Ken Donaldson on Anger…What Is It, Where Does It Come From and Why Is It So Tough To Manage?
Anger…What Is It, Where Does It Come From and Why Is It So Tough To Mange?
If you were going to answer these questions, where would you go?
If so, then you’ll appreciate this.
If not, then you’ll appreciate this even more.
Our friends at Wikipedia pulled together the following to describe anger:
- Anger is an emotion related to one’s perception of having been offended or wronged and a tendency to undo that wrongdoing by retaliation…a normal emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation.
- Anger may have physical correlates such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline (a neurotransmitter).
- Some view anger as part of the fight or flight brain response to the perceived threat of harm.
- Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behavior of another outside force.
- Anger can have many physical and mental consequences.
- The external expression of anger can be found in facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and, at times, in public acts of aggression.
- Humans and animals make loud sounds, attempt to look physically larger, bare their teeth, and stare.
- The behaviors associated with anger are designed to warn aggressors to stop their threatening behavior.
- Rarely does a physical altercation occur without the prior expression of anger by at least one of the participants.
- While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of “what has happened to them,” psychologists point out that an angry person can be very well mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability (in other words, they don’t know what’s going on inside them and, instead, blame an outer stimulus, which is usually another person or set of circumstances).
- Modern psychologists view anger as a primary, natural, and mature emotion experienced by all humans at times, and as something that has functional value for survival.
- Anger can mobilize psychological resources for corrective action.
- Uncontrolled anger can negatively affect personal or social well-being.
- While many philosophers and writers have warned against the spontaneous and uncontrolled fits of anger, there has been disagreement over the intrinsic value of anger.
- Dealing with anger has been addressed in the writings of the earliest philosophers up to modern times.
- Modern psychologists, in contrast to the earlier writers, have pointed out the possible harmful effects of suppression of anger.
- Displays of anger can be used as a manipulation strategy for social influence.
Well…what do YOU think?
Agree with all this? Some of it? Disagree?
The bottom line is that anger is a very powerful emotion which, when managed properly, can produce very significant results.
However, when mismanaged, it can be equally, or even more, damaging.
Unfortunately, too many times anger is mismanaged and misunderstood.
The end result is that most people most of time do NOT deal with anger appropriately.
Most people most of the time either over-react (the reactors) or under-react (the avoiders).
The reactors simply allow anger to control them, rather than them managing the anger.
(You ALWAYS have a choice and by NOT choosing you’re allowing the anger to be in charge.)
The reactors allow their “buttons to be pushed” by outer influences with no intervention. They, with realizing it most of the time, allow themselves to be “victimized” by outer sources.
The result is that the anger controls their thinking and their actions, which can be expressed as anything from sarcasm to violence, and everything in-between.
The avoiders, likewise, also allow themselves to be controlled by outer influences.
But when their buttons are pressed, instead of going towards a more explosive direction, they run.
The avoiders always see anger as dangerous and they do everything they can to both avoid anger and try to control anger in their environments.
In either case, the anger never gets truly addressed and is, instead, only reacted to.
SO…how about if you just tell yourself (and, of course, believe it!), “Anger is okay.”
Yes, like its normal, healthy and just another one of the many emotions.
And what if you then acted accordingly?
And what if you actually learned to manage anger (which isn’t really all that difficult…really!)?
One of the keys is to NOT try to manage other’s anger, only your response to it.
And what if you were able to tell ‘Younger You” that anger was okay and normal and healthy…how would that change the way you deal with it?