Problem

Anger

Nature:
Anger is a common reaction to injury, mistreatment or opposition. If a person becomes angry at the unjust treatment of others, his anger may lead to positive action. If, however, he becomes angry at how he himself is being treated, his anger is more likely to be destructive, both for others and for himself. The anger is then not linked to compassion for others, but to egoism: life is not treating him the way he thinks it should. Such egoistic anger tends to accummulate, causing the person to react with an anger which is out of proportion to the seriousness of the precipitating event. The angry person, being chiefly concerned with himself, erects barriers against other people; he rejects the support offered by others. The constantly angry person becomes isolated, thereby diminishing his quality of life.

Anger is unhealthy, both physically and mentally. Doctors have cited anger as one of the contributing factors to heart disease. Studies have shown that people who scored highest on the anger scale of a standard personality test were two to three times as likely to develop heart disease as those who score lowest. Anger which is suppressed and turned inwards is a common cause of chronic depression.

Incidence:
Anger is a central feature of Western civilization and a common occurrence in the lives of most people, even though it may not be deliberately cultivated.
Counter Claim:
1. Anger is a healthy and normal emotional response to injustice, inhumanity, treachery, maltreatment of the weak and exploitation of the vulnerable. Looking on these things with calm detachment is to wither as a human being.

2. Anger would not be so common if it did not serve some useful functions. But too often the way anger is expressed, or suppressed, is counter-productive. Instead of bringing about needed changes, it may actually make matters worse.

Broader Problems:
Sin
Vice
Strategies:
Being angry
Values:
Anger
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
26.10.2001 – 00:00 CEST