Why are there so many angry people in the world? There are a myriad of explanations for this. The reason I am on this train of thought is because one of my art pages recently has gone through a barrage of angry comments and outright lude pictures and comments, primarily from angry men. I did not respond to their comments, reported the users, and deleted the content. Although it was a bit disturbing considering the content on my page lends to absolutely no controversial topics whatsoever, unless singing positive songs, abstract art, and theatre is offensive? I thought to myself, these people must be really hurt, or severely emotionally immature. What especially surprised me is that the angry content was coming from men on an art page. There is a slight possibility that a woman could use a man’s account, but for the sake of staying on point, the angry content was posted by what appeared to be men’s accounts.
All of humankind has experienced anger at one point or another and, often times, it can seem irrational, or truly is downright irrational. Irrational anger cannot be rationalized, period. Therefore, why even write a blog about it? Well, maybe discussing this topic could lead to healing another’s wrestle with anger? I have found love to be the answer. Love people and do not engage with angry people. “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” (Prov. 19:11). Anger can be caused by past hurt, unmet expectations in others or self, feelings of inadequacy, and numerous other things. Anger is a valid emotion.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines anger, the noun, as:
(Entry 1 of 2)
1: a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of
antagonism (see ANTAGONISM sense 1b) You could
hear the anger in his voice. She found it hard to
control her anger.
2: RAGE sense 2
Anger can be stuffed down or asserted in a visual and audible fit of rage. The crazy thing is that anger can be veiled and expressed through a person's need for control, power, unhealthy attachments to people or things, territorial claims on people or lands, addictions, etc. Anger can be directed at one's self, others, lashed out on pets, or things in an environment. Additionally, anger can be expressed through athletics or competition.
So, is anger altogether bad? Anger is an emotion and all emotions have their place in our human psyche. Anger can be “righteous,” or due to being harmed by another person or life circumstance that is unjust or “unfair.” The adage that "life is not fair" has been heard or used by most people as a truism, but that does not invalidate the feelings that "unfair" situations cause to one's emotions. If anger is due to an unjust or unfair situation, the solution would be to direct the anger to create a change for the better. Thus, anger can be used for a constructive and positive outcome. Although the lack of self-control in regard to anger has led to a myriad of criminal behaviors and the need for prisons.
Any emotion can be out of control or unhealthy and that is a blog for another day. Recognition of one’s anger is key to the self-control and the un-doing of the negative effects of this emotion. What is it that makes you angry? If you are angry, what do you do to overcome it? Do you lash out at others and feel guilty about it afterward? Do you breathe and count to three? “When angry, count [to] four. When very angry, swear.” (Mark Twain). I am curious.
In my own life, whenever I feel the emotion of anger I recognize the emotion and, most of the time, I breathe and assess the situation. Usually, a gut response to being wronged is the desire for revenge, but revenge is more than likely to cause more rage. Anger’s “flames” truly cannot be quenched because when given fuel, it seeks ultimate control and power. I have learned self-control through recognition and learning what it means to love and be loved. I have learned to forgive myself and others to move forward in peace. Setting boundaries with myself and others has been a great defense against uncontrolled anger.
If you are experiencing a person or thing that is exhibiting out-of-control anger, the best remedy is to remove yourself from that toxic situation and seek immediate help and safety. As I mentioned earlier, you cannot quench anger’s “flames,” or cure an out-of-control situation without the “water,” or love, that is necessary to put the fire out and sometimes that love is what is called “tough love,” which is implemented by walking away, at the very least, until the angry person seeks professional help, or by walking away for good. We all deserve love and safety. The work towards the self-control of anger is well worth it and will produce positive results towards its opposite: peace, love, and joy!
Notes: If you or a loved one is in need of a safe place or in need of rescuing from an abusive or bullying situation, whether it be in the workplace, school or at home, please contact your school counselor/administrator, human resource department in the workplace or local authorities in regard to bullying, sexual harassment, or domestic violence situations. These resources can usually provide a list of phone numbers to obtain necessary help.
Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence