Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.   -Ambrose Bierce 

There are three cardinal rules I have to follow when I feel angry at a member of my stepfamily.  I’m writing about this because I have blown it before.  No real good comes out of a screaming match with your stepchildren.  They just see you as scary and out of control.  A yell-fest with your spouse isn’t much fun either. 

Therefore, rule #1 is to spill my anger first outside of my family, or at least with my spouse.  Unless, of course, I am angry at my spouse, in which case I’d better hole up in a room on the phone with a good friend who will listen to my rants without judging.  Or, sometimes I exercise or dance away the physical feelings of anger. 

Rule #2 is:  Don’t burn any bridges.  If, even after talking to someone about my feelings, I’m are still angry enough to make grandiose statements that start with “You always…,” or “You never…,” or “I hate when you…,” then I am probably not yet ready to talk it out.  I could definitely say things that I later regret.  I’ll never forget when I was sixteen and my mom told me that she hated me.  I’ve forgiven her, but I’ll never forget that scene.  I may have been even more put off if she were my stepmom. 

This leads to rule #3.  If I start a discussion and my anger is taking over, I’m learning to tell the other person I need a time out and walk away until I’m ready to try again.  I’ve found that a good test for readiness is when I can calmly say “I felt angry when (give example)…” without experiencing the anger-driven flush of the cheeks and tensing of the body. 

Tune in next Wednesday for a final tip on anger and a story to go with it.  

Mama J (Diane Fromme) is a writer, parent, and stepparent located in Northern Colorado.  For more information on her book, Stepparenting the Grieving Child, go to www.dianefromme.com


Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Comments on Sometimes I Feel Angry

  1. Marie says:

    Hi Diane, Though “blog-silent” by choice, I’ve been appreciating your posts and very much enjoying your writing. Keep up the great work! Marie

  2. Diane/Mama J says:

    Thanks, Marie. Chime in any time you feel like breaking the silence!

Leave a Reply