My name is James and I’m an Aries! I can be fun, very sensitive but boy am I a fiery beast.
I was bullied throughout my childhood and as soon as I left school I was determined not to let anyone bully me again. Unfortunately at 16 I didn’t have the tools or the guidance to navigate past confrontations in a proactive way. I was and still am defensive and some harmless banter can trigger past experiences causing me to become angry. Any type of confrontation has the potential to push my buttons. Whether it be a disagreement with a friend or someone pushing past me in the street, which I tend to take personally. Until recently I wasn’t able to step back and identify my behavior and how I was doing myself (and the people around me) a disservice. Something I have learned to identify is that the majority of the time anger arises I’m actually experiencing hurt feelings. I honestly never realised the extent of how sensitive I am. I simply put it down to a hot temper. Discovering the primary emotion is hurt and not anger was a game changer that taught me to be kinder to myself and others.
Anger is a powerful emotion that easily overrides the feeling of hurt and sadness. My ego comes to the rescue with a quick burst of fiery energy to mask the pain causing my hurt feelings. Coming to this realisation has allowed me to bypass many angry situations and in turn has brought a lot of peace to my life. I’m not afraid to tell people I’m sensitive because I know I’m not weak. So when I’ve encountered situations with friends or family when I would likely have bitten someones head off. I’ve been able to say that really hurt my feelings which brings incredible results. When I lash out people retaliate. When I tell my partner or a friend how I’m feeling about the situation without blaming or accusing them then the first thing they want to know is, am I ok.
When it comes to situations on the street when a stranger is rude I don’t go up to them and calmly say you just hurt my feelings. Can you imagine?! Instead I’m learning not to take these situations personally. I remind myself that I was momentarily connected with someone else’s story and their current mood or behavior has nothing to do with who I am as a person. Therefore I don’t need to feel angry or hurt.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not immune to anger, yet. But it happens a lot less and having more insight into the emotional traps I was falling into gives me confidence.