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Language Log

Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 - 9:50 a.m.

Angry.

Mom pushed all the old buttons today. I held myself together, but don't know how to proceed. Maybe there's no point in trying.

Good communication means saying what you feel, calmly and thoroughly when you think it's really important. Good communication means listening respectfully to what someone has to say, even if you don't agree. When you've only got half of that, communication is impossible, no matter how calm and clear the speaker (or how calm and considerate the listener). Mom can't really provide either side of that if the topic is actually important. Her technique is to keep it all shoved inside until it comes out in a fountain of anger. Or to smirk dismissively and look long-suffering as you try to explain yourself. And then to tell you to stop talking before you've finished making your point. Neither habit is fixable at this point.

I feel like a 15 year old again when this happens. I want to scream, punch walls and claw my face. I have not done that. But inside my head it's just like old times.

I have read that acting angry doesn't make you feel better, it just makes you angrier. So I am trying to practice not acting angry. It's hard.

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