I very seldom lose my cool with people. My observation is that becoming angry with someone and raising my voice seldom helps the situation. Still, there have been a few times when I’ve been really mad at someone and lost my cool. I’ve raised my voice and told them in no uncertain terms what I wanted. Sometimes it is effective, and sometimes it is not. In the latter case, I distance myself from the individual and minimize my interaction with them.

Over time, I’ve evolved a pretty clear understanding of what really sets me off. For example, if I’m being told a boldfaced lie about something very important to me, and I know it is a boldfaced lie, I get pissed. Livid, actually. Furthermore, if a close friend does something stupid and I suffer the consequences, I instantly get mad at them. I think I interpret such behavior as either a lack of respect or a lack of caring.

More recently, I encountered an individual who I eventually concluded was an affluent, arrogant cheapskate. He’s an older person who moved into the same neighborhood I was in, which is why we had any interaction at all. I was initially cordial to him, as I would be to anyone. However, over a period of several months I observed that he tended to use other folk’s possessions, such as dock boxes or dock pilings, if the owners was not using them. If it were me, I would have (as I have) bought my own dock box. He also bought new dock lines and then offered to see me his old ones – after he asked if I wanted them. Here’s a man with a much more expensive boat then mine trying to make a buck off me with some old rope. Really? Worse, he seemed to impose himself into my life during this time. I was working on an outdoor boat project and nearly every day he’d stop by and pester me. I soon cooled to him, especially when I realized he couldn’t stop sticking his nose in my business. He couldn’t seem to accept the idea that I did not want his advice. Then one day, I had a local expert visit me to help with my project and the old man saw us and couldn’t leave us alone. Indeed, he wanted the expert to look at something on his boat. Right there and then, I lost it. I told him in no uncertain terms to stay the hell away from me. I even surprised myself; I hadn’t fully appreciated how much this guy’s behavior got under my skin!

I’ve known a few affluent people, though I can’t say I typically hang with them. I’ve also known more than a few arrogant people, some of whom I get along with well because their arrogance is an attitude borne out of accomplishment rather than a sense of entitlement or uniqueness. And yes, I’ve certainly known a cheapskate or two (or three or four). I’ve never had a real problem with any of these people. An affluent, arrogant cheapskate, however, is a person bound and determined to give people advice they don’t want, based on (reported) experiences most people can’t afford to engage in, while trying to make (or save) a buck off them – all at the same time!

Such people are indeed a sight to behold – preferably from at least one neighborhood away.

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