Anger is everywhere these days. Who hasn’t been the object of or even experienced road rage? Is there a co-worker everyone tip-toes around at your office? Might you be that person?
Here’s a joke that’s making the rounds: “I went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out!” It’s hilarious, because it’s so true, or it would be if Hockey weren’t only marginally more popular than Curling. Besides, if you’re anything like me, you certainly don’t need a sporting event as an excuse for brawling. You can get a good punch up going at church if you know what you’re doing!
But what if your anger isn’t there when you need it? How are you going to respond to the wife’s needless provocation regarding your failure to pick up sour cream on the way home having barked yourself hoarse at commuters you don’t even know who can’t hear what you’re saying anyway? What will you do when your Boss blames you for his own lack of preparation at the 10:15 meeting if you totally blew your entire rage wad at the kid when she refused to leave for school on time because her socks ‘felt funny’?
Properly managed, anger is the ultimate clean burning, renewable fuel. The following AMFAQ, or Anger Management Frequently Asked Questions, should keep you from the face blistering you’ll get by asking me just about anything directly. See? I’m managing my anger right now by not wasting it on the likes of you. Read on and pretty soon you’ll be able to coast through your day on a fine cushion of near constant rage.
WHAT IS ANGER?
SCREW YOU, YOU USELESS BAG OF CRAP! I’m kidding of course. I’m hardly angry at all right now, just sort of the idling level of general irritation I use to keep myself from passing out. Simply put, anger is response to stimuli. You wake to the alarm going off, get angry. A coworker says ‘good morning’, get angry. See a pretty sunset, get angry. While it’s true there are many, many other reactions to stimuli a human being can experience, they are all a complete waste of time. Time you could be spending angry.
Try this: Think of a cute puppy. Did that make you angry? Probably not. That’s something you need to work on.
YEAH, BUT SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS ANGER?
You’re starting to piss me off. If that makes you mad, great, we’re getting somewhere.
Anger has three components.
Psychological. This is the emotional component of anger, and it’s a really good emotion with a nice meaty taste. It’s not a weak emotion like fear or happiness and research shows it is far less girly than love. Not that there’s anything wrong with the fairer sex. I know a lot of very angry women. It might be me.
Physiological. This is how your body responds to anger. Muscle tension, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure as your body releases adrenaline. Mmmmmm-Doggy! FEEL that! It’s like a WOOD STOVE on a WINTER DAY!
Cognitive. This is what you think about while you experience anger. Your stultifyingly cretinous boss, your deeply unappreciative family, Dave in the cube next to yours who everybody knows would best serve humanity as a systems analyst sized heap of ground meat, the great big shaft that God thinks it’s funny to give you every damn time you look for an even break, whatever! It’s all BUTANE, baby! And this weenie roast is WAY behind schedule!
OKAY, YOU’RE STARTING TO SCARE ME NOW.
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is, that’s just where I want you, and anger management did it for me. The bad news is, people who are scared of me are less likely to have the sack to do something that might piss me off, which means the fire of my rage is banking. But wait! MORE good news! Telling me I’m scaring you IS NOT A DAMN QUESTION, IS IT?! DID THEY TEACH YOU WHAT A FAQ WAS IN MORON SCHOOL?! NEWSFLASH! THE ‘Q’ STANDS FOR ‘QUESTIONS’!! Mama! THAT’s some good anger!
SO, IT’S NOT ‘BAD’ TO FEEL ANGRY?
No, being angry isn’t negative or positive. It’s a perfectly natural emotion, and nothing to be ashamed of. Being angry can make people aware of your valid emotional concerns. It can prevent others from walking all over you. It can motivate people to change larger societal issues. It’s anger management that can be a problem. Because should you ever run out of anger, even for an instant, you will never again get a single thing you want. Plus, people will probably use the moment of your weakness to kill you on account of what a dick you’ve been.
OKAY, SO NOW I UNDERSTAND ANGER MANAGEMENT. WHY DON’T I FEEL BETTER?
I don’t think you’re getting this. Would feeling better make you more or less angry? Have you even been listening?
I’M NOT ‘LISTENING’ YOU DINK! I’M READING THIS!
Okay, better, but ‘Dink’? Seriously? What’s the matter, is your cub scout uniform chaffing?
No, you shut up.
I WILL SHATTER YOUR KNEES! I WILL DANCE THE LINDY ON YOUR GRAVE!
There you go! Now just remember, you need to be a steam engine, not an explosion. Keep the pressure on, but the escape valve should be miniscule, violently pinched and brutally focused.
OH!… OH, OKAY, I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE. I GET IT. THANKS.
Jesus. Just forget it. You are the worst FAQ ever.