Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Path Ahead

Anger is unfamiliar to me. I have only felt it as powerless frustration. I have almost always been passive aggressive. It has slowly turned into vindictive bitterness over the years. And it was made worse by over analysis and unfamiliarity with the purpose of what I feel.

Recently the quality of my anger has changed. It has matured. I find a growing intolerance for passivity. I find a growing intolerance for dysfunction. I can no longer tolerate self-victimization. While things have happened that are not my fault, the are sure as hell my responsibility.

I have come to realize that the depression that I have dealt with for the majority of my life is caused by a severe lack of boundaries. Five years ago I could have hardly described what boundaries were had someone asked me. Now I see that my inability to distance myself from dysfunctional relationships has left me feeling powerless. I can no longer jeopardize my happiness because someone it makes someone else uncomfortable. Their comfort is not my responsibility.

These personal discoveries have led me to believe that one of the most important tools a man can have is his anger. Perhaps a better term would be will-power. Regardless of the term used, I am referring to the emotion that facilitates the ability to create expectations for others, with rewards if they comply, or punishments if they refuse, and to do so reasonably. I believe that this emotion and the ability it facilitates is absolutely necessary for game, for social skills, for relationships, and even general happiness.

When a boundary is stated, the person who states it must be willing to follow through. A father who threatens to “turn this car around, right now if you two do not stop fighting”, must follow through with his threat if he want respect from his family. If I insist that a girl friend not tear me down in public, if she continues to do so must end the relationship. If a roommate is consistently late with rent and it is causing problems, and I threaten to move out, I must do so if nothing changes. If I do not follow through, I am powerless, and I deserve what happens to me.

The irony of anger is that it has allowed me to feel more compassion for those who have hurt me in the past. While I cannot justify their behavior, now that I see that it was not done maliciously, and that it was done in ignorance, I can be more forgiving. This does not mean that the boundaries come down, that would be foolish, but now that I am free of their destructive behavior, I am free to forgive.

Of all the discoveries I have made through this emotion, the most significant applies to myself. Tolerating bad behavior in other people is one thing. Tolerating bad behavior in myself is something else entirely. As an omega I have some very self-destructive tendencies, and I have suffered for them. Familiarity with anger allows me to create expectations for myself. Failure no longer has finality: it is no longer my fate. Instead it wakes up a deep intolerance. I can no longer be passive. I can no longer tolerate my weakness. I can no longer tolerate my fear. These are old habits, and so they are resilient, but they must die. I must be free.


indyguy77@work said...

Wow. I could have written much of this myself.

I've gotten massively discontent lately (to the extent that it's stressful to the point of disturbing my sleep patterns), and a lot of it is this stuff.

How to deal with anger constructively, though? For me, there's the rub. I need to figure out the way to express the anger while keeping control. I don't want to be a psycho.

Best of luck, dude.

Anonymous said...

I finally grokked something a few years ago. It sounds much like RM's realization. I figured out that I didn't have to take any crap. I could just walk away, forget about the crap, and do some other enjoyable thing with my time rather than grit my teeth and take it or otherwise do something I would be sorry for later. I understand there are many crappy things in this world that are unavoidable but go with me on this, you will be happy you did.

A small example of the kind of crap I'm talking about. Say you are at a restaurant and the waiter/waitress is completely incompetent or surly or the experience is miserable in any number of ways. Once my crap threshold is reached I now just get up and leave. I then go somewhere else to eat. The initial time wasted is unavoidable but at least the rest of the evening isn't wasted. I tell the restaurant owner/manager what happened but I don't stand there and rage about it.

Apply this realization to dating/courting/marriage and you get the outcome independent mindset. Always another girl on the girl tree. I'm beginning to see an outcome independent mindset as the foundation of alpha behavior.

Couple this with another realization I had in my 20's and I'm much more mentally healthy than I otherwise would have been. The other realization being that it's insane to worry about things that I can't control and the only things that I had any right to worry about were things that I had control over. And my reach only goes to the tips of my fingers.

Much of what the world throws at you is avoidable.

It's not all about you. It's usually not personal and what other people do is outside of our control unless we kill them and we all know that is a suboptimal outcome. I don't want to clean up the mess and neither do my friends or family.

Athor Pel

Anonymous said...

So much for anger being a bad thing.

It is, instead, a crucial feedback signal, but it must be heeded.

Excellent essay, sir. As a wakening omega myself, and not just in my sex life, I needed to read this.

Thank you.

Der Hahn said...

Failure doesn't keep you from reaching your goals, quitting does.

It took me one relationship to figure out that a woman rarely if ever wants you to fix what she's complaining about.

The lesson from the second relationship was to never depend on a woman to fix what she says is broken. You need to do it yourself, or end the relationship.

Still working on relationship number three :)

indyguy77@work said...

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett

I like that.

Stingray said...

It took me one relationship to figure out that a woman rarely if ever wants you to fix what she's complaining about.

Nah, we mostly just want you to empathize.

Ghost said...

My first wife destroyed me emotionally (shit tests, psychological torture, physical abuse), literally making me sociopathic for almost 4 years afterward. I didn't feel anything for anyone (aside from my kids), I couldn't cry, I couldn't laugh. Anger was the only emotion that kept me human.

If it weren't for anger, I would have lost myself. It let me know that, not only could I still feel, but that I still cared. I was also able to use the anger to harness something even greater: calm revenge. I got custody of my kids. Booyah.

Ian Ironwood said...

