Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Nature of Anger

     I've honestly been wanting to blog more than I have been. I started my first semester of college about two months ago, and with the mixture of school, homework, work, family, friends, Church, etc. life has been really busy. I have, however, been taking an English class in school which I am hopeful will help me become a better writer, and help me feel more motivated and confident in keeping my blog more updated than it has been.
     Until I reach that time, however, I've decided that due to time I will post some of the essays I've written for school that I feel work with my blog. I know that might be lame of me ;) but I have tried to write my essays as similar to the writing on my blog: personal and religious.
     Here is my first post of the essays from my class, and hopefully as I get back into the habit of blogging, I'll be able to write blog-specific posts instead of just copy-pasting assignments.

The Nature of Anger

     I wondered about my experiences with anger as I watched my older sister close off and become angry with her husband after he had done nothing (as far as I could tell) to upset her. I was intrigued because I saw so much of myself in her at that moment, and I've seen it many times since. I have never wanted to be an angry person, and I don't know why I experience anger. The most painful aspect of it for me is that it hurts the people I love most. I have always wanted to be a loving person, and improve the life of those I meet, but my anger complicates things. I have the desire to change, and I've been trying to overcome my anger for years now, but I haven't had much success. Perhaps I have just been going about it the wrong way. Rather than just trying to fix it, maybe I should be approaching it with a different mindset and question: “does anger ever go away?”

     One way to approach this question is to ask a branching question, “is anger a temporary condition?” If this question has an affirming answer, then that would imply that anger can be cured, fixed, or simply overcome. Could anger be a temporary condition? There have been times in my life where I have given my all to leaving my anger behind and never letting it hurt myself or the people I love again, but all those attempts, all the promises to myself, the people I love, and to God did not bring about a “cure” of my anger. Yet still the question remains a possibility. It is very possible that I have been going about it the wrong way. Perhaps anger is temporary, but I have just not found the cure yet.

      Then there is the second branching question, “is anger a permanent condition?” With an affirming answer, this would imply that anger is more along the lines of an incurable mental illness or disease. If this is the case, it means there is not necessarily a cure, and to overcome or manage anger issues I would need to find coping skills rather than seeking a cure. This answer, if true, would imply that I may deal with anger for the rest of me life. I can draw on other issues I deal with that fall under this category of being a permanent condition: depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. None of those conditions have a “cure” or easy fix. They all still affect me, though I have found coping skills and am now able to handle the episodes much more efficiently. If anger falls under this same category, it would mean I would need to find coping skills in order to manage my anger.

      Even narrowing it down to two basic possibilities “is it temporary or permanent?” does not answer the question. There are more factors involved. Because anger, like many emotions, has multiple severities and affects each person differently, it could have almost any answer, no answer, or an answer specific to an individual. From what I have observed, some people rarely experience anger and in situations when they do, they seem to be able to choose when to drop it. With this observation it would lead to the belief that anger is a temporary emotional experience because the person can choose when to “turn off” their anger and replace it with another emotion. Then there are those who appear to experience anger much more powerfully and permanently. These people often get angry at things that would not make sense to observers. Sometimes there is nothing on the outside that even angers them. In these situations the person often seems “out of control” and cannot just turn off their anger. It often takes time for them to come back to reality, and often they have to leave the situation and spend time to cool down. This situation leads to the conclusion that anger is a permanent condition that, to be controlled, would require coping skills rather than a cure.

      “Does anger ever go away?” doesn't feel like a valid question anymore. There are too many variables to accurately answer that question without having to come up with other questions and giving a long answer that both affirms and refutes this statement. It seems that anger is a personal experience, unique to an individual, which leads to a new question for me; “Is my anger temporary or permanent?”

Love you all! Hope to be writing again soon!

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