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A Comment on Anger

Posted by Icewolf , 11 June 2014 · 430 views

Recently I have been noticing that a great many of my acquaintances seem to spend a lot of time being angry. Angry at politics. Angry at bad drivers. Angry at their jobs. Angry with themselves. In the more extreme versions I know some people who seem to just never stop being angry to the point that it sucks the joy out of their life. People who quite literally hate their jobs (understandably so generally) and then spend hours and hours telling everyone so. 
 
And I will admit there was a point in my life a while ago when I spent a great deal of time being angry. And eventually I stopped-mostly because my life got better but also because I was able to remove many of the anger causing influences from it. 
 
But around me a great many people seem to spend a lot of time being very angry. Angry at politicians. Anger at drivers who nearly knock them off their bike. Anger at customers that treat them badly. Anger at the fact they are unemployed, anger at the great overriding system that leaves them unemployed. Anger at the Governments welfare reforms etc. 
 
I am sure we have all seen a great many of us have felt this anger and watched friends fall victim to it. 
 
Not only am I glad that I have managed to avoid these feelings, I have realised something else about this. This anger is incredibly self-centred and arrogant. Whilst at the same time being pointless and destructive. 
 
Take a person who works in a dead end service job with awful customers. They may well spend a great deal of time being angry about their job. They may feel a sense of righteousness and express that through their anger. They may well feel that the world is unfair. 
 
However, what actually does it achieve and change? If a customer !@#$%*ed them out for putting insufficient pickles on a sandwich, there are two possibilities. Either that customer is a bad person and genuinely doesn't care how you feel, in which case your anger won't hurt them, or they snapped at a bad moment and now feel bad, in which case your anger doesn't make them feel any better or worse. Your boss treats you badly...do they care you are angry? Do they care you hate your job? Will their treatment change because you are angry? 
 
The arrogance is that you believe how you feel changes the world. t doesn't. The world does not care how a person feels. It changes nothing. The self-destructiveness is that you make yourself hurt, and more importantly, the few that do care about you will also hurt as you project that anger onto those around you. The boss that screws you over doesn't care you are angry. The friends and family around you do are and they are the ones that you hurt. 

Harsh as it is, how you feel and think does not change the world one iota. How you act does. And acting angry generally does not change the world for the better. If you hate your job, bringing the hate home won't make it better. Hanging it by the door and finding something to find joy in, and doing something positive will. Hate how society treats the unfortunate? Rather than ranting at home all night (as I have witnessed people do) go out and make their lives better!
 
I guess what I really want to say is that you cannot will the world into a better place. So stop making yourself miserable trying, and do something to make it better.  

 




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Gopherbashi
Jun 11 2014 02:16 PM

 

If a customer !@#$%*ed them out for putting insufficient pickles on a sandwich, there are two possibilities. Either that customer is a bad person and genuinely doesn't care how you feel, in which case your anger won't hurt them, or they snapped at a bad moment and now feel bad, in which case your anger doesn't make them feel any better or worse.

 

I'd go even farther and say that someone's negative attitude is more likely to put the customer on edge in the first place, making them more likely to snap.

However, what actually does it achieve and change?


Like any other emotion, it convey's what you're feeling. It's not any more about "changing the world" than kissing the ass of that person who !@#$%*es you out over pickles is going to change the world.

It's actually quite healthy to express anger and not repress it, otherwise it tends to boil and turn into rage.

Rage is the real destructive demon, not anger.

It's all about controlling your emotions. It's not healthy to bottle them in, but neither is it a wise idea to let them spill all around you uncontrollably when it is not to your advantage. We're all at negotiating tables daily in our lives. A sammich maker and the customer are at one. One can show anger while still being polite - that conveys a wish to be treated civilly. That is the purpose of anger in this scenario. Whether the customer or other customers agree is another matter. That anger can also be directed at trying to do something to change the situation. Emotions, when conveyed right, can be used to influence others. Not even an uncaring boss is totally immune to them.

 

"Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you."

 

tumblr_n360t9pXX91rawb5do1_500.jpg

I'm angry that, err, never mind.

Being impoverished and especially unemployed is emotionally and mentally exhausting. A lot of times people just don't have the mental fortitude to do anything but wear their resentment on their sleeves. I disagree that it is arrogant and/or selfish. That's really just a blame-the-victim mentality disguised as self-righteous wisdom, like a David Brooks column.

 

It's not just the direct stressors of a dead-end, low-wage job that create this effect. It's not the rude customers or the horrible boss. It's the constant pressure that comes with insufficient employment or wages. They're not really angry because of the guy that wanted more pickles. The anger is a manifestation of the constant, every-waking-hour worry about making rent, paying bills, managing time. How can there be joy in your life when you are worrying 24/7 about whether you can afford to eat or feed your children tomorrow?

 

As it happens I read something on this subject the other day in the NYTimes that might take your interest:

 

http://opinionator.b...o-clocking-out/

A punching bag or a pair of good running shoes, is a good investment.

A punching bag or a pair of good running shoes, is a good investment.

 

The recent theory on that as an outlet, is said to exacerbate the anger issue, by training yourself to use violence to "relieve" your stress.

The recent theory on that as an outlet, is said to exacerbate the anger issue, by training yourself to use violence to "relieve" your stress.

Uhh, i would not know about that, i have not punched out anyone in years. Not since my army days at any rate. If i did not have violent video games, my punching bag and my running shoes, it may not be too healthy for my boss.

I thought it was more to do with the fact that training yourself to always let the anger out rather than "bottle it up" is a bad idea as it trains you not to control your anger. 

 

So if your punching bag is a way of letting anger out then it can be a bad thing as you associate fists with dealing with anger. 

 

On the other hand, exercise is generally good for peoples mental well being and releases endorphins making you happy, so if exercise is a way to extinguish the anger that is good. 

 

I definitely know that I was in a less good frame of mind when I injured myself and had to drive to work as I lost the 25 minutes of exercise on the way to work that helped relax me for the day ahead. 

There might be some truth to what you say.

For me however the desire to hit someone never comes up. Maybe because i know what a punch can do. I dunno.

And yes exercise is a good high.

October 2014

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