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<xTITLE>That Made My Blood Boil</xTITLE>

That Made My Blood Boil

by Cinnie Noble
January 2014

Cinergy Coaching by Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble
Did you know that there was a belief that blood actually boils when people become angry or excited? We know that is not true and even has a sort of sci-fi feeling to it. However, that made my blood boil is an expression used by some of us when commenting on something that highly offends us. Wiktionary describes the idiom to mean: “To cause a person to feel angry or very annoyed, especially in situations in which one cannot fully display that feeling to others”.

We may use such an phrase before, during, or after a conflict when commenting on our experience of someone’s deeds, words, or attitude. We may not actually show what we are experiencing, as the above definition suggests, though our external demeanour may well demonstrate our feelings (see the previous blog entitled Experiencing Your Conflict). Or, we may clearly and purposely show how we feel on our faces and bodies, and by our voices and actions. Some examples are rolling eyes, heavy sighs, and a sarcastic tone of voice.

This week’s blog invites readers to consider this statement – you made my blood boil – as it applies to you. I suggest that you select a conflict in which you may use this phrase or could have used it to describe how you are or were feeling about someone’s words, actions, attitude, etc. and/or her or his position on the issues.

What specifically makes or made your blood boil in that situation?

How would you describe in more detail the image of your blood boiling?

What specific feelings are or were you experiencing at this time?

Which of your feelings do you think are or were obvious to the other person? In what ways?

Which are or were not obvious to the other person?

For what reasons are you internalizing or did you internalize some or all of your feelings, if you are or did?

What started the conflict for you – even if it is or was an inner boiling?

What kept you from saying or doing something at the time that may preclude or have precluded things from boiling for you?

What could you do to stop the boiling now?

What are you thinking now about the expression – that made my blood boil – that may be different from when you started answering these questions?


Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You.

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