Thursday, 26 April 2018

Being pissed off

Sometimes we're pissed off

Here's what I do.

(1) Examine the internal condition:

If I'm pissed off (upset at anything in the past, present, or future), I have a plan, which is based on the belief, 'Certain things have to be a certain way for me to be OK.' I list the demands in the areas of self-image (pride/self-esteem), as it exists in my mind or as I speculate it exists in others', in the area of scripting others' conduct (personal/sex relations), and in the area of outcomes (ambitions, security, and pocketbooks).

Once I have the demands, I allocate to one of four options: (a) Drop the demand because it's insane. (b) Downgrade from demand to preference. (c) Work for its attainment. (d) Suck it up.

(2) Examine the external situation:

Sometimes, under (b) and (c) above, a demand stems from a reasonable objective in the world, and sometimes that objective requires others to behave a particular way.

If that be the case, I have five options:

(i) Make a polite request
(ii) Offer a transaction ('If I ..., will you ...?')
(iii) Covertly threaten a consequence
(iv) Overtly threaten a consequence
(v) Use force

99.9% of the time, (1) and (2) are suitable.

(iii), (iv), and (v) are suitable rarely, e.g.

(iii) Not responding to aggressive texts but responding to pleasant ones.
(iv) 'If you carry on shouting, I will put the phone down.'
(v) Calling the police, blocking someone in electronic forms of communication and interactions including on social media, taking necessary action without consultation or permission, etc.

It is usually best to escalate to (iii), (iv), and (v) only once (i) and (ii) are thoroughly exhausted. I bear in mind that others have the right to turn down requests or offers.

In these situations, focus entirely if possible on future action, not on criticism of past action. This ensures the conversation is constructive and non-accusatory.

If still emotionally engaged, I pause and wait for peace to be restored before acting.

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