I am riding out a bit of rough weather interpersonally (MIL's pipe burst = three week stay including the sole precious week DH and I have at home together => fill in the blanks). And I find myself battling the feelings of vengefulness and hostility and general ill-will that surround me like an electron cloud whenever my cage gets rattled. You realize for a certain number of us-- not naming names-- having a resident MIL with firm opinions is going to rattle the old cage.
At my core-- I think it's my core, I hope to God it's my core-- I know that people usually behave well from a place of strength, not weakness. When I get angry at some stray remark, it's because I've been hit in a vulnerable place. And if I want to help another person behave more to my liking, it makes sense to help them feel stronger, not weakened. Heard versus attacked.
Whether I'm right about this or not, it makes me feel better and safer not to act like a jerk. I don't like myself when I'm venting like a steam whistle. I think to some degree it may be necessary, or at least forgiveable, but it doesn't feel as good as holding on to whatever patience and tolerance nature bestowed on me.
There is a food/health analogy here that's not too hard to pin down. It may be forgivable, understandable, perfectly normal to snitch candy and bag exercise*. My weight may not suffer too badly**. But in the end it doesn't feel as good or work as well as doing the right things. That's why our friends further down the path keep waving and reaching out their hands to us-- it feels good, come join us! I plan to pick up my feet and walk toward them. Maybe some time this year I'll be further down the path, waving with the rest :)
*Disclaimer: I haven't been bagging exercise. Snitching candy, well, that's different.
** I'm back down a pound, yay. Can I lose 1 pound in two days to make my Hot 100 goal? Weeellll... Let's look at my sidebar and make an educated guess.