What’s Next, Temper Tantrums?

One of the nice things about aging is that I have gained perspective and am able to handle stressful situations with more ease and less passion.

So why does all of that hard earned experience go out the window when I have to express myself in a foreign language? It is very disconcerting to have my emotions bubble to the surface so quickly when facing a challenge with my more limited vocabulary in Spanish.

I believe it has something to do with the level of fluency I have become used to in English when it comes to translating my feelings succinctly into language. As an adult, when dealing with a difficult business or social situation, I have the intellectual deftness to truly express (in my mother tongue) what I believe and can navigate successfully through the eddies and turbulence of emotions.

However, when speaking in Castellano at an intermediate level, I wear my sentiments on my sleeve as a result of my inept attempts to give true voice to my feelings.

It has given me pause, and has also helped me to have more empathy with how my daughters must feel, and why they sometimes get so frustrated. I suppose in Latin America, when speaking Spanish, I really am a 9-year old kid running around in a 43-year old body!

2 Responses to “What’s Next, Temper Tantrums?”

  1. Buenos Aires Expats - Online Community of Expatriates and guide to living in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    […] called) Peron’s grandniece, the mansion had been a shelter for homeless women and ch… What’s Next, Temper Tantrums?[micheleandtom.com] One of the nice things about aging is that I have gained perspective and am able […]

  2. Barbara

    I think the rages that 2-year-olds experience all come from frustration at being unable to communicate. So learning a language involves going through the “terrible two’s” all over again! (although as adults we feel more embarrassment at our tantrums than a 2-year-old likely feels….)

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