What do I yell at in the quiet of my mind?

Ah, inner rage. It feels cathartic for a little while, especially when you’re making complex but incredibly insightful points with lots of subpoints and bullets and footnotes. But after a while, the process blackens the mind. What would happen if you dealt with your anger beyond the silent borders of your brain? This doesn’t necessarily require a confrontation with the object of your fury. It means figuring out why you’re so angry with her (or him) and why you feel you can’t bring it up.Note: This directive applies even if the person you’re yelling at is yourself.

If I had shingles, who would I call who might make me feel the tiniest bit better?
Replace shingles with whatever horrible malady you’d like: a lump that requires a biopsy, a tapeworm, a hysterectomy. But understand that this question is a bit of a trick. First, you’re looking to see if there’s somebody in your life you’d share intimate and upsetting news with. Second, you’re examining if that person would make you feel better or worse about the situation. Calling up a critical mother or an old close friend who’s become noticeably more distant, for example, may mean that you are willing to share your life—just with the wrong confidante.

What’s the one thing that nobody knows about me?
Which should probably be followed by, Why does nobody know?

When was the last time I laughed until root beer came out of my nose?
There was a time this happened so naturally—say, sixth-grade lunch period on pizza Fridays. Laughter like this did not result from a witty comment, sarcasm or gentle ribbing. It came from the right friend with the wrong braces and the wrong hair but also a deep understanding of joy and loyalty, which enabled her to eat a piece of pepperoni in such a way that you were compelled to fall into hysterics and roll around on the cafeteria floor. A grown-up version of this friend, who will laugh until Perrier comes out of her nose, is looking for you right now.

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