The Odd Emotion of Anger

I have a question for you–and I say that knowing full well that the limited nature of this medium means that I’m not actually going to be able to get immediate feedback. Do you like being angry?

That isn’t ment to be any kind of rhetorical question, or some sort of philosophical long game where you find out at the end of this article that I had some kind ulterior motive for even asking you that kind of question. No, I ask because I’m starting to think that maybe I’m alone in hating the feeling I get when my rage surfaces. There are many times in my life where I’ve dealt with anger, in that at least, I know I’m not alone. So I’ve started to develop coping mechanisms and ways to avoid situations where I would normally get angry. I’ve developed ways to calm myself so when I do get angry I can calm myself quickly and also so it doesn’t impact my day and the people around me.

I would call all of this healthy–except I’ve noticed that where I’ve learned to avoid anger a large portion of the population seems to relish in it. Rage, and it’s politically inclined cousin outrage seem to be–well–all the rage these days. Turn on the news and you will find someone getting angry, go online, and you will also probably find someone getting angry about something.

I had to cut myself off from an online video game forum for a little bit because people have rather strong opinions and they are not open to changing their minds about anything. And everything seems to be something to get angry about, everything new learned about a upcoming video game. And other people getting angry and telling me that I’m a stupid for having a different opinion than them–well–makes me angry. And I just really hate that feeling, it doesn’t make me excited for the newest video game release, it doesn’t make me feel like I’m valued or contributing to a conversation. So I’m takeing a break from those forums.

So full confession time, this article started out as an article about how it’s ok and even healthy to turn off the news sometimes. Don’t get me wrong it is important to stay informed but there is a balance to be had and some day’s it’s better to catch up later than expose ones self to something that’s going to make the rest of the day suck. That’s what I wanted to write about today, is finding that balance. But as odd as it sounds the more I thought about my own anger and the anger of the people I hear about every day about the many different thing there are to get angry about, the more I wondered, do people enjoy this emotion?

Is it like fear, where some people seek out the thrill of that raising heart rate? If that’s the case and anger is an emotional need, or want for some people then we should start treating it like the need or desire for fear. With fear we clearly mark what things are for people seeking fear. So those people can find it and others can avoid it. Fear has its own genre of movie and video games, horror. Fear has special places where one can go to feel fear, like haunted houses. But anger doesn’t–so people seeking anger must mingle with those who want nothing to do with that emotion.

But those are just my thoughts….

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