When it comes to emotions, anger is one that gets a lot of bad press. It’s not a hundred percent negative though. Sometimes, being angry can help to get you out of a difficult situation or allow you think something through more clearly and directly. In nature, animals use anger when faced with the fight option of survival. Without anger, they may not have made it.
I get angry at my job. Building above ground swimming pools during the Florida summer is no joke. We must assemble these pools that are not designed to go together very well and do it in blistering heat with high humidity. They really piss me off sometimes and I’ll show it. It’s not a pretty sight when the “fucks” start flowing and I’m throwing shit. The anger usually passes quickly and when the job is done, I leave all the drama in that backyard. It’s great to be able to use and release that anger. A lot of today’s indoor jobs don’t allow you to release the anger they create and that sucks.
“I CAN FEEL YOUR ANGER. IT GIVES YOU FOCUS, MAKES YOU STRONGER!”
Today’s society is constantly telling us that we should only feel one kind of way. Happy. It has placed such an emphasis on being happy and content that we can’t be described as successful without it. We are supposed to avoid feeling sadness or disgust and fear makes us look weak. Anger is definitely supposed to be avoided and replaced with wonderful things like consideration and understanding. Bullshit!
Maybe the concept of only being happy works if you’re riding a unicorn on an uncongested rainbow highway. But how does it fair during five o-clock traffic on a Friday when you’re trying to get home? Yeah, not so much. Is it healthy to avoid feeling the distain you have for the joy riders in front of you who “won’t go” or the hundred traffic lights that are stopping you for two and a half minutes even though no one is coming from the other way? By the way, if unicorns are so tranquil, why do they have horns? Do they have them to use to reach high hanging caramel apples growing on candy mountain or are they there to stab their competitors in the heart so as to victoriously watch them bleed out? Think about it.
Unlike unicorns, anger is a real thing. It is demonstrated beyond the human condition as an integral part of survival in many if not all living things. We shouldn’t avoid the anger we feel. We should embrace it and learn about ourselves from it. I’m not suggesting we all go the dark side, but if you are a Star Wars fan, you have to admit, Emperor Palpatine got along well controlling and using his anger and seemed considerably more content and fulfilled than almost anyone only using the force. Jus’ sayin’.
THE BAD PART OF ANGER
In the most general sense, anger is best when it’s felt short term. Immediate physical pain from things like stubbing your toe or bumping your head make you mad and help you disperse the pain. Getting cut off in traffic or someone saying something disrespectful to you makes you instantly angry allowing you to react quickly and decisively, so you can achieve a resolution. Your anger quickly comes, helps you with the current situation, and then quickly goes away. That’s good.
Lingering anger is not good. When your asshole boss said something to you and you couldn’t do anything about it. You just had to eat his shit and you couldn’t even look upset by it. Later on in the day, you just couldn’t let it go and were still mad about it. A month later and you’re still pissed when you think of it. Since you can’t confront your boss using the thoughts and focus that the anger has been giving you on the event, the emotion continues to build and is stored in your body. This is negative energy you have trapped in your body and will eventually cause some form of inflammation which is bad.
More situations like the above one that make you angry but prevent you from using and releasing the anger will start to build up and before you know it, your body becomes diseased or you become an unexplainable asshole. It’s important to be able to purge that anger you feel in some way.
HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR ANGER
It doesn’t matter what kind of guy you are. You’re gonna get mad at times. You may love hugging trees, eating things that don’t have faces, and catching spiders in your house so you can gently place them outside. You’re gonna get angry at times. Same goes if you burn down trees, only eat things with faces, and smash spiders right where you see them with a shoe. Some things piss you off.
Depending on what kind of guy you are will depend on how you can improve dealing with your anger. Which guy are you?
Timid guy – Do you not like confrontation? Don’t want to hurt anything or anybody? That’s cool. You may be cerebral about anger and have determined that anger has no value to you, so you avoid it or try to transfer the emotion to something more mentally manageable to your ideals. You may determine that you’re not angry about something but instead you are only irritated or disappointed.
By re-labeling you anger, you’re then able to bring the emotion to resolution either by outwardly approaching the issue or successfully shelving it. If that is working for you then great. If you are not really liking your brand of avoidance though, you could improve dealing with your anger by embracing it. Being angry doesn’t mean you’re gonna get into a fistfight. No trees or animals will be harmed just because you got mad at something. Identity your anger and then use it for a quick resolution. When it’s all over, you may feel better about yourself.
Angry guy – Do you like conflict? Are you OK with or maybe even drawn to disruptions in your life? Are you always making sure you’re not being disrespected every five seconds? Are you angry a lot? If this is working for you, then great. Some people like the warming of blood that anger gives them. My mother is one of these people. She loves being angry about something all the time.
Now if this is working for you, then awesome. Go out in the world and be angry at things so you can feel alive and not be bored. If you are tired of being angry all the time though, then you can start thinking when you get angry. When something pisses you off, try to start pausing before you act. Think about why you got mad, so you can eventually understand. Think of the situation or people involved and not just yourself. Try to see if you can let it go.
Chances are if you are an angry person, you’re able to process the anger quickly and bring it to resolution. Try to slow that process down some to give yourself time to think instead of just raging inside. Try something simple like counting to ten before you let the anger to take you over.
When I was in my early twenties, I was an angry guy. One day when I was bitching to my wife about something, she told me that I was going to be a grumpy old man. Her comment set me back a second, so I asked her how she knew I was going to be a grumpy old man? “Because you’re a grumpy young man”, she returned. For whatever reason, her answer affected me and from that time forward, I worked on my anger. Twenty plus years later and I am happy to say that I am not a grumpy man. Her comment saved me from a destiny of becoming a miserable old fuck.