If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers. –Maya Angelou

Things go wrong. That is an unfortunate fact of life. Sometimes everything goes wrong at once. Nothing is more telling of your character than the way you carry yourself when you’re angry. When I’m really going through it, I tend to lash out at the people who are closest to me. This is a personality flaw that I am working tirelessly to correct. It’s a learned behavior and I can pinpoint the source. Instead of talking about the real issues, I observed and internalized that avoiding things and allowing them to accumulate is the correct way to cope.

It is not.

Eventually you will have accumulated so much that the slightest little trigger will cause you to erupt, spewing misdirected anger at those around you.

Maybe it makes sense. Lash out at the ones closest to you because those are the people that will love you no matter what. As I grow older, I am slowly coming to the realization that the opposite is true. Family and friends are so keyed into your emotional state that it’s unfair and unreasonable to take things out on them. Venting is and should be allowed but lashing out should be a punishable offense.

I’ve never been a person that is comfortable sharing things with people. My friends and family will attest to the fact that any bad or sad news I’ve ever shared has come with a healthy helping of awkward jokes. But, in an attempt to control my anger I am becoming more self-aware. Identifying the things that make me angry or stressed and dealing with them head on is the first step in this process. Bottling things up is not a sign of strength. Neither is taking things out on loved ones.  Do your friends and family a favor and learn to control your anger.