Last week, I was in line at the grocery store. I had just finished a hardcore workout at the gym and was starving, so I popped in to pick up a few things. Meanwhile, my Blackberry was going off … emails, questions, work to be done. My mom was calling. My friends were texting about plans for the evening. And most unfortunately, the old woman in front of me was hell-bent on saving $1 on six cans of chicken broth with an expired coupon. Of course the checkout girl wouldn’t let her use the coupon—she smacked her gum and rolled her eyes instead. The old woman persisted in broken English: “One dollar off chicken broth! It say one dollar off chicken broth!” This scene went on like a broken record until finally the checker had to leave her station and get the manager. This process took no less than 20 minutes and the line continued to multiply. The voice inside my head started screaming, until finally I blurted out, “There are other people waiting here! F**k the soup!” It was the F-bomb heard ‘round the grocery store. I immediately felt ashamed as I looked around at all the other seemingly calm shoppers. What happened to me? Why did I fly into a rage? Apparently, I’m not alone. According to a new study done in the U.K., women are becoming more aggressive and violent. The number of women being sentenced for violent crimes has hit a five-year high. Road rage (I hate people who don’t signal!), office rage (ever concocted a murderous plot to off your boss?), and internet rage (who hasn’t left an anonymous livid comment?) are also on the rise. Verdict: we have lost control. Why is this becoming the norm for us? Aside from the sad fact that both sexes are becoming more desensitized to aggressive and violent behavior, psychologists think it might be because of women’s relationship to anger. While men are taught that it’s OK to demonstrate anger, women are taught to hold it in and control it. We all know how well that works—not at all—so we end up engaging in passive-aggressive behavior. Holding our anger inside just leads to volcano-like explosions. [Daily Mail]
So, how do we reverse this crazy trend? There’s really only one way. We have to express our anger as honestly and responsibly as possible and try not to harm ourselves or anyone else. Maybe I should have just switched lines when the soup charade started or just kindly asked the woman if I could go ahead while she waited for the manager?
Here are some more stories of unbridled rage below.
Last week I lost it in the salad shop because the process was really disorganized and they couldn’t hear that I wanted chickpeas. So I said, “This isn’t going to work!” and walked out without any food. Since I don’t drive, lunch rage might be the closest thing I experience to road rage.
When a live-in ex dumped me and kicked me out of our apartment (he had the lease), there was one day when I came home to find he’d opened and gone through every single box I’d packed—to make sure I hadn’t STOLEN anything. He was standing there triumphantly with some stupid paperback that he was certain I’d pillaged from his collection. I went and got HIS copy off his shelf, threw it at him. I told him if he didn’t leave the apartment immediately I knew exactly which knife I was going to plunge into his chest. I actually saw myself doing it in my head! It was the angriest I’ve ever been and lucky for him, he believed me and left quickly.
I slapped my friend’s roommate. It was my friend’s birthday, but he was laid out in bed with a cold. His roommate locked me out in the hallway and wouldn’t let me into their apartment unless I promised to give my guy friend a “birthday blowjob.” I stood outside that door for several minutes asking to be let in and this kid kept refusing, so I went elsewhere. Later that night, my friend woke up and told me to come back over. He let me in—and I marched right over to his roommate and slapped him in the face three times. This guy started to cry and shouted that I was a bitch. But I told him he acted completely inappropriately. My friend agreed, but was, of course, angry that I’d slapped his roommate. Yeah, I was ashamed, but in the grand scheme of things, this jerk had it coming.
How about you? What’s the worst rage moment you’ve ever had?