Sometimes I feel like the quiet angry woman and sometimes I feel like the angry quiet woman. It's a balance... learning when to roar and learning when to whisper. Sometimes I get it "right" and other times I just don't. This topic comes as timely for me as lattely I have wondering about this very subject, but in slightly different terms. I recently traveled to a place where art and artists was very prominent and the people I spoke with were very verbal about their work and their accomplishments. I, on the other hand, feel uncomfortable with that kind of thing and I wondered... "Do I need to be better at promoting myself and my work or is it ok enough to know that I believe in what I'm doing and creating and that it will and is falling into place?" Same thing with quiet and angry... it's like that old cliche "pick your battles" - I had been known to be "too honest or gruff" so I tuned myself down and after awhile I felt it made me resentful because I wasn't used to keeping my mouth shut or honesty at bay... it's a delicate dance... and more so for people who aren't used to being told the truth or confronted about their actions... and I, in the past, was a total confrontor! I had even lost a couple of friends for contronting them about not doing the things they said they were going to do .... I really took being honest and accountable very literally and I guess I had to learn that it was just the way of the world and that I needed to be more flexible than that. I was the accountable military! And the funny thing is, is that it derived from me being totally irresponsible and inconsiderate... and I realized I didn't want to be like that and when I "woke up" the pendulum swung the other way! And still, to this day, I grapple from time to time with whether or not to keep my mouth shut... funny, when I got married the 2nd time time, my father's only advice was "turn the other cheeck" and "Keep your mouth shut." - 2 things that really go against my grain... and depending ont he circumstances, I either get made at him for saying so or thank him and understand what he was saying. I probably would have no friends if I kept being so honest and confrontational.... somehow, I became a person who really dislikes injustice and I have always thought that if I were in politics I would be dead by now because in the past, it was a challenge for me to be diplomatic. So.... I have no wise answers or anecdotes about whether a woman or a man should be quiet or not or let their anger be known. I can only share the road I'm on, which is about learning how not to be angry at me... and to speak up when necessary and when I do, not to get so intense that I scare everybody away. Passion... sometimes also is present in anger...emotion...is a natural thing... and when felt, in my opinion, it should be honored... appropriately.
I sometimes think that the biggest disservice that our parents have done for us -- especially us little girls -- is that they don't teach us how to be angry. Not just teaching us how to express our anger in ways that are safe, for us and for those around us, but also just giving us permission to be angry and helping us to understand what anger is for.
So we struggle. When we are honest (and honesty is, in my opinion, the penultimate virtue), we are blamed for hurting people when we shouldn't be blamed at all. Conversely, we are socially rewarded for "keeping our mouths shut", when keeping your mouth shut can lead to all kinds of abusive situations, because the only way to defend your boundaries is to open your mouth, wide and often!
Maybe that can be a topic for another month: Women and Anger!
|2275 days ago·2 replies2 replies|
I can relate to your winding road. My husband tells me the little mechanism that most people have that censors what they are going to say is broken in me. So, I have said things that were honest and they were taken as confrontational... which would ultimately reduce me to tears as I am not great with confrontation. What a winding road I have woven!
I guess all we can do is learn as we go along and first of all, accept ourselves. :)
|2275 days ago·1 replies1 replies|