…You wouldn’t like me when I am angry” – David Banner(The Incredible Hulk)
“Anger is a gift” – Rage Against the Machine
I was reading an article in Psychology Today about anger, and it’s usefulness as a positive, not a negative emotion. In the article it stated that psychologists are realizing that anger is a useful emotion for human relations. It is the precursor to problem solving, it helps focus and galvanize action, and relieves stress. It promotes problem solving, leadership, and paradoxically, cooperation. It freshens your breath and makes your teeth whiter. (Ok, I made that last one up). The article stated that psychologists are now realizing that anger is not a completely negative emotion that needs to be restrained, contained, or overlooked. It is a useful tool to express thoughts and feelings and resolve conflict.
This is a point I feel like I have made repeatedly to people online and in real life. I am very much in touch with my anger, and have no problem expressing it in the most hateful and malicious possible way if provoked. Because of this, I have received feedback from many, many people to “just let it go”, “calm down”, and “take it easy.” I have gotten pitying comments that it is really a shame I seem to have an issue with anger management and that I allow myself to be consumed by such negativity. To which I say:
FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!!!!!!! DIE IN A FUCKING FIRE IN A POOL OF YOUR OWN SWEAT AND VOMIT!!!! I HOPE YOU GET RUN OVER BY A TRUCK AND TASTE YOUR OWN BLOOD!!!! DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!
Then they say I have a problem with anger. Pfft. Pussies. Anger is not the problem. It’s how it is expressed. I am definitely in touch with my anger, and yes, it has gotten the best of me at times over the years. The dents in my car’s dashboard and the holes in my plaster walls can attest to that.
But I love and value my anger. I already know what this article I read in Psychology Today has confirmed for me. It is a useful emotion when properly channeled.
Yet this is not what people seem to believe. All I ever hear from people is about how anger is destructive, how it needs to be contained and managed. If you are a person who does not manage to contain your anger you can be arrested and sent to “anger management” classes. This is where you end up punching pillows in a therapist’s office as a way to constructively express your anger without hurting others. It doesn’t work. Pillows don’t make up for the faces of the smug assholes whose unwillingness to acknowledge either their smugness, or assholery, make it very difficult NOT to punch them in the face.
But I do see the usefulness of this emotion. My anger has focused me, motivated me, challenged me, and has helped me solve many problems. It helps me see things accurately and with clarity. It helps me stand up for myself, and confront others when I feel I have been wronged. But I don’t think I have ever had anyone complement my anger, or say it was really sexy when I angrily insulted the jerk that cut me off in traffic. That’s really a shame. For some reason, that’s when I feel the most powerful and desirable.
So I got written up at work. This was also partially due to the perception that I have an attitude problem. There was nothing specifically mentioned about what I did or said to cause the write up, rather it was the person’s perception of my attitude that seemed to doom me. Apparently they perceived that I did not want to assist them or I felt their issue was not a priority. This was somewhat accurate, but ultimately faulty as I was actually concentrating on their skull and trying to get it to exploded in a spray of blood and bone through sheer will power. Unfortunately it didn’t work.
I seem to recall my thoughts at the time. I think they sounded something like:
“FUCK YOU!! FUCK YOU AND YOUR BULLSHIT PROBLEM THAT MEANS NOTHING TO ANYONE BUT YOUR OWN SELFISH EGO!!! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I MAKE YOUR HEAD EXPLODE!!!! I KILL YOU!!! I WILL FEAST ON YOUR BOOOOOONNNNNEEEEESSSSS!!!”
As part of my punishment, I must take an “anger management” class. This amused me as I have never, ever truly released my anger on anyone at work. In all honesty, I am not even sure WHY they want me to take this course, I think it is just the next step in the employee manual dealing with employees who are difficult or don’t fit in. I am looking forward to finding out what it is about. Hopefully, it’s about more than punching pillows and revealing your pain to some bored therapist. But I doubt it.
How dare they attempt to “manage” my anger, anyway? I can assure all who care that I am doing a fine job on my own. The simple fact that so many people are still breathing, and I am not dead or in prison for life are a testament to that.
I believe it comes to this. People are threatened and intimidated by my anger, and they are using societal pressure and sanctions to reduce or eliminate it. They will not succeed. My anger has been and will remain a treasured part of my psyche. I am proud and honored to feel so strongly about things as to make others uncomfortable or even frightened. I say that is not my problem, it is theirs.
And to those that would disagree, I say:
“That’s an interesting viewpoint. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Please, sit and let us discuss our differences over wine, bread and cheeses….. I insist.”
Thanks for reading….