“If you drop a hammer on your foot, it’s hardly useful to get mad at the hammer.”
-Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker
One of the fundamental points of personal development is being able to be responsible for the things you do.
Me personally, anytime I’ve gotten mad and something or someone has just gotten in my way, I’ve taken my frustrations out on them. In hindsight, I’ve been able to admit that I was wrong to treat those things in such a bad manner, but that kind of attrition doesn’t make up for the moment when there was a better decision to make.
Not to say that there isn’t any merit in figuring out later that you made a bad decision because it builds experience; however, there is something to be said for knowing how to react the first time. Not everyone is fortunate enough or disciplined enough to realize that not every problem has a calculated element behind it. Sometimes, things just happen for no malicious reason and lashing out like it just happened to be part of our temperament.
Furthermore, we have a knack for treating our relationships more like tools than we treat them like living beings. We like to think that our relationships have a specific use and that they’re only useful when there is a need for their utility. We also like to think that if they are not useful, they don’t have a use or they are detrimental to who we are. Thus, we tend to blame them for things that aren’t their fault or take our frustrations out on them because they just happen to be there.
But, that’s not healthy either for us or for them. It isn’t always easy for us to admit when we were wrong especially when we’re emotionally charged because we lose focus and don’t place things in the proper context when we act in such a way. We can’t get mad at things if they didn’t do anything to us, right? Well, maybe we can’t but we can place blame on things that conveniently have nothing to do with us.
It isn’t easy to accept responsibility for our actions either. There are things that are beyond our personal sphere of control that intersect with things that are and as a result of those things, we take responsibility for things as well. I am like this too. But, it isn’t always our responsibility to take. We are accountable for our own choices and actions but it’s hard for us to not think about all of the things we could have done that would have made the consequences for ourselves better.
Not to say that anything could have been different. But, there’s just that part of us that would like to think there could have been and I’m guilty of acting like this too. I don’t know which is worse: Thinking that things could have been different or making them different by exploring those options. But, I suppose that’s the downside to wondering what could have been and just accepting what is handed to you.
That isn’t always easy, either. But, like most problems they don’t go away just because you forget about them or think that there is any fix for it.