Why We Get Angry

Opposing forces, colliding, grinding, pulverizing — something has to give. But when uncompromising behemoths refuse to settle, it usually ends explosively.

One has to be amazed that with so many people in NY more explosions don’t occur daily. Yet, somehow, we make it work.

On the other hand, I could think of situations where colliding, grinding, pulverizing would be desired. But that’s for another post.

For our purposes, I will answer the very question I posed in the last post. Why do we get angry? Allow me to begin with an illustration.

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Doesn’t that guy look like Ben Affleck?

Ok, back to the issue. I had to wait for three trains before I could find one that had enough room for me to fit in. My day wasn’t beginning well.

I was on my way to my storage facility. I hadn’t checked it in a while and wanted to see that all was in order. When I got there, I discovered my payment was late, even though I was on auto-pay.

Apparently, my bank made a mistake and forgot to pay. The storage facility Manager, standing behind the safety of a thick plastic window, wouldn’t allow me to check my locker, despite never having been late on a payment, at least until today.

I told him I wasn’t retrieving anything. I only wanted to see that my belongings were still there. Keep in mind, this manager never once looked up to acknowledge me. My dormant volcano started rumbling.

I tapped on the window to force the manager to look at me.

“Do you mind?” he said, still without looking up.

“I have never once checked my storage unit. Could I at least take a look and see that everything’s still there?” No acknowledgment. My volcano erupted. I banged on the window several times.

Finally, the manager looked up. “Do that again, I’ll call the police.”

“You can call the People’s Republic of China, for all I care.” I can’t believe the Manager picked up the phone and called 911. Amazingly, they put him on hold. So now the Manager and I did a stare-down while we waited.

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A full minute later, the Manager hung up the phone.

“I thought you’d see it my way,” I said.

“They patched me through to voicemail, idiot.” He called 911 again but this time he got through.

Idiot? Who-the-mother did this guy think he was? And does 911 really send you to voicemail? Just as he hung up the phone, I banged on the window even harder to show him I was about to unleash a laser-guided smart-bomb on his goofy ass.

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Then the glass shattered. Oops.

Suddenly, the Manager turned into Mt. St. Helens and erupted. He grabbed a 10-inch knife from inside of a drawer and ran out of the security of his office to get Ginsu on my ass.

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As he stomped toward me, I said, “Yo, man, it’s all good. I could always come back another day.” But instead of charging me, he charged by me and flew out the front door.

I followed him outside and realized why he pulled out the knife. Two dudes were trying to jack his car. But the dudes had guns. So the Manager and I hauled-ass back inside.

Then the police showed up. The car-jackers jetted. Major foot-race. Cops eventually apprehended the car-jackers without shots being fired. How that happened with a gun-happy police force like the NYPD is a mystery to me.

While this was going on, the Manager hid the knife back in his office. He came back out and asked, “Could we keep this between us? I got a family to take care of.”

I didn’t have the heart to say no. “Sure, man, but you’ll give me this month for free?”

“I’ll be right back,” he said.

“Where you going?” I asked.

“To fetch my knife.”

“Half-off?” He thought about it; we shook on it. All’s well that ends well.

Getting back to the point of this post, here’s what I learned about anger. It is among the most unproductive of emotions. Quite simply, we get angry because…

  1. We’re not getting what we want;
  2. Or, someone or something isn’t doing what we want them to do.

Honestly, it’s as simple as that. Every time you get angry, identify the “want” and you might find a better way to get it.

Anger also has to do with expectations. Our anger is usually associated with an expectation that a person or situation should or will conform to our belief systems, rightly or wrongly. Perhaps tempering our expectations would result in less frustration, annoyance, disappointment, anger, hate-sex.

When people resort to anger to get what they want — and they succeed — oftentimes it’s merely to get that person out of your hair. Which is horrible for the person who got what he wanted because now he feels he will get what he wants every time he displays rage.

This is negative validation. Unlearning this type of behavior is vastly more difficult than assimilating the more fruitful behavior of restraint.

I’m sure Mr. Locario (The Date Whisperer) would agree with this while getting a trim at Pro Barber Shop as he tokes on his vape from Ultimate Vapor Source. And Fit & Well Moms would also agree, as she ties the laces of her new Nikes she got from Sneaker Bar NY, while sipping a macchiato at Petite Shell. And what do all these businesses have in common? They are all members of Integral Yoga Institute. Isn’t it amazing how Yoga works?

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