Dealing with Anger

You know the feeling. It's that rage you get when someone cuts you off on the highway; you just want to floor it and flip the bird. Anger is a corrosive emotion that can run off with your mental and physical health. So do you hold it in? Or do you let it all out? Anger doesn't dissipate just because you unleash it. Some insight into why we have it and how it works can help you better manage this raw emotion.

Recent posts on Anger

Reconciling as Parents

Can divorced parents act like parents, not spurned lovers? These women found a way.

Primary Affects

We have been exploring how our earliest, innate feelings work – Distress, Anger, Fear, Shame, and Dissmell. This month we look at Enjoyment, Shame, Disgust, and Dissmell.

Road Rage: A Second "Free-Range" Intervention

What is real power? It is acting like the biggest dog on the road.

Survival, Aggression—and Compassion

What do you expect from those around you—competition or compassion? Here's a surprising example.

Is the “All Lives Matter” Slogan Racist?

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on August 25, 2016 in Without Prejudice
In the lead up to the 2016 US election, racial tensions are running high. Many Blacks are offended by White retorts that “All Lives Matter.” Racism may underpin this slogan.

Divorce an Unreliable Predictor of Aggressiveness

Even amongst a small fraction of children, severe aggression is rare.

9 Hidden Habits That Make Us Miserable at Work

By Nick Tasler on August 24, 2016 in Strategic Thinking
Want to be happier at work? Pick one of these habits to break.

TRAPing the Lone Terrorist (Part One)

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in Media Spotlight
A new screening tool to help identify potential lone wolf terrorists is currently being evaluated. Can the TRAP-18 help prevent future violence?

Dissection of a Food Binge

By Frances Kuffel on August 23, 2016 in What Fat Women Want
I wanted more than practicing normal. I wanted more than I had at hand. I wanted OUT – out of my apartment, out of my anger and resentment and loneliness.
Geralt, via pixabay

Our Anger Crisis: Anger Elevates Us By Pulling Others Down?

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on August 22, 2016 in Ethics in Question
Injustice tells the world that wrongdoers and their victims are not moral equals. Can anger and retribution symbolically restore their equality?

Undermining "Black Lives Matter"?

The Blue movement can ALSO be legitimately viewed as co-opting the “Black Lives Matter” slogan, undermining its power; perverting its sentiment.
Count Tolstoy, wife, son and dog. From Wikimedia commons. Public domain

Should Shelters Bother Assessing Their Dogs?

A recent paper argues that testing shelter dogs for aggression is a waste of time. In a world where people are bitten by dogs every day, can less assessment really be the solution?

Treating Road Rage: A Free-Range Approach

How a hawaiian shirt, the music of Gabby Pahinui, and a lump of coconut-scented surf wax helped cure a case of road rage

An Era of Incivility

By Saul Levine M.D. on August 18, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
Living with constant incivility breeds unrest, unhappiness and discord between people. This is an incremental step towards animosity and enmity, leading to aggression and violence.

De-Fanging the Serpent of Terrorism

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 18, 2016 in The Human Beast
A recent decision by French news outlets may mark a turning point in our understanding of the phenomenon of modern terrorism.

Killer Whales Trained as Performers Suffer Psychologically

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 18, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new essay called "Orca Behavior and Subsequent Aggression Associated with Oceanarium Confinement" shows how being trained to perform results in heightened aggression.

CIA Torture Techniques Harm Interrogators As Well

Torture used as an interrogation device can have severe, long-lasting effects.

Letter to Young Activists

This post is adapted from a talk recently given to young community organizers about self-care and well-being on the journey to a more compassionate and just society.

"Healthy Anger"

Let it all hang out? Really?

Acting Out of Conviction vs. Acting Out of Resentment

Conviction is the strong belief that a behavior is right, moral, and consistent with your deeper values. Like resentment, conviction provides a sense of certainty.
After Lysippos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our Anger Crisis: What Good Is Payback

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on August 15, 2016 in Ethics in Question
Anger makes us want to retaliate against those who've harmed us. Martha Nussbaum says that's irrational and incoherent — is she right?

Why Someone's Disappointment Hurts Us More Than Their Anger

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on August 15, 2016 in Trust
When you know you've hurt others' feelings, their anger can be easier to handle than their disappointment.

7 Toxic Behaviors of Highly Aggressive People at Work

Aggressive co-workers create problems you might never expect.

Primary Affects

What science is really intrigued with is how feelings work. For ages, Tomkins and others grappled with the following question: How are there only a few discrete responses?

Sibling Rivalry

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on August 10, 2016 in Life After 50
Is sibling rivalry inevitable? What can parents do to minimize it?

More Ways Couples Misunderstand Each Other III

The very familiarity that makes us feel secure in love relationships reduces novelty and interest. Fortunately, we can deliberately activate interest at any time.

Choose Forgiveness and Gratitude Over Gunny Sacking

By Rita Watson MPH on August 09, 2016 in With Love and Gratitude
If you store up resentment, one day it can overwhelm you.
L Breuning

Why Winning Feels Good

The facts of our brain’s natural competitiveness have been submerged by a warm and fuzzy view of nature. The truth can help us manage our quirky neurochemical operating system.

Our Anger Crisis: The Pleasure and Pain of Anger

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on August 09, 2016 in Ethics in Question
Anger is a strange emotional brew: painful, but tinged with pleasurable anticipation at seeing wrongdoers suffer. Should we cultivate anger, or shun it, as Martha Nussbaum argues?