Saturday, August 5, 2017

Three Purposes of Anger

To the enraged,

In today's society, showing displays of anger is frowned upon. However, there are times when it is appropriate and effective to be angry, but you need to control it rather than let it control you. In order to get it under control, it is helpful to know what the three purposes of it are and how do deal with them.

The first purpose is to show what is important to you. This can be tricky because you might not realize what is important until you get angry and even then you still have to play detective. For example, my wife told me we got a mosquito in the house and I got very upset. It was not so much that the mosquito was in the house that upset me but rather the fear of having to wake up on the middle of the night to find it after it bit me awake. If the mosquito was killed beforehand, then I wouldn't mind.

In order to control this and make our anger more effective is to identify what is most important and explain it. For example, when my child cries with no way of calming him down, I would get angry for second, but then identify that he is more important. This love for him helps make it so that I'm in control. Limiting the number of things that you consider important will also make your few occasions more effective. Otherwise everyone will think there is no satisfying you and they will begin to ignore you.

The second purpose is to demand a change. I believe the ultimate goal of giving negative feedback is to encourage some sort of change. A good customer service sees what upsets it's customers and tries to avoid that in the future. However, since there are so many improvements to make, seeing the obvious signs of anger can help promote which improvements are done faster.

The help for dealing with this is to develop a sense of acceptance. While things can be improved, there is nothing that can be done about the past. We might do things to help recompense, but we should avoid aiming for compensation as that encourages selfishness. If we accept that the offending parties did not mean to offend us and that they tried their best to help us, then we can suggest improvements in a calmer manner which can lead to a productive conversation.

Another help here is humility. The smaller we see ourselves, the less offended we feel. We can still suggest improvements, especially if it will help others, but at least then we can show we are not acting out of selfishness.

The third purpose is to simply to be an outlet of emotion. We are emotional people and sometimes we need to vent our frustration in order to feel better. This is a tricky thing to control as the more you vent, the less effective it becomes, both for you and those around you. This is why the intensity of expletives grow the more you use them. However, someone that never uses expletives can be even more effective than those who do. This is because expletives give a shock and offensive structure, making the recipient upset and angry with you, but those who are angry in a controlled manner might be empathized with.

Even though this last purpose is the first one seen, it is based upon the other two. If we can handle the other purposes, then this one becomes weaker. I cannot say that it will be eliminated because this is the reaction caused by your brain's emotional center, which happens before you can be rational. If you have the rush of adrenaline, it might be 20 minutes before you can be rational again.

While people claim various methods for dealing with this such as stress balls or hitting something, you probably notice that these lose their effectiveness after a while. When we act on our emotions, it becomes harder to control them. This is especially dangerous when your output is to hit something as that will likely turn to hitting someone. Again, your emotional center acts before your rational. You cannot guarantee you won't do something unless you place a hard limit on everything that would build up to it. One thing I would suggest instead is meditation though it certainly is difficult at first. Therefore, you need to practice meditation before you get angry so that you won't become even more frustrated.

One thing I can suggest in the meantime until you can practice meditation is to convert your frustration into sadness. This will at least prevent you from harming anyone. This is not perfect as it can lead to depression if you are not careful and therefore I suggest meditation and everything else I've mentioned. Once you obtain that state, you will find that your anger is more controlled and far more effective.

In summary, if you want to control your anger, you have to identify the three purposes; conveying importance, demanding change, and output of frustration. The keys to dealing with this are the same for being patient; love, humility, and acceptance. Now that you know this, I hope you can better use your anger for progress and not for destruction.

With love,
N. D. Moharo