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Avatar universal

Why Do I Hold On to My Anger

I am a 26 year old woman and I have been dealing with "letting it go" my entire life. Small things happen to me that I see other people take with a grain of salt but for me, personally, it makes me so angry! But i never lash out i just don't say anything and get so angry inside. Then i berate myself later for not standing up for myself. For instance, i went to play pool last night with a few friends and the waitress forgot our orders and one of us had to find her for her to remember to get it. Then, when she came she had the wrong order. We eventually left early due to the terrible service and when i paid i gave her a small tip (i almost didn't giver her any). The tip was around 10%. The service was terrible and i didn't believe I should have to give her a good tip for such bad service. When i gave her back the slip, she looked at it then looked at me and asked if there was something wrong because they work off tips. In essence she was asking why did I give her such a small tip.  I immediately became embarrassed  and upset that she was questioning me in front of all my friends and that she even had the nerve to question the amount of tip i gave her in the first place. I didn't respond i just walked out. I became so angry for all the things I should've said. And that she had the gall to even question me like that after the service she gave. Everyone in my group talked/laughed about it for ten minutes then moved on but i was fuming the whole night. For the rest of the night i was just angry. i wasn't talking to anyone or even enjoying anything after that. I tried to talk myself out of what i felt by telling myself it wasn't a big deal but nothing could change how i feel. Even the next morning as i'm sitting here talking about it i still feel angry. And this happens so often to the point where i get stomach aches. How do i cope with situations like this that occur in everyday life? How do i stop bottling up my anger?
8 Responses
Avatar universal
Ok, here is what you should do. You need to go into this slowly so you don't explode.

Call up the place you went to, ask for the manager. When the manager comes on, this is what you do, let the manager know that you are not trying to get a free meal, and you are not trying to get the lady fired, but explain what had happened. While you are talking on the phone, let her have time to talk, and do not get angry, but for sure let her know your problem.

Let me know when you have done this.
Avatar universal
I was in the bar business for nearly 20 years.  Almost 15 of that, I worked in the capacity of the manager.  Any person who questions the amount of a tip is not a professional and there are 2 ways to look at it.  #1.  Trying to gain constructive criticism  #2, Trying to entice you into tipping more.

Most everyone who works for tips knows that the word tips stands for (to insure proper service).  What you could have done was kindly tell this girl, "sweetie, you forgot our order, we had to go looking for you to remind you that we ordered, then you brought the wrong drinks.  If the service was prompt and the drink order correct, the tip may or may not have been better and you attitude would have determined that.  I appreciate you asking me what could have gone differently in order for you to make more tips.)  From there you find the manager and fill them in on the situation.

(Personally, I used to tell all of my servers to not be the reason for a bad tip.  Give the best service to every customer, each and every time you walk by their table.)  Anyone who asks what went wrong is obviously not a professional and her mind is on the money and not on how to make it.  Not only does her demeanor lack professionalism, it is full of tackyness.

Now... moving past that to the heart of the problem.  Letting go- when one lets go of something, they need to fully embrace what ever it is that they are going to let go.  Embrace it, analyze it, hold it briefly, learn from it, and really let it go.  When you let go, you are done with it.... it is in the past and you can't change the past.  You can only think of now, and hope for the future.  If you keep remebering something and it affects your feelings, you havent let go.  Start over.  Acknowledge it, embrace it, own your responsibility with what happened, learn from it and let it go.....

I used to do the same thing.  I used it as my fuel, and what it did fuel is my anger.  I've always been an aggressive person, so anything that went wrong in my presence was a "personal attack" or at least I viewed it that way.  Most of the time I would react outwardly, but often I would stock pile it.  (they call it compartmentalizing)  Then, the next time a situation similar happened, I would use the displeasure from the previous encounter, lump it with this displeasure, and then effectively over- react.  And it didn't matter with whom I was dealing with...... not for a second!

Dealing with matters that bother us needs to be learned.  It is an acquired skill.  Before we talk, we need to have evaluated the situation.  From there it is of the utmost importance to remain calm and in control. Relax..... Relaxation is the key.

You could also consider a bit of therapy.  I did and it changed my life.  Cheap investment for a life of less stress and a better self image....
Avatar universal
Thank you guys for the great advice! It made me feel a lot better to know that it wasn't just me.  I do constantly berate myself for the things that occur in my life that I don't stand up for myself for. I don't know when this even developed in me or maybe it's always been this way. I guess it has gotten progressively worse to where I just have all this resentment and anger built up. I tried contacting the bar to explain the situation but either they don't answer or they tell me there's no manager available. I'm trying to coach myself into addressing situations as they occur instead of saying nothing and it's a lot harder than i thought. For instance, I went to the drug store this morning and they have a machine that spits out your coins when you pay with cash. Well, my change was four cents and the machine only spit out one. My first instinct was to say something and then i thought "it's only three cents, why make a fuss over three cents." Then as i left the store i kicked myself for once again not saying anything. Even if it was to let the clerk know the machine was faulty. Lol. I guess the process is going to be a little harder than i thought....
Avatar universal
I can understand if you don't want to do it. The reason I was saying to call up that place and talk to the manager, is because talking to someone on the phone is USUALLY easier than talking to them face to face. What you need to do is break out of the "quiet" shell, but you don't want to do it all at once, you want to do it little by little. Take small steps to the point where when someone makes you mad or irritates you, you can in a healthy way, show that anger or irritation and deal with the situation. Just try it, the next time you go to a store or restaurant, if they do something that makes you angry, call them when you get home. Ask to talk to the manager, and in a calm voice, explain the situation and let the manager know you were not happy, after about 10 times, you will be ready for a face to face.

