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The Internal Flame This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When I was brought into this world, family and friends noticed how much I looked like my father. Little did they know what attribute I had inherited from him. If I were to describe my mother, I would say she is soft-spoken, appeasing, and patient. My father, on the other hand, becomes cross when things don't turn out the way they should and actually yells at physical objects he's attempting to fix! When that happens, I remember my grandmother's words, "There's a lot of good in the worst of us and a lot of bad in the best of us, so it doesn't behoove any of us to talk about the rest of us." My dad is a very kind man but unfortunately I have inherited his quick temper, or what I call the internal flame.

There have been many unpleasant encounters involving my temper and my 21-year-old sister Katie. I barely ever fly off the handle when I'm with my parents, which sounds odd coming from a teenager, but it's the truth. Not to mention the fact I hate making Dad mad for obvious reasons! My sister Katie is another story. If I have a pet peeve, it's walking into my bedroom and noticing that several CDs, nail polish bottles, and articles of clothing are missing. Realizing Katie has "borrowed" them usually means I'll never get them back, so I become furious. My sister and I can't make it through the day without arguing at least once.

Sometimes it's just a small fuss over the phone but other times we say things we don't mean because we really annoy each other. Thinking about it now has made me realize that my sister always sees the bad side of me because of my temper. Having an argument with someone who has a beastly temper cannot be fun, but there are ways to deal with it.

Knowing how to deal with internal flames is very important. People can't be walking around their homes all worked up, slamming doors and throwing things. Believe it or not, there are solutions on how to calm down after a tiff.

First of all, not talking to someone about the problem will only make matters more difficult later. You can't avoid a situation altogether, and nothing will get resolved. Communication is key and if you are angry with someone, make sure you let them know (in a polite way because yelling will not help the situation at all!).

Another tip - when you feel your internal flame starting to burn, go into your bedroom and relax for a minute or sit and count to ten slowly. By the time you are finished, you should feel at least a little better. Start reading a book, write a letter, or clean your room; do anything to take your mind off what you're feeling. Later on, you should be calm enough to talk with your antagonist.

I think most of my family and friends don't realize what a temper I have. We're a close family and I get along with everyone really well. The last thing I want to do is hurt someone's feelings, especially someone I care about. So, to make sure I don't, I always keep a bucket of water close by (to put out the internal flame) just in case I need it! tf


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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