I have this image that each one of us has our own personal shed where we house the tools we use to cope with our problems. There are many tools we actually have at our disposal, but ironically its in our nature to choose only a few to utilize most of the time. These “favorites” can become over used, and can get to the point where they no longer function… but out of habit, we use them anyway.
I believe Anger to be one such tool that is severely over-used by many of us. Anger is comfortable, because its primal, and has been used since we were infants. Children cry and throw fits when they feel hurt in any form. In most cases it works to gain them the attention needed for someone else to be empathetic enough to fulfill their need. During childhood, when you don’t have the communication skills and your needs are simple it works rather nicely, but there is a point in which its effectiveness is diminished, because there are far better tools, and people start expecting a little more.
As an adult, being quick to anger, may let you work off some steam, but in the long run it just prolongs the suffering on all sides. Anger rarely brings about solutions for adults, and many times our reactions based in anger serve only to make our path to resolution more difficult. This is because anger induces you to focus mostly on yourself. When we feel hurt, its easy to talk ourselves into demonizing another party who we decide caused our anger. In our minds we strip them of having “feelings”, and more often than not, we assume and input ulterior motives that make it easier to stay mad at them. We do this because it makes them easier to attack and it fuels our justification for staying mad. Anger is like a fire that burns hot and bright for a time, but leaves things in worse shape than the original issue would have.
When you react out of anger, you may feel a rush of justification, but it tends to be short lived, and doesn’t really get you closer to any lasting solution. If you commonly use anger as a coping mechanism, it makes you less trustworthy as a person. You end up diminishing yourself to that of a child in the view of others all because of how you choose react to problems. They cannot then trust you to make healthy decisions, so some will even go as far to start treating you like a child. This in turns infuriates the original person, which causes another flares up and the cycle perpetuates.
As an adult, anger should serve more as a red flag, than a stance. We are all going to feel anger, but we should use it more as an internal indicator as to when something within ourselves is out of place. We should want to find solutions, so if we feel close to reacting out of anger, it should tell us we are using the wrong tool to overcome the issue. Things are rarely as black an white as they appear when we are seeing red.