Today I was getting ready to leave from one of my stops as a merchandiser, I barely drove out from my parking spot to the one in front of me that was empty. I was like literally a half foot into the next spot, I remembered I needed a paper, so I stepped on the brake and put the car into park. The next thing I know, I get bumped from a truck in front of me. Obviously this guy was angry I was in the spot he wanted, even a half foot enough, that he bumped into me. I looked up wondering what his problem was. When I went to get out to talk to him, to find out why with a couple hundred spots, he NEEDED that one and had to bump me because I was in HIS SPOT. Before I could get out of the jeep he took off inside. I just got his license plate down and I didn't know this, but there was a woman in a car next to me, she told me to take her number and name, then told me I could use her as a witness. I didn't have enough time to get mad, I just wanted to know what this guys problem was.............

You have to start letting out your anger, in a healthy way.
Avatar universal
Another good thing to work on is figuring out what is worth addressing and what isn't.  Only you can be the judge of that for you.  Obviously some things are going to take priority.  Now this might seem crazy to you, but for me-the 3 cents at the store might not have been a big deal but if the power company or the bank was shorting me 3 cents, I'd be all over that like a duck on a June bug!!!!

Certainly using tact will determine the outcome.  If you question with a smooth demeanor, calm look on your face, you will be received as a customer who has a valid issue.  On the contrary for a person who looks like a deranged maniac who is yelling at the top of their lungs and is red faced.  Demeanor is key.

Now, the thing is-you didn't mention the 3 cent shortage but later felt as if you should have.  That's cool.... now you know for future reference that a transaction that you've been shorted even 3 cents is of importance. (I am in no position to not question a 3 cent shortage, so I guess I am with you on that. It isn't a priority for me though.)  Now, you've thought about the transaction, you know the 3 cents is important even if it is just based on principle and you know you need to mention it.... you go about it calmly.  When you go about it calmly and you get the result you want, you feel a sense of pride.  (Think of how you'd prefer to be dealt with if you were on the other end of the conversation.)

The big thing is to address every problem.  Ones that aren't worth mentioning are ones that go away.... you don't hold on to them.  You've decided to pass on them and that means you've let it go.... it's over.... done.  Ones worth mentioning, you handle with as much compassion as you'd expect if you were on the other end.  If things aren't being handled the way you'd like, you calmly ask to speak to someone higher up.  You remain calm and take the conversation to the next level.

This is doable!!!  You've got to start small.  What do they say, baby steps???  Little changes make a big difference.  3 cents a day seems small, but at the end of the year but at the end of the year its what... $10-$11 bucks?  3 cents, not so much ans issue, $11 is a pretty big issue.  Be calm and address it.
Avatar universal
What cherryshme said. :-)
Avatar universal
I realize i do have an issue with being too "quiet." I'm not really an outgoing person and don't like drawing much attention to myself. And I definitely always try to avoid being misconstrued as the "angry loud girl." I don't want those looks from strangers because I'm yelling or carrying on in a store. A lot of times i have a problem differentiating between what should be addressed and what shouldn't. There are things I should let go and things i shouldn't but how do I know which is which? And living in a city that I live in where everyone yells, and curses, and cuts you off, it's a lot to take. For instance, if someone had bumped my car, I wouldn't know how to handle that! I would have been so mad!
    I was late for a class today and i left my house a half hour earlier than usual so as not to be late. I got stuck in two traffic jams and ended up being fourteen minutes late. My professor locks students out after fifteen minutes. Luckily I made it in time but I missed the quiz she gave in the beginning five minutes. Usually I wouldn't even say anything and just accept the fact that I missed the quiz and I was getting a zero for it but I wanted to stand up for myself so I decided to speak to her about it. I explained the situation to her hoping she would be understanding but she said "well, you should have left the house earlier." I was so angry, and defeated. And no matter what  said she didn't want to hear it. I just didn't understand. I've had class with her before and NEVER been late and even got an A in a previous class I took with her so I didn't understand why she couldn't see my point of view. I immediately became angry and emotional (although I didn't let her see it).
    I just wish there was a way I could handle the losses just as well as i handle the wins. To even have a "roll off the shoulder" attitude like i see other people have. But i don't. I hold onto things and they play over and over again in my head and I get just as angry as if they happened the day before. I'd probably have a new story for you guys every day if you let me lol.
Avatar universal
If you think about it, you must see that your feelings are not about tipping for bad service, or your lack of assertiveness, or even your fear.

I would suggest you find a therapist to help you explore your emotional development with  "authority" in your life, and the original cause(s) of your anger.
(That is, was there a time in your life when you weren't angry? If so, what happened?)
The fact that your anger emerges all over the place is a good indicator that some part of your psyche is crying out for help.
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