Home » anxiety » I’m a Little Teapot

I’m a Little Teapot

One of my co-workers has been working on “finding joy” lately, or, at least on managing her grouch.  She is normally a very happy person, always making us smile with unique insights and little stories about happy things like puppies and shopping and her love of a good cookie recipe.

Today, she is having what she calls a case of the “Mean Reds”.  She was grouchy, and told us that she had no good reason to be grouchy, so she was grumpy about being grouchy.  That’s a lot of grr to go around. 

So, I asked her “Do you make tea?”


“Do you have a teapot that you make tea in?”

“No, I just boil water in the microwave.”

“But you understand how a teapot works, right?”

“Well, yeah, the water boils, and there’s a whistle for the steam,”

“So, what happens if you block up the vent where the steam comes out?”


“It explodes, right?”

“I s’pose.”

“So, why aren’t you allowed to be grouchy once in a while?  We would really appreciate you venting instead of exploding all over the walls back here.”

Cause, I’m a little teapot… short and stout…

I get really confused when I hear people say that they aren’t “allowed” to be grumpy.  Why?  Are you a Stepford?  A robot?  A Disney character? No – wait, even Disney allowed a Grumpy character.

So, what’s the problem?  Emotions are real, and they span the spectrum between utter joy and complete devastation.  We should be allowed, even encouraged, to experience that spectrum in all its fullness.  And when the mood strikes, to be able to dive into it for a little while and just be there. 

There have been times where I get angry, for no reason in particular that I can point to, just a lot of little things that all added up to one big mass of MAD.  My family and I have struck a bargain that when I get like that, I give them a heads-up warning to “Veer clear” for a while, so I don’t snap heads off that don’t deserve it.  But, I’m going to be mad, just plain grouchy, for as long as it takes for me to get over it.

And there are times when all I feel like doing is crying, sobbing, weeping.  Again, sometimes I have reason, sometimes I don’t.  I’m just touchy, rasped raw on the inside, and, while I usually try to save this for after everyone’s gone to bed, sometimes it leaks over onto other times of the day.  No help for it *shrug*, I just attempt to keep it to myself, and have my “moment”.

So, when my co-worker today was mad at herself for being mad, I asked her –

“Would you rather be scalding water and metal shrapnel flying everywhere, injuring others?  Or a little teapot, just whistling and venting, and waiting to be poured out?”


21 thoughts on “I’m a Little Teapot

  1. I was raised to be a Stepford daughter. Being angry or upset was always something that ended up getting me in trouble. So when I became an adult and was freed from my mother’s reign,I had no clue what to do with all the anger. I never really understood that it was an emotion that was okay to have. Too many times I was the exploding tea pot of doom. I’m slowly learning that letting off steam is perfectly okay and an important part of living.
    I loved this post. ❤

    • Thanks so much! I wasn’t really allowed too much “display” of emotions either, growing up, since of course “It’s nothing, just get over it,” was what I heard a lot. I was also trained to turn the other cheek again, and again, and again. Gets dizzy after a while.

      Thanks for visiting and for the nice words!

  2. This is something that I have learned a lot about over the last several years. I do much better in my relationships (both with hubby, family and friends), if I’m able to express the emotions as they come rather than allowing them to build up. The tea pot analogy is the perfect fit for that. Most of the time, if I just get it out when it happens, it really ends up being a nothing kind of a thing. If I wait and hold the stuff in, it becomes a huge deal and often times, hurtful things are said. I’m currently in the process of helping Hubby with this, but more along the lines of placing things where they belong. You don’t want to pour that boiling water over your hand. It will just hurt really bad and not be very productive. If you pour it into a cup with some tea, not only do you not get hurt, but you might find you actually enjoy it. So, when you’ve had a rough day at work, don’t yell and gripe at me when I ask a question that you don’t have time to deal with. Go for a run or play a game with that frustration instead.

    • Absolutely! Often, if I come home in that kind of mood, I head straight for the shower. Just the process of showering, and getting into clean jammies, when I know I’m not going anywhere else, helps to wash away the mood.

