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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Wednesday, September 5

Anger - ramblings

Just had a thought about this, that a component of anger is the idea that someone is making a choice to do something harmful to oneself or someone one cares about.

I have this theory that all people do the 'best' they can given their particular knowledge and experiences. True, they may have ideas about "better" things to do but they don't choose them. I think that would be because the choice doesn't solve some problem for them or they are lacking something in knowledge or skills or a perspective which would make the choice much more appealing. Perhaps they were also in distress and not able to access all their best ideas at a particular time.

So, theoretically, if I kept that in mind all the time, I shouldn't be angry at anyone, ever.

I might feel strongly that I should take some action to prevent further harm, feel frustrated, disappointed that things didn't go the way I'd hoped, but not anger.

I wonder if that's true and whether I could actually get to that state of mind.

Sometimes, another person's anger can be a catalyst for rethinking things, for looking at a problem a different way, or for temporarilyor permanently stopping some offensive action.

Perhaps, then, anger serves a purpose. Disappointment could also be catalyst for change?

I suppose disappointment would have an effect on many people, but what about someone who is lacking empathy? Anger, at least, could trigger some fear.

Can fear be a good thing? Temporarily, I'm sure it can. It could prevent a person from harming the one feared. However, it could also provoke reactions that would be harmful.

Anger could also trigger other feelings besides fear - anger, surprise, delight, etc. Some people seem to enjoy the power of triggering anger in someone else. I think that's why the advice to ignore a bully can be problematic. A bully wants to trigger fear... and maybe even anger. Or maybe they really just want to be noticed and would actually prefer an enthusiastic, positive reaction. If they are really needy for connection (even a bad connection) with others, then ignoring them could aggravate the problem.

One book I read about the subject recommended responding with humor and/or with firmness. This means the bully gets some sort of "connection" but the "victim" has some control over the type of connection. End of ramble.

1 comment:

Leo said...

Very interesting one and well written. No need to call it a ramble, it was good.