I came across a friend who looked a bit disappointed after an encounter with an office administrator in a public office. He had been to that office twice before. He met a certain officer who explained all the required documentation for him to access a certain service. On the first visit he actually even met the manager through the officer request in order for him to affirm availability of the service. However, on this occasion he met the office administrator who was sitting in on behalf of the officer. She did not even respond to his greetings, she looked at the papers, almost threw them back to him and with an angry voice said “you did not follow the procedure”. Confused and angry he tried to explain what had transpired in the last two visits. The lady could however not hear any of it. They had an exchange that did not end well.

This left me thinking; have we become such an angry society? Could all the murder, suicide, violence and other form of harm be our unhealthy way of expressing anger? Anger is a natural response to feeling attacked, deceived, frustrated or treated unfairly. Everyone gets angry sometimes – it’s part of being human. It is not always a ‘bad’ emotion; in fact, it can sometimes be useful.

Anger only becomes a problem when it harms you or people around you. This can happen when:

• You regularly express your anger through unhelpful or destructive behavior.

• Your anger is having a negative impact on your overall mental and physical health.

We all express anger differently. Some unhelpful ways you may have learned to express anger include:

1. Outward aggression and violence – such as shouting, swearing, slamming doors, hitting or throwing things and being physically violent or verbally abusive and threatening towards others.

2.  Inward aggression – such as telling yourself that you hate yourself, denying yourself your basic needs (like food, or things that might make you happy), cutting yourself off from the world and self-harming.

3.  Non-violent or passive aggression – such as ignoring people or refusing to speak to them, refusing to do tasks, or deliberately doing things poorly, late or at the last possible minute, and being sarcastic or sulky while not saying anything explicitly aggressive or angry.

How you interpret and react to a situation depends on a number of factors such as;

·         Childhood & Upbringing

If you grow up thinking that it’s okay to act out of anger aggressively or violently, so you did not learn how to understand and manage your angry feelings. So whenever you don’t like a situation you have anger outbursts.

If you were brought up thinking that you should not complain or were punished for expressing anger as a child, you may tend to suppress anger as an adult.

If you witnessed your parents or guardians anger when it was out of control, then you may think of anger as something destructive and terrifying. You may hence be afraid of expressing your feelings when you are angry.

·         Past experiences

If you have a past experience that made you feel angry but weren’t able to safely express your anger at that time you might find certain situations challenging and more likely to make you angry.

·         Current circumstances

If you are dealing with a lot problem in your life right now you might find yourself feeling angry more easily or getting angry at unrelated things.


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