Why So Angry?

In my experience, a good majority of us have amplified emotions. Some of us get so sad we’re depressed. Some of us get so scared we’re constantly anxious. Some of us just get angry. We flip our shiz before we know what has happened. In my personal opinion, I think anger is one of the more dangerous emotions. When you’re sad or anxious, you really only jeopardize your well-being. When you’re angry, you jeopardize yourself and very often you endanger others around you.

(source)

Subway workers lose their arms because of improper cheese triangle placement and things just get messy.

The problem with anger is that it’s generally a more socially accepted emotion. Think about how many times you’ve seen or heard someone say to their kids or friends, “STOP CRYING,” and you’ll know why anger is so common. Especially in men, anger is reinforced. Little boys are taught by society and their families that crying is for sissies.

So we grow up with men who get angry instead of sad. In certain ways anger is a good emotion. It can be healthy. If someone has done something crappy to you, you might be entitled to be pissed. The difference is in how we handle our anger. For example, if we get violent or if we say incredibly hurtful things to the ones we love, then anger is not productive. Anger sets us back.

Since I’m primarily CBT, I look at the origin of things. What thoughts is a person having that would cause them to feel angry?

Turns out, much like anxiety, anger is rooted in fear. It’s a different kind of fear though. This fear is one found in vulnerability. When we get angry, it is because we feel we’ve been trespassed and exposed. It’s a complicated emotion because it is so often tied in with others’ actions. More often than not, we have to react to others’ behaviors to be pushed into anger. It is an inward frustration that is outwardly projected. Whether it’s vulnerability over being let down by someone we trusted or anger because someone didn’t do the dishes, we feel violated at our core. We feel shame with ourselves for making such a stupid mistake as to let ourselves be vulnerable and we get scared because we let it happen.

In all honesty, I’m not an expert at this emotion. I wanted to understand more about it, so I did the research and I thought I’d share it with you all.

Does my explanation make sense?

Do you have any experiences trying to be more or less angry in your life?

How terrible do you feel that someone actually tackled a horse? I’ll admit, I was upset and flabbergasted.

Sources (1, 2)



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Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Couples, Family, Individual, Mind, Theory
Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

About Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a mental health counselor newly residing in Seattle, Washington. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection as the cornerstone of my professional ideology, along with the healing possibilities of puppies, a good glass of red wine, the smell of a new book, and the importance of travel.

  • http://rebekaann.blogspot.com/ Rebeka

    I love this post. I think you really nailed the subject on the head (and I completely agree with everything you said).

    I don’t feel anger often but when I do, I usually also feel vulnerable or hurt. It’s not a good feeling. And I think that breeding it in children (especially boys) is not a positive thing for either individuals or society as a whole. But I also don’t think many parents know that they’re doing it. AND on that note (since apparently I’m ranting about my opinions today), I also think that children who see anger are more likely to be angry as they grow up.

    Anyway, moral of the story: this post is great. You are super intelligent and insightful and I really enjoy reading your blog.

    • http://www.thepursuitofsassiness.com/ Jennifer Bingaman

      Hi Rebeka!

      Oh gee! I am so glad you feel like I did a good job explaining it. I definitely struggle expressing my anger sometimes, so I think it’s probably the emotion I understand the least. I completely agree with you about children witnessing anger. While we are certainly products of our genes, it is what we do with them that counts. If we see anger, we model anger. Those are the behaviors we learn.

      Thank you for the compliment! I’m glad you get something out of the content. That’s all I ever hope for. See you around! :)

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  • It’sNotAlwaysBad

    I get angry when I experience emotional events that make me sad. However I understood my anger was in due to my inability to cry in front of others, I hated being vulnerable and appearing “weak”. I however don’t lash out at others but myself and I know I need to do better in terms with loving myself and being more expressive with how I really feel with the ones I care about. A good thing anger has done for me though was push me to not let life get my down and refuse depression and sorrow to take over. I simply say “Fuck you stupid universe-I’m not going to be down today”