I get angry sometimes.

So what?

Well, it sometimes means that I might raise my voice and say something that fits the current state of anger, and maybe stomp once or bang my fist in a table or something like that. Quick move of energy, a quick release of what needs to come out. It can happen at a blink of an eye and is over the next second or next few seconds.

Trouble is, there's one person whome I listen to quite a lot (more than I should, at times) who describes this as a temper tantrum and quickly compares me to a child. Quite honestly, that bugs me to no end. The way I understand what she says, anything that includes raising your voice or an outward lash of anger of any kind fits into "childish temper tantrum". This happened a few days ago.

The consequence of this line of thinking then be that although you can talk about him angry you are, there should be no other show if you're a grown up person.

Utter and complete bullshit, if you ask me.

Have you seen a temper tantrum in a child? The way I see it, that's those fits of anger and crying that just won't stop whatever you try to do to calm the child. Basically, it goes over when the child has exhausted it's resources. If a grown up did something of that magnitude, I can definitely see the childishness in it. I can also see that a grown up having that kind of tantrum also might be quite destructive, and quite scary. But how does that compare to the stomping of a foot and a few choice words with a raised voice? Is it just I who see the difference in order of magnitude between the two?


Now, of course, there's the other side, being a subject to someone else's fits of anger, temper tantrums, whatever. Depending on your own disposition, you may be more or less able to deal with someone else's anger. Maybe you feel threatened by it, and start defending yourself by kicking back (verbally) or trying to put down the other's anger with a few choice words of your own? Maybe you're stable enough to realise this is just about anger, and nothing to worry about as long as it doesn't go to physical abuse? Maybe you're stable enough to listen and hear if there's some truth in what was said in that fit of anger (i.e. do you recognise some of it in yourself?)?


So, if we take this analysis a bit further, what does this all say about me? I have a small fit of anger, the person I'm angry with feels threatened by it and puts me down or tries to gain control by refering to a tantrum (which has previously been thoroughly associated with childishness), and I end up being bugged by it. In other words, I feel threatened by the reference to childishness. Quite an interaction going on here :-)!

This is, of course, a realisation that I've still some growing up to do, that the "threat" of being compared to a child isn't more than just a threat, and isn't more true than I make it. After all, only I know the truth within me, and I've still to learn to rely on it more than I do today.

At this point, one of my favorite quotes (the depth of which passes way over the head of many) is quite fitting:

When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

-- C.S. Lewis
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