I get annoyed way too easily. I hate getting angry with people. It happens with my friends and my family more than with acquaintances. With my roommates, their tendencies can really get on my nerves.
I’d love to learn to deal with this! What can I do?
Be kinder to yourself - you’re working at self-improvement, which is way ahead of many people.
You don’t mention your specific stress factors, but I’m sure you have some and that they’re contributing to feelings of impatience, irritation, and short temper.
If you know your stressors – e.g. school, close living quarters, others’ habits – start with what’s most significant to you and consider what you can change, even a little.
If you’re at a university, talk to student services for counselling help and ideas for how to best handle your course load or make adjustments.
With roommates, suggest a meeting to air out any living problems and look for ways to resolve them, as a team.
However, if you feel persistently increasing tensions and anger with family, friends, and roommates, see your family doctor or the school’s health clinic and check for a health reason. If clear, get referral to a therapist regarding overall counselling and anger management.
I’m in the starting phases of a relationship with a girl a year younger than me at my school. We're both female, and while I've been in relationships with women before, she isn't out to her family, nor to several of her friends, and apparently has never been in a relationship before.
We’ve both admitted mutual attraction after knowing each other for two years.
But I'm a bit unsure about approaching this relationship. My last one was seven months ago, but I’m still very insecure and confused about what my place should be in a relationship.
Previously, I always ended up in the more "dominant" position, in terms of initiating physical contact, planning dates, etc.
But that actually makes me extremely uncomfortable and I much prefer when I don't have to be in as much control.
While this girl is considerably more forceful and affectionate than any of my previous girlfriends, I still fear that because I'm older and larger, I’ll end up in the same position.
I don't know how to raise this subject without seeming that I'm bringing unrealistic expectations too soon. Yet I don't want to invest emotionally in another relationship that’ll end because I wasn't taking the initiative.
The tendency to take control is about you, not your size, nor the nature of the relationship. You’re already taking charge by building a set of concerns, and weighing them, without even being in a relationship with this girl.
Slow down. Don’t over-discuss the attraction between you… because if she’s not yet out to family and friends, she needs time to figure out for herself if she can handle this relationship, especially within the school community.
Meanwhile, look at your own past pattern with others. Did you “invest emotionally” before the other person had done so? Were you pushing for commitments the other person wasn’t ready for? Is this about your own insecurities no matter who’s the other person involved?
If so, it’s a good time to get a better sense of what you bring to relationships in general, to help you handle any future connections, not just this one.
Your local LGBT(lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) chapter may be a good starting place for talking this out with a counselor and/or support group.
FEEDBACK Regarding the writer’s elderly mother’s memory lapses, and neglect of hygiene (August 31):
Reader – “My mother died after 12 years of a dementia assumed to be Alzheimer's.
“Her personal hygiene became an issue. My father did all the cooking and some housework but, like the man mentioned, didn't intervene in the physical care of my mother until much later.
“He’d felt he was patronizing or betraying Mum when he did things she didn't know about, even though she would never remember.
“Eventually, he came to understand that because of Mum's memory loss, he could put her dirty clothes in the hamper at night and lay out clean ones for the morning.
“It had become obvious that our father needed some help in understanding his role as primary caregiver.
“Dementia of any kind means long-term grief and loss for the family and friends of those suffering from it.”
Tip of the day:
Self-improvement is a lifetime goal, which counselling can often aid.