      On the really moody days, though? It’s time for the headphones, and the look that says “You’re better off just ignoring me”. That way I can enjoy wallow in my mood for as long as necessary until I can get rid of it, and be more sociable again.

  3. I don’t have issues with being grumpy or venting. What I have problems with is allowing grumpiness and venting becomes a 24/7 thing, as it started to become with me, hence Project Happiness. We have emotions for a reason. It’s controlling them appropriately is the key. 🙂 This was a good post, Brea.

    • I think I have emotional ADD. Seriously. I get upset, I get happy, I get in different moods, but especially with the more “red” emotions like anger, I have trouble hanging on to them. I end up clearing the pipes, or whatever, and then I go back to being my normal wierd self.

      *shrug* My OtherHalf is good at holding grudges, my mom is good at holding hurt feelings – me? I just kind of flit from one thing to another, never really landing anywhere for very long. Sometimes I think that makes me seem shallow, but it’s just my way.

  4. Great post Brea!…. My moods are usually all over the place, unlike what shows up on my goofy blog, and I am working towards what you have….being able to clear the pipes and go back to being my normal weird self. You are NOT shallow by any means my dear! “Your way” is what I’m striving for…… 🙂

    • Thanks, Mark. There are times where I kind of feel like a teeter-totter, and others where it’s more of a roller coaster or merry-go-round. Just the level of nausea that lets me know what kind of day it is!

  5. I learned to give my boys the heads up that I was having a bad day…forewarned is forearmed!

    I agree with Mark…no shallowness there. Sometimes moving quickly from one thing to another can diffuse an otherwise crappy situation until you can unravel it in private later on.

    Good post!

    • Thanks, sis! Of course, you can always make me laugh, even when I don’t really feel like it! I think maybe my next tattoo needs to be the Kanji for SERENITY, though… Or maybe I need to have my Zen beads implanted directly into my skin. ack.

  6. I grew up being raised by my father whose favorite way to deal with emotion was to ask: “Are you hurt? …. Then why are you crying?”
    I was 16 before I told him that sometime I just had to cry and it was his job to tell me it was going to be okay.
    I still haven’t fully embraced that sentiment. I still push down the bad feelings and try to put on a happy face. For the past few days I have been crying sporadically for no reason! And I’ve been working so hard to stop it – to push it down and ignore it.
    I was so glas to see this post today, I am officially taking it as permission to just be down… at least till I’m “up” again.

    • I think all of us push down the emotions sometimes, for various reasons. Work, family, other things going on that just have to take precedence for the moment.

      But I do think that it’s important to at least find a few minutes, just to at least acknowledge that you’re going through something, even if you’re not sure what. And to just “be”. Especially at this time of year, which seems to be so fraught with emotional backlash and overloading.

  7. Loved this post. I am so glad to hear that these feelings are shared by others. Or should I say lack of feelings ahem? I grew up with my father always saying that a lady is always cool, calm, and collected and now I say “Listen here Mister!!! Just who do you think you’re calling a LADY?!?!

  8. It’s so funny to read that from you now, after it took me 2 hours more to get home because of the traffic and I was thinking about how living in a bigger city makes me angrier. Maybe it doesn’t make me angrier, but just to a teapot, while till now I have always been gathering all the anger to a big dark matter under pressure, ready to destroy everything standing in the way when I want…

    So you’re saying that it’s better to be a teapot? Hm… I’ll think about it 😉

    • LOL, I have a tendency toward “Traffic Tourettes” myself occasionally. Especially in winter, when the people from the airbase come into town. They come from far-flung warm-climate places, and don’t realize that you CAN drive on snow, without creeping down the street like a frightened puppy. Slow down, yes… CRAWL LIKE MOLASSES IN SNOW? no. 😉

  9. Hello, I like the image at the bottom of your post. I’d like to use it on one of my sites. Did you draw it? If not, do you know who did? So I can attribute proper credit! Thanks!

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