Friday, February 17, 2012
Getting yelled at
Today I realized that in the last few weeks I have been yelled at by 3 different people. Like, actual yelling. Raised voices. Red in the face. Angry yelling.
And in all three cases my first reaction was to try and suppress the weird nervous giggle that inevitably bubbles to the surface when I am extremely uncomfortable. In all cases, I more or less succeeded in not laughing in the face of the person yelling.
I wonder what is going on with this rash of yelling? There doesn't really seem to be a pattern to what is triggering it. Three different circumstances, with three different people. The only thing that is common to each is that while I said or did something to trigger the anger, it was not about me at all. In all three cases, I touched some sort of nerve in them that threw the switch. I was basically caught in the crossfire of emotions that had very little to do with me. It was their own stuff.
In each case, my reaction was to walk away, figuratively if not literally. I just stopped engaging. I suppose in the past, I would have fought back, but these days, I pretty much offer the other cheek. And like Christ's example, it isn't about rolling over and letting people walk over me, it is about understanding that by refusing to engage, I maintain a hold on my own power. I don't hand it over to the person doing the ranting. My power comes not from my tongue or my adrenaline, but from Him who is all powerful.