I’m a pretty shy, quiet sort of person. If someone was to create a template of the archetypal introvert, I reckon they could use me as the image. I’m not loud or outgoing, and I definitely don’t like getting into any kind of argument with anyone.
In fact, I reckon a big part of the way I arrange my life is to ensure I avoid any risk of a conflict. It’s not always easy. When you’re an adult negotiating an adult world, there are so many ways conflict can arise. It can happen at work. It can happen at home. It can happen just walking down the street. Basically, it’s an occupational hazard of being alive.
Given that I can’t actually avoid all possible conflicts, another strategy that drives my day-to-day existence is making sure I minimise any conflicts when they do occur. I have a bunch of ways to do this. Trying to compromise. Trying to think and listen carefully to ensure that I’m not the one who is the cause of the problem. Spending a lot of time saying I’m sorry – I’m a dab hand when it comes to apologising. And sometimes, very occasionally, standing my ground and even raising my voice because something is important enough that I’m not prepared to back down.
This last option is something I do as rarely as possible, mainly due to the effect it has on me. I can feel the emotion rising. My body starts to shake. My hands tremble. My heart will continue to pound for hours afterwards. I really am not designed for conflict with other human beings.
That is why, when I do have an urge to vent my emotions, I usually select some sort of inanimate object as the focus for my fury. Inanimate objects are great to get angry at. They never talk back. They never raise their voice. They never threaten escalating violence. Sure, they can sometimes cause bodily damage, but that’s usually as a result of being punched or kicked, so I only have myself to blame.
When I get mad at inanimate objects, I really get mad. In particular, I vent my anger by growling at the object. It’s a low, rough growl, a bit like a dog’s. I learnt it many years ago, from an American TV show called Hill St Blues. There was a character called Mick Belker who used to do a great growl. Of course, he didn’t reserve it for inanimate objects. He was more than happy to project it onto anybody foolish enough to cross his path. Mick Belker is definitely the inspiration for my growl. I suppose he was one of my first television heroes – a loner and introvert but one who didn’t take crap from anybody.
So there you have it. If you’re another person, you don’t have a lot to fear from me. But if you’re an inanimate object, watch out. You’re at serious risk of getting a good old growling from me.
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