Controlling Anger

Someone asked “Any idea on how a person can control their anger?”

My reply:

“Great question.

Controlling anger isn’t easy. This is primarily due to the fact that most people don’t actually understand what anger is.

Anger is a combination of two things: cognitive dissonance and an addiction to rage dumping.

Cognitive dissonance is what you call it when the mind experiences an allergic reaction to reality, due to reality or things in it not matching the identity and/or the story the individual tells themself about the world around them and their place and value within it. This allergic reaction manifests as an overwhelming compulsion, a need to protect, project and reinforce the identity, as the identity gets falsely equated to the actual self, causing actors to imagine that they’re literally fighting for their lives by defending and reinforcing their inner stories.

Rage is inner turmoil. It’s a combination of insecurity (envy/self doubt), uncertainty (confusion/anxiety), trauma (the phobia of disempowerment, which traces back to life events in which people weren’t strong enough to keep themselves safe or capture things they needed), despair (the feeling of being powerless), and a desire to disempower and/or capture power from (neutralize/dominate) others. Rage is a combination of perceptual effects that amalgamate to create this sort of hazy fire that consumes people from within.

Rage-dumping (aggression) is attempting to extinguish that fire by transferring it into someone or something else. It works just as well as taking a log from a burning building and tossing it into another, in efforts to put the fire out.

…and by “works as well” I mean it doesn’t work at all.

Rage-dumping feels good though. Tossing burning logs out of your building makes you feel temporarily better, and many people get addicted to this fleeting feeling of relief. This is why most people tend to become abusive whenever they gain situational power over others. Dumping rage into others makes you feel temporarily better — hence, why there are abusive mates and parents, shitty bosses, tyrants, racists, xenophobes, nationalists, bullies, etc…

Rage-dumping (aggression) doesn’t put the fire out though. At best it only delays the flame, and then pretty much guarantees that even if your fire gets extinguished, the fires you’ve created outside of yourself will ultimately bring the flame right back to you — only, amplified a thousand fold.

Unfortunately, society trains us to unburden ourselves of rage by dumping rage into other people and things. This is a terrible practice though. It doesn’t actually address or solve the problems we’re facing, it just temporarily provides a feeling (illusion) of relief — that is, until the inner flame swells up again, and the affected person starts desperately searching for something to transfer their rage into before they (perceivably) combust.

Learning how to control anger entails learning how to articulate the things that inspire rage within us, and then source our triggers to the actual life events that created and/or inspired them. Sometimes those events happened many years in the past, and have nothing to do with what’s happening in the present.

Reasoning and honesty helps us sift through the mental haze though, and methodically trace the steps of our life path to points of injury that inspired defense mechanisms and/or personality features that we assumed in efforts to keep ourselves safe.

In this sense, controlling anger is a matter of getting to the actual root of our psychological injuries, as opposed to barking at things that remind us of them.

Again, great question.”

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I write to explain how I see reality through a unique lens that's been afforded to me.

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Donald King

I write to explain how I see reality through a unique lens that's been afforded to me.