As men we have been told that our anger is a dangerous thing, and it is. But one of the worst things a man can do is feel guilty or shamed for his anger. Anger is a powerful and legitimate emotion, as legitimate as love -- and as legitimate to express. One of my past relationships was plagued by my girlfriend constantly telling me "don't be angry" as if I had a choice in the matter. For her, feeling anger was WRONG, and needed to be punished. Just before we broke up we had a fight in which she said with a frustrated roll of her eyes and a disgusted sigh, "Well, don't get angry," like I was being a baby.

I couldn't take it any more. I punched a wall hard enough to put a hole through the sheetrock, turned to her and said "Well, quit pissing me off, then. I have a right to be angry," and stomped off. We broke up soon afterwards, but after that "being able to accept my legitimate anger" was a must-have on my relationship list.

Anonymous said...

Stingray: "Nah, we mostly just want you to empathize."

No, no you don't. Empathizing is beta.

Stingray said...

No, no you don't. Empathizing is beta.

Of course we do. We just want the alpha to do it. Remember, we want to feel special. An alpha who will empathize with us makes us feel special. It also tells us that our feelings are rational and we are not actually crazy. We are, therefore, validated.

If an alpha enters a LTR, some beta is required or she won't stay. All alpha all the time is fine for just sex, but never for a LTR.

VD said...

What you're describing here isn't anger. You have been angry for a long time, but it has been impotent and futile. What you are describing is self-respect.

If you do not respect yourself, no one else can either. You, and no one else, set your boundaries. You, and no one else, are responsible for the decisions you make.

Life is too short, and too precious, to waste it on those who neither appreciate you nor respect you. And if you respect yourself and comport yourself in such a way as to require others to respect you, you will develop the next step, which is self-confidence.

mmaier2112 said...

"It also tells us that our feelings are rational and we are not actually crazy. We are, therefore, validated."

And when your feelings are completely IR-rational?

RM said...

It is so unfamiliar the feeling that I could not think of a term that fit. Self-respect is the term I was looking for.

Stingray said...


If you want our respect, call us on it. An alpha can do this several ways, 1) tell us we're being irrational as gently or in your face as you deem fit (it will depend on situation) then if you have a woman that just might listen, tell her why. Though most likely this will have to come later as being told you are irrational brings in a lot of anger; 2) be aloof and snigger and walk away. This will likely also bring a lot of anger 3) deflect with humor somehow. Again, this will depend on the situation. I am sure there are lots of other things you can do, but those are what come to mind immediately.

DO NOT just give in. (There are a very few situations where this might be warranted, but they are few and they would usually be horrible as in a death or something like that). Do not do the all night talk stuff. We say we want it, but we really don't. People will tell you "Don't go to bed angry. Always work it out" This is BS. If we are talking about a LTR I would give talking at least a brief chance and if it doesn't work then walk away. It is amazing what will happen in that time that you let the hamster spin. It needs to spin. Let it. If she really wants to find out how she was being irrational she might try to talk about it again. Tell her that you will do so with her if the conversation stays calm and productive, otherwise the conversation is over. If she comes to apologize or simply move on, then move on. Don't, however, let her bring this incidence back up at a later date in a different argument. That is not fair play. Over is over.

mmaier2112 said...

I'd agree with most of that.

Stingray said...

May I ask what you disagree with and why?

mmaier2112 said...

I could, but then I'd be accepting your frame. :P

Yohami said...


Stingray said...

I could, but then I'd be accepting your frame. :P

Ha Ha!!! Internet game! Well played!

LP2021 Bank of LP Work in Progress said...

Growing up or growing older is never easy for some.

Understanding that people are fallen is also helpful if not entirely freeing in these feelings of anger or even frustration. In that freedom we can choose higher and better things or pursuits in life. For me, its being kind, loving and understanding towards those who challenge me (irk me) the most.

Sasha said...

Anger is the guardian of your boundaries. Expressed directly, immediately and cleanly it has a very powerful effect.

mmaier2112 said...

Stingray: I didn't DISagree with any of it, I just didn't want to comb it over in search of something I did disagree with.

I agree with the part about NOT having to settle everything that night or right away.

One of my GFs was my ride home from work one day and she got mad about something or other and threatened to leave before I was finished doing what I was doing. I shrugged and said "Bye" and she stormed out. I calmly sat there for another half hour working when she came back, annoyed.

She said "What would you have done if I hadn't come back?"

I said "Found some other way home" and that was that.

mmaier2112 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I can offer you this...

1. You seem to be maturing. That is a painful process, but most worthy.

2. Jesus Christ can heal the wounds and help change you so that you get your confidence in Him. Self-sacrifice is up after that friend and you don't get that without Christ.

3. Anger is not bad. Tolerating evil situations is!

I did for far too long, now I call people out on it right then and there.

4. Women shit test to see if a guy is worthy of respect. This is not a bad thing, this is instinctive and good. He must be respectable to be a good provider and to be long term attractive.

I went on a date with a guy and he was very attractive, older and successful. This was literally months before I met my Husband. I told him to "shut up" and he said "ok". My Mother was there, dragged me out by my hair and told me not to be rude to people even if I wasn't interested in them. She then told him "Oh honey, you are so not the one for her. Next time a women tells you to shut up you better do something other then say ok!"

I met my Husband, we started dating. I told him to "shut up". He picked up his stuff and left me where I was. I chased him, apologized and he ignored me. I called, he ignored me. I showed up looking hot, he forgave me. To this day I don't tell him to shut up because he isn't playing. When I have been disrespectful, he holds me to it till I apologize.

I respect that. And so do other people.


Keep going friend! Keep going!


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure a self-respecting man would shack up with a woman who routinely uses a 'shut up' filter for potential mates.

Nevermind. Am sure.

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Bocaj6487 said...

Carlotta, you seem nice NOW, but good grief, every story i read of you doing something to your now husband, i cant help but think, "what a bitch".

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