I'm writing about this because we sidetracked a post in the forums and I thought it was interesting to warrant a full article. It's not so much that I want to ram my opinion down the throats of those who disagree with me (I do), but that I feel like my position is misunderstood and I probably didn't do a great job of explaining it.
I don't ever get angry. That doesn't mean that bad things don't happen to me (they do), but most people I know will tell you that they've never seen me angry.
The common misperception is that I don't deal with anger and I stuff it down somewhere. The theory continues that eventually I won't be able to contain it and I will unleash my rage. Or that I'll suddenly become depressed.
People suggest that I "deal with my anger", which is the common "healthy" way to do things.
So first - my position on it. There is NEVER any reason to be angry. You can't feel anger unless you also feel helpless. If someone wrongs you, but you have a solution to the situation, you wouldn't feel angry, right? You'd feel motivated, if anything. Possibly a bit frustrated because you now have more work to do. Anger is a weak emotion.
Someone please try to give me an example that doesn't fit that description. I tried really hard to think of one, but couldn't.
When someone wrongs you, which is the classic instigator of anger, you have two choices : accept it or react to it.
Someone knocked over your sand castle? Either accept it and do something else, or build a better sand castle.
What about something where you have no recourse? You did a good job on a paper in class but your teacher is an asshole and he gave you a bad grade anyway. I'd argue that you DO have a reaction here (drop out of school, take it up with the teacher or his superior, etc.), but most people wouldn't do those things.
In this case, just accept it. Getting angry NEVER ever fixes anything. . Think about that - why would you want an emotion that NEVER helps? It's like jealousy. Being jealous never helps. People have no problem saying "don't be jealous", but they get angry (haha....) when I say not to get angry.
Accept that some things that happen to you will not be optimal. That's how it is for everyone, so just accept yours. Anything else is just petty and selfish.
To wrap this up - the point isn't to suppress your anger, it's to deal with things in a LOGICAL way and realize that anger isn't a valid or helpful emotion. I'm not saying that this is always easy, but it can be accomplished. Instead of thinking of it as "not dealing" with anger, think of it as "dealing extremely quickly" with anger.
So this all sounds great, you might think, but how do you do it? If someone trips you today you're going to be angry, right? You do it the same way you do anything - PRACTICE.
When you get angry, think "Am I going to do something about this?". If you are, think of what you're going to do and do it (or schedule it if you can't do it immediately). How can you feel angry after that? You've found the solution to your problem!
If you're not going to do something about it, then say outloud or in your head, "Bad things happen to people. This is one of those things and the best thing I can do is move on." Maybe that sounds stupid, but when you logically agree that there's no reason to be angry, you'll find that you get over things extremely quickly. Think about why you're being angry and you'll usually be able to trace it back to a fault of your own, most likely something like, "I know the solution to this problem but I don't want to do it."
Enjoy. Magnus, back me up!
I very rarely feel anger. This is not as a result of some supreme effort to reconcile myself to the world. I just don't feel it. I was widowed at a young age and, even then, I missed the anger phase of the grieving process. Lack of anger has helped in all sorts of ways, but it can be dull and, more importantly can lead to loved ones feeling that they are not important enough to warrant strong emotional reactions.
I realized how useless anger generally is after I acted angry at my young kids a couple of times. All it did was amplify my frustrations and show them an unhealthy behavior they would imitate when they were frustrated.
This "mirror" that my kids held up made me realize how stupid I was, when I was thinking that I could yell at them to get them to do what I want.
I used to defend occasional anger as a natural force that can help to change things for the better. I used to think that without anger there would never have been any revolutions, the oppressed would never have thrown off the oppressors.
But now I am not so sure anymore. Maybe the "angry mob" was mostly just used by others during revolutions and only cool-minded, well planned uprisings actually changed society in a progressive way.
Also, I used to be a defender of very honest (some would say harsh) criticism and a sometimes very confrontational style of debate. Sometimes I would get really mad when small things seemed really unfair, inappropriate etc and I felt like justice was or should be on my side. Those situations then either backfired and/or added to my reputation as a loud mouth.
Now I am at a point in my life where I am reassessing my cognitive and behavioral patterns and want to be more balanced, more efficient and have less friction happening, at work, at home, within my family and in public.
This goes along with less problem-oriented (more solution-oriented) thinking, less big picture complaining and more pragmatic doing, less dwelling on frustration and more goal-oriented planning.
I can still get frustrated when I see how the majority often seems passive and indifferent, and I am often more likely to speak up or act on something that bugs me than others do. Sometimes that can also be perceived as a (mild) form of trouble-making but I like it better than swimming with the flow all the time.
