10 Benefits from being Angry

It occurred to me that often people hold onto behavior because it is helpful for them. So I started to think of all the ways that people benefit from being Angry and it seems like I should share it. Hope you enjoy.

  1. It doesn’t require listening. When people are angry with you they don’t listen. I don’t think this is just a consequence of their anger, but also a reason for it. People feel justified in not listening when they are angry, but what if they are using anger in order to not listen?
  2. It provides an excuse for immature behavior. When people are angry they are not getting what they want. So rather than just accept that the world doesn’t give them what they want, they throw a temper tantrum and then say “I had a right to be angry.” Yes, everyone has a right to be angry, but often anger is not helpful when you are a mature adult.
  3. It is easier to be angry then to solve the issue. I think another benefit people have from being angry is that they don’t have to solve the issue. Many times people would rather get angry about something, than look at themselves and consider what role they have in contributing to the situation. With anger we can place the blame “in the world” rather than in ourself.
  4. It distracts us from unpleasant truths. When we get angry at someone or ourselves, it often is to protect us from unpleasant truths. Do we get angry that someone cut us off in traffic, or rather our feelings of feeling vulnerable and unsafe? Rather than acknowledge our feelings, we steamroll over them and look to assign blame to someone else. Many times our anger prevents us from experiencing the reality of what is going on inside ourselves.
  5. It makes us feel “right” and justified in our worldview. So many times I have been yelled at because I did not conform to some one else’s view of the world. I try as much as possible not to judge and treat people like I believe they should act. Much of our anger is directed at how we believe the world should be. It should be “fair” and “justice” and many things. It is nice if the world was that way, but when it isn’t, we can work to improve things instead of being angry.
  6. We feel good in feeling mad. We feel good in feeling mad. This is not a crazy statement, but rather feeling angry is a socially acceptable way of expressing our frustration in the world. When we “vent” we feel like we will be happier. Often however, when we dwell on our anger we feel more unhappy and venting does not always abate and give opportunity to forgive. I am not going to tell you how to live your life, but just consider that forgiveness is a very powerful antidote to anger.
  7. We feel hurt in ways we can’t verbalize so we take it out on the person in our hearing. Many times I have been hurt by whoever wanted to kick me like a puppy. I did not do anything to justify their anger, but they felt safe in expressing anger to me because they knew I would not retailate. Many times people who are kind and loving towards others receive anger that we don’t deserve. We all have someone get angry with us randomly, and too often we do this to others.
  8. We look to anger to make us feel powerful. Strange that many people feel anger makes them powerful. It makes people not trust you, and pushes them away if they are healthy. Many people in abusive situations say anger is “love” and plenty of parents say that too. They say crap like “I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t love you.” Bulls*. You can love someone and be patient and calm with them and help them to understand their mistakes.
  9. We think anger gives us carte blanche to express ourselves. Too often people think that anger means you can say whatever you want. Sure you can always say whatever you want, but it will damage a relationship. You can be honest and tell the truth as you see it, but your feelings are not reality. You may feel someone is disrespecting you, but that is only your perception of it, and may not be the case. Many times we assume things based on other peoples behavior and jump to conclusions. Rather than approach them in a spirit of understanding and sincere questioning, we come at them in anger. This is never a good way to solve problems with someone you love.
  10. We think what happens in anger can be forgiven. Yes, there are some really super people who can truly forgive others. They don’t hold it against you and they realize you were under stress. I rarely have meet these people. Most people tend to hold onto what you said and did in anger, and even if they forgive you, they add that knowledge to their opinion of you. I do not want to be known as someone who is an asshole in anger. You can be respectful and honest with your feelings and still not threaten or use anger in dangerous ways.

Stories from my Past: Wearing someone down

I often wonder if change happens more because we wear someone down, than convince them of the truth of the argument.

I was in charge of upgrading peoples software at a company and it was easier to go around for the small number of people and manually install it. So one person I had problems with. He didn’t want to do it, and I just continued to return throughout the week asking for a good time to install it. He shot me down, over and over again. I kept asking. Eventually on Friday afternoon he let me do it, and I was thrilled to get him done.

I know that he just wanted me to stop showing up more than the benefit of the new software. Some people don’t care about new software which is fine, but when everyone has the same version of software it makes things easier in companies. So even though he might not find value in the new version, other people would in sharing information with him so he had to be upgraded.

What is interesting is how often people who hate change, grow to love the change. I told him that it would be faster and some people said it was easier to use. Of course he will be slower at first, but in time he will be faster. Its ok if a short term slowdown causes a long term benefit.

To me, new software is just part of life. It is just part of the cycle of the progress of technology. It seems crazy to me not to want new software, just like not wanting new technology. New things tend to be improved, and often you find easier ways of doing things.

For example, the Office 2016 software he got has a better way to share files with people with OneDrive. I am not crazy about OneDrive, but for people who have never used online file sharing, it is a good first step. I have suggested other and better things, but you have to start somewhere with people.

Wearing someone down can create progress, just do it respectfully and at their own pace.