On Anger

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Anger pisses me off.

All kidding aside, anger is one of those reactions so many people have that I see as often being pointless, and ultimately self-destructive.

Anger, when it motivates positive action, sure, I get that. We certainly have plenty of things to get angry about these days, and hopefully it’s motivating us to take action.

This is more about pointless, knee-jerk anger. The anger that boils over into inappropriate action — anything from hitting your computer because you don’t understand what just happened, to domestic violence because you don’t know how to deal with the frustrations in your life.

Yeah, I went there. I defined a scale of anger that ranges from being pissed at your computer to beating your spouse.

It’s all destructive. And what’s scary is that left “untreated” it often works its way up that scale.

That’s why people that consistently yell or curse at the computer scare me, or at least make me very uncomfortable. I really don’t care about the computer issue — I really do get that. I often joke that “I work with computers; profanity is my second language.”

It’s that anger is the go-to reaction for even minor annoyances. Something that’s often quickly addressed without needing blood pressure medication.

Anger often leads to bad decisions. Sometimes it leads to some really, really bad decisions.

But I also view it as a symptom of unresolved issues. The computer is just the scapegoat of the moment. The anger is deeper, more persistent, and more dangerous than that. Who knows what remains lurking, ready to strike elsewhere, and with more vehemence?

Unwarranted anger scares me.

Especially in myself.

After writing this, I came across an excellent essay on anger by science fiction legend Ursula K. Le Guin: About Anger

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