I also was a person who never got angry. Until I was in my 20s & a man raped my 3yr old daughter. Yep. That changed me. I'm still not a person that angers quickly. But I'm not a person of trust anymore either. Yet my anger towards pedifiles is very real. Shannon
I think anger does have it's purpose. If you never get angry then you let people take advantage of you (This is if you know this person). I think letting anger out by perceiving it in a way where you believe it has no purpose is a perfect solution but, like all rules, they eventually should be broken. I myself almost never get angry. I just felt awkward yelling at people, after awhile I just grew into a person that was only happy and I see the world in a better way. A world without hate. Not because the physical world doesn't have hate, but because my world doesn't have hate. Stepping away from anger also gives you respect from others. It makes you the bigger man, unless (like I said) you are constantly being harassed. It's up to you then if you should put matters into your own hands or call the cops if it's a legal issue. But then it's up to the individual for what they see is 'right'.
Whoopdedooo ... being anyone I know who has ever said that is usually a narcissist who doesn't have a grasp on any emotion, nor the empathy to deal with life or others, other than to make it be in their favour. They will have others do the dirty work so that they never have the cortisol cursing through them. They will knock you down and treat you like crap, then claim it was your fault.
Or perhaps you are merely stoic, which means you may also be taken advantage of. It also means you may not be a good friend you think you are and are likely passive aggressive. it also means you likely piss people off and slough it off, being that is their problem, certainly not yours given your post.
It also means that you have likely not been raped, been to war, been abused physically or mentally, and have great health and a good job and likely money as well. (All of which can be taken away in an instant and you will be left confused as you may not deal with life suddenly makes lemons when can't make lemonade to sugar coat life positively in your favour) And if you have been handed some hardship, perhaps you were lucky enough or wealthy enough to get help so that it all didn't culminate in PTSD.
Some people have extra cortisol and adrenaline that builds up in them and you might find that those people are often the best athletes, much more fun to be with and the most honest and kind people you might meet, but they can also get upset if the cortisol is not redirected properly. They are likely also more giving, more emotional and more vulnerable and those who "never get angry" will try to attach to them and treat them like crap by trying to get you to do their bidding and add stress to your life so that they do not feel any. Expect to become their scapegoat and the one they will get to do favours and jobs and to deal with situations product returns that might actually get THEIR cortisol cursing!
PS: To someone who "is never angry" you may also hear often how angry a person you are, even when you are only mildy upset, because they do not recognize or acknowledge emotions well.
I disagree with you completely. First, people do not take advantage of me because I read people very well and remove them from my life. If you are a "high drama" person you won't be around me. Most people go through life without dealing with much adversity thus, when it happens, it knocks them for a loop and the react poorly. My life has been full of death, loss, medical issues etc etc and each one has made me stronger and better equipped to deal with things as they arise. I agree with the writer. Anger is a weak emotion resting and growing in one insecurities. Once you get comfortable with yourself, your life, who you are then very little anyone can ever do will make you mad. It really is the true sense of "growing up".
Yo. So I googled "I don't get angry is that okay?" and came across this, which I'm glad. I have friends and a lot of them say that they have never seen me angry and why is that? I'd normally answer: "I don't see the point. What am I suppose to do? Yell? Hurt someone? Break something? That doesn't solve everything, I don't want to do that. Whatever situation comes up, I'll address it the way I want to." Some say I hold it in and well snap one day, however to that I say, I don't hold it, I don't even catch it when a situation throws it at me, not worth. They also ask, what would make you angry? What if someone you love was killed before your eyes? I played that in mind and feel like I'd be more shocked and extremely sad than anything. What I probably do is beat up the person enough so that they won't run off til the police get there, I wouldn't kill him on the spot and family wouldn't want me to be a killer like that and lose myself in unnecessary violence. If my mom died and saw me murdering her murder, it wouldn't make her proud, it wouldn't bring her back. If anything it might cause more sorrow, everyone is someone's child.
Anyway, I originally searched this because I wanted to know if this kind of thinking was normal or at least shared, if by the off chance I had some mental something something or something (I know, but you catch my drift right?). It's kind of an ideal I developed early on for myself. I have a memory when I was in the second grade, I was picked on by someone for being fat and I ended up charging and jumping on him (like a body slam), I got up and saw him cry, I saw the pain on his face and I remember in that instant feeling a huge sadness and pain for making someone else hurt like I was, hurting him never made me felt so bad, I cried even more for what I did. I told myself to never get angry, that it only brings pain and I didn't want that for others. I just wanted them to understand what they were doing. For the rest of elementary school, I didn't get mad, I just got sad. In middle school, I didn't get mad, I stopped caring. However, in highschool I really changed and told myself to become the person I wanted to be, so every time a decision was to be made I asked myself "What do you want to look back on? Don't you want to be a quiter? then don't quit. Want people to respect you?, then do things you'd respect in others. Want to go to sleep again with more regret on your mind?" Through this, I guess I started to learn how to address things in my own way, which ended up being the way that seemed most logical and direct.
