I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin –
“Because of Extreme Nice, when I discovered one night that Jamie had thrown away The Economist and the Entertainment Weekly that I hadn’t read yet, I didn’t badger him about it. When I woke up the next morning, I saw how insignificant it was and was relieved I hadn’t indulged in a scene.
I’d always followed the adage “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” which meant, in practical terms, that I scrupulously aired every annoyance as soon as possible, to make sure I had my chance to vent my bad feelings before bedtime. I was surprised to learn from my research, however, that the well-known notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. There’s no evidence for the belief that “letting off steam” is healthy or constructive. In fact, studies show that aggressively expressing anger doesn’t relieve anger but amplifies it. On the other hand, not expressing anger often allows it to disappear without leaving ugly traces.
Extreme Nice also started me thinking about the degree to which Jamie and I accepted orders from each other. It’s safe to say that married people spend a lot of time trying to coax each other into performing various chores, and the ability to cooperate in tackling daily tasks is a key component of a happy marriage.”
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