Anger hurts.  More often than not,  the one it hurts the most is the one who feels it rather than the one it is directed at.    I would never argue that anger is not a reasonable reaction at times to other people’s statements or actions.  However it seems to me that it is such an incredibly destructive emotion that I have for many, many years now tried very hard to banish it from my life.

There was a time when I was pretty much angry all of the time.   If another driver cut me off in traffic I might become enraged and floor the accelerator,  wanting to kill the other driver merely because they had cut in front of me.   I will forever be grateful to my late huzband Joel who helped me to see how crazy and dangerous this behavior was and to let go of a great deal of the gratuitous anger I had long felt.  These days I mostly drive in the slow lane,  let anyone who wants to pass me pass me,  and relax even when there is heavy traffic or other drivers behave poorly.   And yet every now and then I still angry in traffic.   Though the worst I’ve done in a long time was to flip the bird at another driver.  While waiting patiently to be able to move again.

While I have come so far in letting go of my anger and do so much better driving these days,  there are still things that just send me into a rage.    I’m torn by being intensely interested in the politics of health care reform and civil rights, but reading an ill-informed opinion that is in opposition to my views still more often than not brings on the horrible feelings of rage.    And a big part of me thinks that it is perfectly reasonable to be angry with people who are trying to deny me health care or civil rights.   Yet I know that if I let myself get angry I will be the one who is hurt by my anger.   I also know that anger can be productive to the extent that it motivates you to take rational actions to bring about change.   And I pray that someday I may be able to read the newspaper without screaming that someone should be horse whipped into hell.


14 comments on “Anger

  1. I am pretty sure that I understand how you feel. You are smart to keep it dialed down for your own health! It is so frustrating to hear and read reports on politics. Why can’t life be more fair? Why is it that when we do get to take steps forward, we are pushed back again?? Oh no, I can’t get started – I will get mad!

  2. I have been watching my thoughts a lot when I felt anger coming up. What I learned was, that I would become most angry when my mind was figuring something out and solved a problem whilst reality was still a mess. For example, I tend to get angry when my 6 year old does everything twice as slow when I try to hurry him to get in school in time. When I dream away in seeing us perfectly in time and then watch him still playing around with a toy, is when the anger creeps in. I tried to stop ‘fantasizing’ everything into a perfect world and try to be in the here and now.

    You state it yourself in your sentence ‘ that is in opposition to my views ‘ – this is the point where anger creeps in…. and anger eats up your body.

  3. I remind myself that anger is neither good nor bad just a transient emotion that pops up when I don’t get my own way. There no doubt it is a strong emotion and seemingly has a mind of its own and can take us our whole lifetime to learn how to listen to what it’s saying… have said all that I get angry and pissed at least once a day… lol

  4. I think there are things that incite anger, it’s how we respond that matters. Very little makes me truly angry and it almost always involves evil done against helpless ones.

  5. OK – confession time. I hope it may help someone else.
    A lot of rather grim things had happened in my life (mostly connected with illnesses of my husband and myself). I would not have described myself as depressed, but I was very angry about everything . Ranting about things in the paper as you describe is very familiar. The doctor said I had – I think it is endogamous depression? – the kind you have when it is from external factors. He said it would go eventually of its own accord but, if I was finding it too difficult, he recommended Fluoxetine (Prozac, essentially). I was a bit dubious but started taking it. I didn’t – and still don’t really – feel any more cheerful, but I do find it impossible to get angry, even if I try! It has convinced me that people around me who never seem to get irritated just have brains that are wired differently,. I don’t think it is some huge effort of will they are making. So I recommend it as a holiday from , not depression, but anger at people, things and situations. Of course, I now don’t want to come off as I don’t want to get my anger back. (I couldn’t exist without a little righteous indignation though – as you will see if you look at my blog – but I have a perfectly reasonable target in the Archbishop of Canterbury!)

  6. I don’t often get really angry so as to lose control. I get anoyyed and passionate about things I care about.

    I hate when I lose it, I’m glad it takes a lot to push over the edge into rage.

  7. I have issues with anger. Who doesn’t? But my issues are when I allow the feeling to surface. I spent my entire childhood suppressing my feelings so when anger actually begins to rear its ugly head…things get really…really bad. I don’t even recognize myself.

    Someday I may need to deal with that a little more closely, but for now, denial can still be a comfortable place.


  8. Anger is a tough one. There are times where it is not only acceptable and reasonable to be angry but it’s the appropriate emotion for the situation. I get so frustrated by all of the stupid positive thinking mantras I see posted on Facebook and Twitter that want to banish all “negative” emotions. I did a study of one community that had turned away from an unacceptable situation, put on happy faces and abuse persisted that should have been addressed years earlier. It took some very, very angry wounded people to wake people up to see the injury that had been occurring. It is a shame that people didn’t get angry decades ago. It’s the appropriate reaction to injustice.

    But I also saw that anger can be toxic. Some of these folks, once the anger was unleashed, could not contain it. It fed on itself, they would calm down and then get angry again, it was just bottomless. I think it’s a terrible mistake to urge people “to get over it” when they are hurt or angry but it is better for their health and future if they find healthy ways to cope with it or they risk driving away people who truly love and care about them.

  9. Expectations was the word I was looking for. I find myself getting angry mostly after having an expectation of some kind made up in my mind only (rather than discussing it with my husband)….. and let it pile up and up.

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