General Question

hug_of_war's avatar

I'm angry. How can I not be a jerk?

Asked by hug_of_war (10725points) October 29th, 2014 from iPhone

I’m angry. Not important why and I’m trying to resolve it but I’m tempted to be all passive aggressive to people who don’t deserve it.

What do you do when you feel similar?

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28 Answers

Pandora's avatar

I try to remember that whatever the situation is, that it is simply one day of many. Also that aggression only assures more days of misery. Aggression never solves anything and only will add stress to your life and make you ill in the long haul. Meanwhile the people who made you angry go about their lives healthy and happy because they could probably care less that you are upset or angry.
So ask yourself is it worth it. The best revenge is to live well and ignore stupidity the best you can.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Remember that being passive-aggressive is extremely childish, and think how embarrassed you’ll be that you did it, once you’ve had a chance to calm down.

I’m not against being aggressive-aggressive if the situation warrants it, however. Depends on how much your anger is justified.

jca's avatar

I try to take a step back and work through my feelings. Why am I so mad? What can I do to feel less upset? Is my anger for this situation legitimate. Might I be feeling extra angry due to being tired or whatever. That kind of thing.

marinelife's avatar

Can you try ridding your body of some of the anger? There are some exercises that you can do. Try standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Make fists with your hands and make punching motions as if the person or thing you were angry at was lying on the floor in front on you. Swing from your shoulders and say aloud “Take that.” “Take it!”

Repeat as needed.

ucme's avatar

Never felt that petty minded, i’d have a word with yourself if I was you.

thorninmud's avatar

Anger is a particular set of physical sensations that arise in response to certain thoughts. The best way I’ve found to disarm anger is to break the link between the thoughts and the physical sensations.

You do this by turning your attention away from the thoughts about the situation causing the anger and focusing the attention on the physical sensations of anger. Do this with a spirit of open investigation, like a scientist doing a detailed and objective study of what an angry body feels like. Notice that there’s nothing particularly negative about the sensations; it’s just the body’s collection of arousal responses. Feel them as completely as you can, not pushing them away (since they’re not, in themselves, negative).

Even though you’re not actively trying to get rid of the sensations, they will gradually fade because your attention is no longer occupied with the thoughts of the situation you’re mad about. Continue to watch the sensations as they recede and go away.

Going back to the thoughts after this may cause the sensations to come back, but they usually have less leverage on you. Repeat the process.

You’ll still need to address the conflict that brought on the anger, but you can reason much more clearly about the situation once the sensations aren’t infusing all of that aroused energy into the picture.

Coloma's avatar

Realize that this is your infantile ego reacting and that you are better than this behavior.
Make no mistake about it, heaping abuse on innocent others is just that, emotional abuse.
Discharging on innocent people is not going to change the original issue you are experiencing, it may make you feel better temporarily but in the long run it diminishes you as a person. You will KNOW that you have behaved unfairly and 2 wrongs never make a right.

It is not okay to take our negative feelings out on others, period.
Take the mature path and simply recognize you are feeling angry and just allow the feelings to exist without the need to act on them and bring others down with you.

snowberry's avatar

I used to be one of the most angry people, and I had good reason to feel that way.

I asked God to help me, and he’s changed my entire personality. It’s not that simple, it took a lot of work on my part, but I couldn’t have done it without God’s help.

rojo's avatar

Stop Watching Fox News!

No, but more seriously

Blow up (either in private or with someone who knows what they are in for and why), get it out of your system then try to resolve the issue.

