What to do when Shit Happens

I did some research on anger management and made a list of techniques.  Instead of yelling at the person closest to you (for example, when you are alone, or when it would make you seem racist to do so), you can:

-Go for a jog.  You’ll completely forget what had gotten you all pissed off in the first place when you die of not having exercised at all in the past three years.

-Punch a pillow.  It’s just as satisfying as punching a real person except nobody gets hurt, except the pillow, but it’s okay because it doesn’t have a cell phone or fingers so it can’t call the police on you and anyways it can just tell people it fell down the stairs.  Acceptable substitutes for pillows: couch cushions, mattresses, margarine.

-Take a time out.  Get away from the situation, sit in a corner facing the wall, and stare the anger away.

-Use humor to make the situation silly and diffuse your anger.  For example, if someone were to call you a name like “asshole,” imagine what it would be like if you were literally an asshole.  Before long you’ll find yourself giggling and not so upset.  But if you’re struggling, feel free to engage in spontaneous improv acting and take a shit on their porch.

-Take some deep breaths and imagine somewhere peaceful and serene.  I like to think of a big empty beach on a sunny day: the sound of the ocean waves crashing, the breeze on my face, the sand between my toes.  The giant translucent crabs slowly advancing toward me.  The waves getting too high and crashing over me, sharks all around me, my feet tangled in seaweed so I can’t swim.  Barnacles attaching themselves to my body and then fusing into my skin and hacking into my brain, using it to take over the world and destroy Earth.  I love this technique because it completely replaces my fury with intense and irrational fear.

-Use “I” statements to avoid placing blame on someone you’re angry with.  For example, instead of “You never wash any dishes!” try saying “I wish you wouldn’t be such an ass hat all the time.”

Now that you’re well-armed against the forces of anger, go get mad and take a whack at managing it!  These techniques are guaranteed to help.  But just in case, if all else fails you can always go break stuff.

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2 Responses to What to do when Shit Happens

  1. zadimortis says:

    There have been a couple of days this summer (before the internship when I would go running every morning) that I would just wake up completely pissed off at the world just because it existed. Those were, without a doubt, my best jogging days – I ran so much further just because I was too focused on how much everything sucked to notice how out of breath I was. And I would get so excited by the fact that I ran so much further than the previous day that I would no longer be upset. So that one actually does work, at least for me.

    Also, if I may add my own: If someone calls you a “fucking ___”, instead of being angry, you should thank them for the comment, because they clearly consider you sexually appealing and thus make the assumption that you are quite sexually active (otherwise you would be an “ordinary ____”. In fact, if they’re being so blunt about it, they’re probably interested in you. Freudian psych. So it’s actually a compliment more than anything.

    also this post reminded me of this: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html and I’m assuming you’ve read Hyperbole And A Half but if you haven’t OH MY GOD READ IT NOW IT IS AMAZING

    • deardenton says:

      Also thank you for your addition to the list. Duly noted.


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