborgs with artificial emotions incapable of offending each other, there is nothing that can be done about this. But how you handle yourself in these situations can make all the difference. In fact, you can use the hatred brewing deep in your heart as an advantage to gain an upper hand in the long run.

There is only a slight difference between passion and rage. Passion will drive you to write the great American novel. Rage will get you a 6 year sentence for burning somebody’s farm down. The two can very easily intertwine.

With enough patience and self-control, you can transfer that rage into passion. For example, you’re a writer but you work at Forever 21. You hate your job and want to pursue something greater but, ya know, rent… utilities… life. Your manager pretends to like you, but doesn’t, and takes the opportunity to dig into you whenever you make a mistake. Now you could do one of two things. You could tell that smug manager off and wipe the fake smile from their face for a moment of pride and weeks of unemployment. Or… you could bear it, retain that pent up negative energy, and release it into your work. Your real work. Not stocking coat hangers for underpriced dresses, but the manuscript you’ve been thinking about writing for months. Let other people’s poor behavior be your motivation to better yourself. You can be the person who sticks around Forever 21 for eight years, talking about everyone who rubs you the wrong way until you become the manager you hate or you could redirect the strength of those feelings into something that matters.

Do not, however, confuse this for accepting mistreatment. There is a way to control yourself and still speak your mind without burning bridges or damning yourself. There is a time and place for everything. You may want to scream, “Fuck You”, into somebody’s face but a simple “I Disagree,” will suffice just as well. It won’t be as fun, nor will it appease your inner self, but that’s where the energy redirection comes in.

We are all in a hole. Nobody is ever fully content with themselves. The thought on everybody’s minds is escalation. How can I move up in the world? How can I get to the place I want to be? Hatred, and outward aggression, is a distraction. It’s a problem causer. It’s candy. It satisfies your sweet tooth for a short period of time, but leaves you with nothing but regret. Hold onto the anger and make use of it until it dissipates.

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