My brother, who engages in frequent loud verbal exchanges while on the road, rendering the unprepared completely vulnerable to oral defamation, approaches in the middle of my last-minute surfing for the day, and squeaks something that sounds like, "I want you to do this little something for me." And I, congenial and good-natured on normal days, give him the look. This look, which I have neither practiced nor become truly aware of (when I flash it), is the stuff frat wars are made of. Thank God (for once) that I am a girl, and that the length of my patience is truly legendary. So now after this post I am turning off the kick-ass PC without lifting a finger for the brother (also, Bartender Extraordinaire).
And so sometimes it surprises me how easy it is to abuse and take the people you love for granted. I don't really mean to, and sometimes it doesn't matter who comes up to you on an off day as you would likely lash out at anyone in your line of fire. What's amazing is how easy I can get out of certain pits of bad feelings precisely by observing my reactions with clinical detachment: ironically I think it is a skill unique to some empaths -- the ability to identify emotions and study them and dissect them like some tangible organ, even if they were your own. [But it's not as if empaths have an easier time dealing with inner turmoil, typically I have a hard time acknowledging the really painful ones.]
I'm sick that way, but it's a nice kind of sick, the kind that keeps you well-aware that you are just human, idiosyncratic, and altogether too weak to feel superior about certain stuff.