Whoa, sorry for the long comment, I kind of lost myself typing a bit. But yeah man, I feel ya.
That helps . I am practicing the very new awareness that I have that I can choose to not get mad . It 'a amind-blowing thing for me. In my family, everyone immediately went to "rage." It always scared me so much but when I read how you guys are processing things, I thought,"Hmmm I can do that too!" It's only been a couple days and one person has said,"Um ... Are you ok? You are so quiet. You SEEM upset." I said, " I am good. I am just calm." They kept fishing for more drama, and it wasn't happening. It works! Ha ha!
Wow. Awesome. I always thought people who claimed they "never got angry" are full of it, and totally out of touch with their emotions; that one day...ALL HELL WOULD BREAK LOSE. I think there are people, who, like you, don't get angry. I also think there are those who deny they get angry who really DO get angry...like my boyfriend. But I have changed my mind about thinking you're full of it. I actually believe it MAY be possible.
I am going to ask myself that question, from now on. I get angry so easily. I know it's because my fragile ego is wrapped up in such stupid, petty stuff. I know it comes from the feeling of powerlessness and that powerlessness spells INJUSTICE, and after painting myself a victim for so long, in my head, injustice triggers a rage-like response.
My boyfriend was an insenstive jerk to me the other night. i layed in his bed, stewing in it for a while, and decided to just leave while snored his head off. I was quietly trying to leave, and just "call it a night." He hopped out of bed and immediately started yelling and demanding I tell him WHY I was SO ANGRY and LEAVING. The fact was, I wasn't angry. I thought, "Wow...you're sort of a jerk," but that was the end of it. I was tired, and couldn't really sleep in his bed. I just wanted to go home and chill out. The problem came when I reacted to his reaction. I felt a FEAR or defense response in me. I rose up to defend myself and feeling as though I HAD to, is actually what made me angry.(he injustice of being accused of being angry when I wasn't angry, actually evoked anger in me. UGH!) I was really angry at MYSELF. Crazy. I think if I ask the right question of myself, I can diffuse it. GOd, I hope so. I would be so much happier, which is what I really want. I don't want that reptilian response, and toxic relationships. I want to have more control over my emotions AS I deal with them. Thanks a million for your blog.
what about if someone harms your loved ones? Is that still not a valid reason to be angry?
I wouldn't be angry, I would be upset. I would control my emotions and plan my reaction. Not getting angry does not mean being passive. It means remaining in control.
i have aeen very controlled and extremely angry people.
I have felt anger and not acted on It doesn't negate my anger just because I controlled my actions. I was still angry.
I can buy in to someone living so in a state of NOW that nothing anyone else does affects their peace. I can buy that, if that is what "I don't get angry means." I get angry, but I allow myself to feel it and let it go. I don't have a sense of shame about feeling the emotion. How I conduct myself is always my choice.
I'm the same way. I don't get angry. If something happens to me that I don't like I just let it go.
To me Anger is a waste of emotion and time.
Ok folks... I'm gonna break it down for you Dr. Phil style today, and talk about happiness.
Now, first of all - I don't see why happiness is always priority number one. "Do whatever makes you happy", they say. "Yeah, but is she HAPPY?". Who says this is the holy grail? Personally, I think giving Tynan presents should be the end goal. "Do whatever makes Tynan get more presents" and "Yeah, but is she giving Tynan presents?" both sound pretty sweet to me.
But we live in a world where happiness is number one. They don't ask if happiness makes you money, but if money makes you happy. So, let's get happy.
Workplaces can be stressful places.
Anger is a natural response to stressful stimulus but its how we deal with that anger and how to express that is most important. Anger will pop up in both our I work and personal lives. While anger comes as easily and commonly as the passage of time, how to deal with it is not a common skill. Advice for this particular issue is numerous and sometimes conflicting. Thomas Jefferson, is quoted as stating "When angry count ten before you speak, if very angry, an hundred." I don't know if counting is the best solution, but when you are angry it is important you speak about it.
One solution to managing your anger according to the Mayo Clinic (2011) is using humor to diffuse the situation. If something is bothering you and you are afraid of how to express it, make a joke about it. Then at least you got it off of your chest. My advice is to know that a joke will not always lead to a resolution of the issue. If you try and use humor and don't get the result you were looking for, you will have to address the issue head on.
Just as conflict is necessary in the workplace and in life, so is anger. If a person is afraid of expressing their anger there are ways to do it that are less controversial. According to psychotherapist Beverly Engel of Psychology Today, "The most effective way of expressing this emotion is to translate it into clear, non-blaming statements that establish boundaries. These statements should contain two thoughts: the fact that you are angry and the reason why, and what you want the other person to do about it. A simplified form could be, 'I feel angry because________. I want you to ___________.' " (J. Salagubang, 2004) Avoiding blaming when expressing anger is often recommended as well.