Why I Am a Witch with a Capital “B”

12 Apr

I just recently started following Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project blog. There’s been a lot of coverage about this project and her book in the media, and I’ve also been tracking the progress of a couple of bloggers who have embarked on this project and have been chronicling their progress along the way. Rubin’s post today really struck a chord in me, so much that it stayed with me for almost the whole day. She wrote about the link between irritability/anger and the desire for control. She begins her post by writing:

One of my more disagreeable faults is my irritability. I lose my temper easily; I “speak in a mean voice” as my daughters describe it; I become impatient and act annoyed; I feel anxious about something, so I snap at my family; I feel criticized, so I lash out.

My initial thought when I read that was “Oh my God, that’s me!” As much as I try to deny it, I know that I am needlessly irritable and I lash out unnecessarily and flagrantly at The BF. I am an anxious person and I will often speak with that same harsh edge that Rubin describes, when it really is uncalled for in otherwise normal situations and conversations. And then when this happens, I am questioned as to why I am speaking in that mean tone and because I feel like I am being attacked or challenged, it usually erupts into a bigger deal and I deny that my tone was antagonistic at all. The truth of it is, I feel guilty and just as surprised that I have been so harsh at all.

There have been many discussions between me and my boyfriend about my need for control. About my need to have everything done my way, on my time line. Oh, and when I say “discussions,” I actually mean fights. He’s said on many occasions that I am the one who decides what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and when it needs to be done. When things don’t happen the way I have “asked” for them to, I get angry and short with him. And when I can’t do things myself as correctly as I had envisioned, I become angry with myself. Worse is when I feel like I have no control of a situation, especially when I am at work, and this is when I become frantic because there are so many elements that need to be checked and balanced. If I’m going to be away from work for any period of time and I have to relinquish my projects to someone else in my absence, I fret secretly the entire time about whether or not I am going to come back to some kind of disaster.

I guess The BF has more insight than I am willing to give him credit for, according to Rubin’s post. I can admit it here on my blog for all of you to see, but I am actually reluctant to voice this revelation – or should we call it confirmation – to him. Is this why I am always so irritable and unpleasant to be around? My compulsion to be in control. My answer would be a loud, resounding “yes,” because sometimes I thoroughly annoy myself with this.

Like Rubin, I suppose I need to work on my mindfulness. In those moments that I am able to admit and recognize that I am being edgy, then I need to try to make a special effort to try to calm myself down. But most of all, I need to train my mind to know that there are many things that simply are out of my control. I need to learn to accept this. The last thing I want to be is that unpleasant person that no one wants to be around because she creates unpleasant situations, especially to The BF who has chosen to be here with me.

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2 Responses to “Why I Am a Witch with a Capital “B””

  1. Angie April 13, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    Ohhh it really hits home this whole happiness project thing…. mostly because it is an easy way to see yourself in some of the things she describes. I too work hard at not snapping— but it’s a work in progress I believe!

  2. kat April 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    dude, i’m a total control freak – always have been. i hate repeating myself and at work, if i have to repeat myself more than two times, i will just end up doing the work myself. if i have to repeat myself, even with the smallest things, i get really annoyed and end up snapping or saying “never mind!” which is not cool 😦

    so yes, i share this with you – i, too, have to work hard at not being a witch with a capital B

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