People, regardless of age or background, have a few stock phrases and responses when they’re angry. I, having been in the midst of many an angry skirmish, am well placed to draw up this list of the rather senseless things people say in anger. Note that this is in no particular order:
1) When one says “I was busy” the invariable retort is – “ As if I’m not.” Noone said YOU’re not busy…I was merely saying that I WAS.
2) One often makes accusations and then adds a “and you know it” to add weight to the accusation. Often it is the first time that the accused has heard that he’s a sonovabitch, so he can very well claim not to know it.
3) “Don’t tell me what to feel!” Is another comment that puzzles me. If the reaction is far beyond what the stimulus warrants and you point that out, this is often the comment that comes whizzing back at you, even though it makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever. If I choose to laugh heartily through Schindler’s List and people turn around and give me outraged glances, does it make sense if I say “Hey, Don’t tell me what to FEEL, OK???”. Probably not. (On an aside I laughed uproariously through most of the tragic parts of ‘Life is Beautiful’. Not because I’m a chump; but because I had aimed to comfort a friend who was crying inconsolably next to me, and groped her quite comprehensively instead.)
4) If you point out certain flaws in near and dear ones, you will roundly be accused of being a complainer and a whiner, who can never appreciate one’s good side and will always harp on the bad things. In the ensuing heated argument, the original accusation is entirely forgotten, in which case this is quite a good tactic and shouldn’t be here. (But the point I was getting to before I recognized this as the brilliant ploy that it is -- I wasn’t saying that you are entirely bad, I’m just saying your habit of being selectively deaf is something I would now wish to exclusively talk about, at length, and in high-pitched tones. Again, of course you’ve done a lot of good things, but we’re not talking about that JUST now. )
5) This is somewhat similar to the last one, only from the other person’s perspective. When someone has really got into the groove and is in the middle of calling you every name in the book, you start saying things in self-defence like “Don’t you remember I lent you money two years ago, and I picked up your crazy aunt from the station because everyone else refused”, etc. and generally remind him/her that you’re not all bad and have done some rather nice things for him in the past. Pat will come the completely shameless dodge -- “Oh so you have to throw my poor aunty in my face now. There’s no point in doing a friend a good turn if you bring it up later… and now that we’re on the topic I’m glad she bit you.”
6) “When I die you’ll feel bad you said that.” With a sad droop of the shoulders, like you’re dying as you speak.
And so on, you get the drift. I dare all my readers to delve into their memories and deny they have either used these arguments or had them used on them These comments distract people from the issue; making the arguments confusing, long-winded, and not as intellectually stimulating as they otherwise could have been.
But then again, anger is a brief madness, and generally not a recognized forum for the exercise of intelligence or time-management.