"Leslie met Andy four years ago at a wedding where Andy was the best man. They immediately kicked it off. Like young couples freshly in love, they were full of passion which sometimes resulted in outbursts and lash outs. One day, during one of their frequent fights. Andy got so angry and struck Leslie in the face. Leslie, unable to wrap her head around the fact that she had just been sent to hell and back, simply stood frozen from the shock.
Andy was angry. He blamed Leslie for not understanding he needed his space, in the heat of that moment. After what seemed like a day apart, Andy would later send her flowers and chocolate, with a sincere apology for his outburst.
Things quickly progressed from an occasional slap, to a regular black eye and bruises for Leslie.
On the afternoon of Thursday, October 26th, Leslie’s cousin, Josh, had stopped by to pay her a visit.
Andy, staggered in around 7:30pm.
Full of rage, and alcohol, assuming the worst, he reached for his baseball bat, and swung it with deadly accuracy into Josh’s skull.
Josh hit the ground for the last time."
Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure. This feeling will happen at different times, at different points and phases in a person’s lifetime.
Dr Cole explains that the first signs of emotions that we see in a child are partially based on temperament, or the individual differences that babies seem to be born with.
Some babies are fine extroverted and will be okay with everyone passing them from hand to hand and some the total opposite.
We are advised to cater to each child according to their temperaments.. Ignoring this important detail in childhood can lead to an outraged adult.
While it is part of the human nature to have this strong feeling of displeasure, just like love, it is important to recognize this emotion and master the control of it.
What do you do when you are angry?
As a little girl, I would get so angry that I would throw things, or just burst out crying.
Also, as I grew, I watched my parents argue a lot- and even had to play “mediator” between them a few times.
Meanwhile, on the inside of me, a tornado of anger lay brewing, as I suppressed many personal issues.
When I was about six, a teen relative of my dad’s uncle tried to molest me. My brother, who was five at the time, helped me fight him off. I promptly told my parents when I got home.
I watched my dad punch this young man in the face, knocking out several teeth. I was young but I remember it. My dad was very protective of his girls, as any parent should be.
As an adult my anger issues came to a climax when I went through physical abuse.
While some anger might seem justifiable, like a father protecting his daughter, or a jealous lover protecting his interests, or a mother who lost her only child, the truth is, where do we cross the line of healthy expression of anger?
Anger requires a lot of energy and if left unchecked, can be quite destructive. It would be naive to think some anger isn’t normal, but at what point does it become dysfunctional?
On the one hand, anger "can reduce violence, benefit relationships, promote optimism and be a useful motivating force, but it can just as easily be destructive."
On the other hand, the effects of unchecked/repressed anger are presently causing havoc in the world, especially lately. Many families are suffering as a result of extreme acts of violence and terrorism.
“In 2009, in North Carolina, Robert Stewart opened fire at a nursing home, killing seven very elderly residents and a nurse. Police speculated that the forty-five-year-old Stewart, who did not commit suicide and is currently in custody, targeted the facility because his estranged wife once worked there.”
What can we do about all this wanton violence in the world?
If you are asking that question, great!
We really should also be asking: Am I an angry person?
According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, close to 8 percent of adolescents display anger issues that qualify for a lifetime diagnoses of intermittent explosive disorder.
The Washington Post, while researching Americans’ access to guns; stated that “roughly 22 million Americans — 8.9 percent of the adult population have impulsive anger issues and easy access to guns.”
It is of vital importance to understand anger symptoms, causes and effects, especially if you suspect that you, or someone you know, are suffering from an anger disorder.
Some of the different types of anger include but are not limited to;
- Chronic anger, which is prolonged, can impact the immune system and be the cause of other mental disorders
- Passive anger, which doesn’t always come across as anger and can be difficult to identify
- Overwhelmed anger, which is caused by life demands that are too much for an individual to cope with
- Self-inflicted anger, which is directed toward the self and may be caused by feelings of guilt
- Judgmental anger, which is directed toward others and may come with feelings of resentment
- Volatile anger, which involves sometimes-spontaneous bouts of excessive or violent anger
I think of the six different types highlighted, we should be able to address some of the reasons we feel the way we do.
I believe that when it comes to anger issues, self-awareness is critical.
Knowing the problem is the first step to redemption.
It is true that we can do nothing about the gift of emotion but we can look out for some of the subtle extremes.
Do you experience road rage more than once a week?
When faced with a situation you’re not comfortable with, do you lash out instead of constructively expressing yourself?
There are angry people everywhere and everyday. A lot of married couples abhor anger against their spouses.
The world is becoming less safe.
It is not just because of terrorists.
It is because of people. Angry people. People like you and I. Yes they are people first, before the different labels.
Remember that you are responsible for managing your anger.
No one is to blame for your actions.