The Temperature of Rage

Names have been purposefully anonymized for the privacy of others, and comments (for the first time ever) have been disabled to prevent that privacy from being compromised. For those that know, there’s no need to agree/disagree, just read and nod along.

I can’t seem to find my calm today.

I got into it with a friend of a friend just now over something that was said being entirely out of line.

I have this clear definition of friendship. That is, to say that there are certain ideals I beleive in. One is to offer support when you can, even if you disagree with their decision. As long as it doesn’t involve anything illegal, then you should do what you can to let them know that no matter what, you can be counted on. Save your advice for when its asked for, and if they listen to it, they’ll make their decision nonetheless. If they ignore your advice, then respect that. You are not the end-all be-all of wisdom, and just because someone solicits your advice doesn’t mean they’ll take it. I’ve always likened it to when Captain Picard invites comment on his bridge and listens to all the advice his officers have to say. He selects the best one and goes with it, and everyone stands behind the decision no matter if their advice or suggestion was used or not. They never ridicule Picard or tell him he’s an idiot for not agreeing with them, because they respect him.

The same kind of attitude can be applied to friendship, and I beleive that the friends who do that for you are the ones you can count on without question. The others, the ones who’ll judge and ridicule you… those are the ones you know will be fair weather and circumstantial. They claim to be your friend, but in fact they’re just hanging out because they’ve got nothing better to do. I’m lucky in that I have friends who fall in the true friend category and have demonstrated their support for me on countless occasions, even in the face of stupidity, because they cared that much. Maybe not everyone gets that, and I try my best to understand that point-of-view as well… and today my understanding dissolved into rage.

I went off on someone in a friend’s journal, and I feel like such a prick for doing it, but by the same token I felt to do nothing was to condone it. The FOAF in question also has had a history of showing his asshattery in other means and situations, and this was the last straw for me. The thing is, though, this guy, the FOAF… he’s never going to see it any other way than his own, because his pride won’t allow him to admit his shortcomings, and his ego demands satisfaction at all times due to the fact that his shallow personality continues to run off without an ounce of consideration for his so-called friends. And the moment anyone calls him to the mat over it, hubris supercedes acting like a human being.

I have to wonder what makes a person act out in such a fashion. I’ve dealt with people of similar dispositions, and I think I’ve always chalked it up to the fact that he’s in a creative position that demands a certain level of artistry. I’m a writer and a producer, as well as an on-air personality; I know the demands really well. He’s done pretty well for himself in the past, and I’ll bet that inside his mind he’s generated a self-image to compensate for any insecurities… I used to work for someone exactly like that. I don’t anymore because of how he used to suck all the air out of the room he would walk into, and how people couldn’t stand to be around him for being a pompous asshole and being nothing but full of his own ego and accomplishments.

I also used to act exactly like that before I was seriously slapped down by a friend that I miss a lot. It gave me pause to reconsider how I was acting. I may not be perfect, and I may not be entirely absolved of my previous actions, but everytime I felt myself starting to revert, I just remembered the bitter sting of the end of that friendship. It’s something I’ll never forget until the day I die. I look back now at who I used to be, and I think to myself that if I had realized how much of an ass I was then, maybe things could have been different. For a moment, I’m paralyzed with remorse and I close my eyes so tight to try and push the memory back because of how painful it is.

Maybe it wasn’t my place to step up and tell him anything. But I think that kind of existance is going to be a very lonely one, and now my rage is beginning to reform into pity.

How sad for him.

I think I found my calm again.

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