Later, when you can objectively do so, try to analyze what it was that made you so angry, determine if, in your mind, your anger was really justified or an overreaction and modify future behavior.

hug_of_war's avatar

Thanks. Really helpful. To be clear I’m angry my friend is gone. I’m not angry at him or anyone in particular. Just feeling angry at the situation.

kritiper's avatar

Remember the “Golden Rule!” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is not something to do or live by only when it suits you! It is for always and for all times.

janbb's avatar

@hug_of_war That is a very profound cause for your anger. Have you spoken to a counselor or therapist about it?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I try and remove myself from the situation. If I’m really pissed off I isolate myself from people all together. I’d rather you think I’m being a jerk that’s ignoring you than me actually being a jerk and doing something mean to you. The former is a lot easier to explain to others once you’ve calmed down.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

I try reminding myself that it all really doesn’t matter, that in a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months… a relatively short time, whatever it is will be one of the furthest things from my mind and anyway the universe won’t even notice. From there, I just try to return to a state of apathy.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I keep away from people and eat something fattening.

janbb's avatar

@Winter_Pariah But the OP has stated that she is angry at the death of a friend so this is something that is not trivial. I think it needs to be dealt with somewhat differently while still not taking it out on other people.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

@janbb That’s a matter of perspective. I had a lot of friends die over the years and with a bit of a nihilistic inclination – which has grown – on life I just grew apathetic over all of that and found it all just not to matter in the end. In other words, trivial.
Apathy is, I suppose, my safe little haven. I know, not exactly socially acceptable for a large majority of people, but it works for me.

hug_of_war's avatar

@janb – Yes I’m in therapy but it’s a long process of course.

janbb's avatar

@hug_of_war Sure. I understand. That is a good place to explore your anger as I’m sure you realize..

LostInParadise's avatar

The death of someone close is no small matter. Do not try to walk away from your emotions. You need to work through them. It may help to put things in writing. Remember the times you spent together. Write in a letter form the way that you felt toward your friend. Your anger will no doubt turn into sadness.

hug_of_war's avatar

I’m sad too, today I just woke up angry. And logically I understand it’s not person X or Y’s fault, so some of these suggestions have really helped me.

gailcalled's avatar

@hug_of_war: Ask yourself how you would like to be the recipient of undeserved agressive and angry behavior. It is like riding into and shooting up the town for no good reason.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It depends on why I’m angry. Usually, when I get angry it’s because I feel I have, or someone I care about has, been treated unjustly or in an undignified manner. So I might vent to people I know to try to diffuse the feelings or if it’s something I can act on, I’ll challenge those that have made me angry. I always feel better if I’ve acted rather than passively accepting.

In this case, you’re friend can’t do anything to help you or to resolve your anger. You’re grieving and being angry is part of that process. I agree with @gailcalled though, that by taking it out on other people you’re making their life unpleasant and it’s not their fault. Perhaps if you try to keep that in mind, it will help you to target your feelings more appropriately.

Have you thought about taking up boxing or some very active sport or activity so you can get these feelings out when you need to. Buy a boxing bag and punch if when you feel you need a release. You’ll get fitter too!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Hit the gym, that’s what I do.

hominid's avatar

What @thorninmud said.

I find that anger takes a significant amount of work to maintain. Unless I’m feeding it by replaying thoughts of the past and simulating the future, anger is nearly impossible to hold onto it for long. I used to describe my decreased anger in terms of “letting go” of it. But it really seems more to be a situation of spinning a wheel. If you stop spinning it, the wheel will stop and you’ll be able to see things more clearly, as well as give your body a break from all of that spinning. Then it’s really difficult to be a jerk – or at least it wouldn’t be related to your anger.

longgone's avatar

I warned you about that after your friend died, remember? No time for a lengthly post right now, but I’ve been through the same thing this last year. Feel free to PM me.


Katz22's avatar

Whenever I am angry, I confront the anger, sometimes anger is justified, sometimes it is not. I ask myself is this something that I should be angry about or is it something that really isn’t that big of a deal. If someone says or does something that makes me angry I will quickly assess the situation and decide if I should confront the person or not. I do not choose to stuff my anger, I meet it head on.

snowberry's avatar

It’s always helpful to do what you can to resolve the situation. As soon as I’ve resolved it (forgiven them- always a plus, or removed myself from the situation, or replaced the broken item, or whatever) it’s easier to move on.

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