Who Are You Mad At?


Are you mad at the clerk because of her surly attitude, or was she surly because you loudly chatted on your cell the whole time she rang up your groceries?

Are you mad at the unfortunate soul who answered the phone when you called to complain about your bill, or did you forget to greet him politely?

Are you mad at the guy at work because he had the nerve to ask you to make his project a priority, or are you mad at yourself because you didn’t say no?


Are you mad at her because she says you are too sensitive, or are you mad at yourself for not sticking to your boundaries?

Are you mad at him because he stepped out on you, or are you mad at yourself because you believed him when he said he would never cheat on you – again?

Are you mad at her because she belittles you in front of your friends, or are you mad at yourself for putting up with that kind of treatment?


Are you mad at life for getting in the way and preventing you from tackling that big project, or are you mad at yourself for forgetting what your priorities are?

Are you mad at the way your child talks to you, or are you mad at your own failure to control the way you talk to your child?

Are you mad at the kids for never picking up their toys, or are you mad at yourself for whiling away precious minutes on Facebook instead of folding laundry or handling the mail?




Are you mad at life because it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier, or are you mad at yourself because you don’t follow through on your plans for change?


Anger is a signal.


Are you mad at the wrong person?




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  1. “Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument, or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.”

    Found this quote on facebook yesterday. My word for 2012 was “courage.” My word for this year is “accountability.” If all I can change is myself, then that’s the ONLY person I should be working on, I think. What do you guys think? Are there other things to blame for our troubles or do we bring it all onto ourselves? I am curious as to how other people think of this….

  2. <3 your insightful way of putting things out there, Jesse. It can sometimes be hard to remember not to take your stuff out on other people when you're in a tizzy. But trying to remember that is a very important thing to do ;-)

  3. NM,

    I am SO putting that quote on my cupboard! Thanks for sharing. Really.

    Here’s my 2 1/2 cents: I don’t think we bring things on ourselves – on purpose. I don’t think we solicit crappy behavior from others. I don’t intentionally send lousy behavior out there – well at least I try not to – because then I could expect to get lousy treatment in return.

    I do think that we are fully in charge of how we respond to other behaviors. I don’t have the foggiest clue why some folks behave the way they do. However, I am starting to see through the fog and begin to understand why I react to their behaviors. That is all I can change.

    That is what I am working on.

  4. Jenn,

    And I fail to remember that on a regular basis. dangit.

  5. NM,

    It’s hard to say really. I do believe that there is a limit to “our” blaming others for the choices we make. For example, someone may have had a bad upbringing, and they blame their negative behavior, or how they react to others, on this past experience. In some sense I can understand the reasoning, but then I do believe at some point, we have the ability to shift our thinking. We can learn from that negative experience, and choose to act differently, more positively.

    I also agree with Jesse that I don’t think we purposely bring negativity on ourselves, at least not consciously. It’s easy to be in an “angry” mood, but I try to self aware when I am. I admit it is hard to always be conscious of. This is something I am still working on honestly. I do understand that in life there are some things that we have no control over, such as other people, and how they choose to treat us. We always have control over how we respond.

  6. I don’t believe we bring it ourselves, like someone dying, or a car accident, or bad things that happen. But, and I’m only speaking for myself here, I’ve learned both with my Dad and my former friend, that I allowed abuse. That’s my part, I own that. If I hadn’t allowed it (and this is speaking of my adult self ) it wouldn’t have continued. I just feel that if I don’t take responsibility of my part, I remain a victim and put myself at risk for engaging with another Narcissist.

    I allowed it, I engaged it, I kept spinning my wheels hundreds if not thousands of times, when the truth was as plain as the nose on my face. I invested a whole lot of energy into someone who did not care about me, and did not want good for me. I mean, I put these people and their selfish needs above those of my young kids. I’m really ashamed of that.

    It brings up the whole question of intention though, doesn’t it? Because I do believe (and Jesse and I have discussed this before…..) that I WANTED what was best, even though I used the wrong tools and codependent coping strategies.

    So for this year, I’d like to try and focus on healing myself and not focusing on past wrongs that have been done to me. It just doesn’t help me, at least at this point in my journey to relive it. All I can work on is me.


  7. NM,

    Bless you for sharing words that are so personal. I have to believe that you are helping another by putting those words out there.

    I’ve done the same – kept trying, to no avail.

    Let’s make a pact. Let’s promise to keep open hearts with good intentions and stop beating ourselves up for having tried so hard when there was no point. But, let’s also learn from our mistakes and stop trying sooner, when we realize that we are giving our love to someone who only means us harm.


    p.s. Your comment brings out my nurturing side. Can’t help it. Sending you a big hug. I’m so proud of you.

  8. So eloquently put.
    Sometimes it’s hard to realize that the person in the mirror has all the control…..

  9. AMEN! What wise, insightful, humble, smart people here! xxx

  10. Aw, you are so sweet. Thanks, I am ok. It would be great if it helps someone else though.

    Big hugs, NM

  11. Dee,

    Yes, and it’s so much easier to blame someone else.

    Nice to see you here. ;)

  12. NM,

    Helping others – that’s the whole turning lemons into lemonade thing. We ought to find some sort of silver lining on this cloud, right?

  13. Absolutely! There are many many blessings, and good new friends are definitely one of them! :)

  14. Hi Jesse,

    I love your writings! I am mad at mean people who take advantage of those who hate conflict and are peace-loving. I am mad at bullies who pump their egos up by putting others down.

    That is my thought . . . just so tired of arrogance, cruelty, and selfishness in our world and lives.

    Take care . . .

  15. PS Hugs to everyone. I believe there is a ripple effect for the good we try to do–even if it seems wasted on people who are selfish and cruel. Our efforts to bring about good changes are not done in vain–somehow the Universe will make good for the good we try to do.

    Hang in there . . . Blessings to all of you.

  16. Lynn,

    Doesn’t it feel good to say that out loud?

  17. Lynn,

    About the ripple… I could not agree more.

    Each good thought is a brick in a sturdy boundary. My goal is to get that boundary tall enough to keep out as much bad as possible. Call me naive, but I don’t wanna let in any more bad than I have to – that goes for mean movies, evil books, degrading music, violent games. And don’t even get me started on toxic people!

    I am vigilant about what I will let in.

  18. Jesse,

    Yes, it does feel good to say it and be able to pinpoint my anger.

    I really like your approach of creating a tall boundary to keep the bad out as much as possible.

    Be well . . . have a great day with your kids, lessons, adventures : ).

  19. Lynn,

    Yes… the finger pointing…. even if we do so privately. ;)

  20. I used to be mad at my parents for making me feel, incapable, unfit, unable, not beautiful, not worthy. Then one day I realized that I don’t have to feel that way if I just liked me for who I am. Of course, it’s not that simple. It’s hard work, but every morning I have a routine. Wake up, brush my teeth and look in the mirror. “Steph,” I say, “You are capable, beautiful and worthy. You are in a happy way because you chose it, paved it, made it so. They can not take that away from you.”

  21. Steph,

    Thank you!

    I have a vision of happy smiling Thrivers screaming that from the mountaintops!

    I’m definitely sharing that with Jenny. She needs it right now.

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