At a younger age when my hormones were out of whack, classmates were mean to each other for negligible reasons, and I lacked the ability to defend myself, I would come home from school and cry. A lot. The emotional turmoil and the act of crying would exhaust me so I would fall asleep on my bed, always shaken awake by my mother when dinner was ready. The drama du jour seemed less traumatic after a nap.

I don’t face drama on-the-reg anymore (middle school was the effing worst). I try to steer clear of it, but occasionally I have the burning desire to tell people about themselves. Most people don’t want to hear it. They already know 90% of what I want to say, but they choose to ignore it.

Sometimes I reach my limit. If you are over the age of eighteen and you whine a lot, I will tell you about yourself. If you act in a way that creates large hurdles for others, I will tell you about yourself. You get the idea. Those are behaviors that other people would also discourage so I don’t feel too crazy-cat-lady-yelling-at-birds-in-the-park when I broach the subject that someone needs to check themselves before they wreck themselves (and others). 

When small agitations that fall into a grey area build up under your skin it’s more difficult to tell someone about themselves. It’s easy to hurt others with a few words. Most of my life I didn’t have a filter. As I age, I see that even if my reactive words are accurate and not intended as weapons, I will have to face a mess later.  To be clear, I don’t have an amazing filter, it’s just more effective than it used to be.

When I hold in the reactive words they sink into my bones. I carry it with me. The funk starts small and then it escalates. I do not encourage passive aggressive behavior nor violent outbursts so what’s a girl to do?

Lately, my best release comes in the form of laughter. I need to laugh often and in large quantities. I even make sure I laugh at work (this one takes effort). Eff the funk and release your anger. Actively seek the laugh.

A good place to start…

The Onion: a fake newspaper soaked in sarcasm

Ronna and Beverly podcast: middle-aged comediennes from the Boston area who really know how to work their shtick as Jewish north shore mothers

Funny or Die: it’s like youtube, but just comedy

someecards: share a laugh with someone over the internets

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