“Hey, buddy! Yeah, I’m talking to you! You gotta problem?” Look at someone the wrong way these days, and you may just find yourself in the unenviable position of encountering a hothead — that perpetually agitated and hostile person who is in constant battle mode.
The age of rage. Why are people so angry today? What could have happened to make more of us so uptight, mad and unhappy? Well, there are many theories and one interesting thought is that anger isn’t really the true issue. Rather, anger is the response of some to whatever it is that they’re allowing to boil-up within them, until it comes bursting forth in outward hostility to others. As to why some people are so angry these days, I don’t think anyone actually knows precisely why — and it’s this failure to find out the reason(s) that is causing rage and violence to become part of the norm.
So what are some reasons people are so angry today? Here are some thoughts:
People today are under tremendous stress. Much of that stress is inflicted by external sources, but, some of it we inflict upon ourselves. We have stress at work, stress to succeed, stress at home and stress that we bring on ourselves by trying to do all and be all. When we’re constantly running in a frenetic mania, how can we possibly find the time to relax and unwind? We’re angry because we’re frazzled, but we don’t need to be — people need to get off the mad rollercoaster and just breathe!
People feel they’re losing control:
The world around us whirls like crazy and that goes for corporate America too. People are no longer valued and companies willingly burn through their “human resources” without a second thought. Artificial “intelligence” is all the rage and greedy companies are giddy with the prospect of replacing human workers with robots. The fools. If there are no jobs, who do they think will be able to buy their products and services? So people are angry because they no longer feel secure or valued by the corporate monster.
Politics and news 24 x 7:
We are a nation obsessed with politics — we’ve devolved into an “us vs. them” mentality. We are literally drowning in politics and its our own fault. The question is, why? Politicians are all cut from the same cloth — many of them are petty, childish, arrogant and self-absorbed. And because the news is now on an endless ‘braking news’ cycle, we’re incessantly exposed to their outrageous behavior. Government for the people, by the people? Hardly. Today, its government in spite of the people. Is it any wonder why people are so angry, when the very folks we elect to lead the country turn out to be completely unqualified?
Has technology made our lives easier? Maybe on some levels. But its also made our lives more complicated. We’re inundated with technology — come home from work already stressed and you just want to surf the net a bit, only to find your computer has installed some update that causes it to go haywire. Face it — technology has created a lot of stress and tension in our daily lives. We’re glued to our phones and iPads — we’re losing the art of face-to-face communication and we’re paying a steep price for that loss of human interaction. Social media is another major cause of anger, because in reality, its an unfulfilling way to spend our time.
What Can We Do?
The Mayo Clinic has some great tips on how to handle anger. I’m including them below, but not all the details, so make sure to visit the link to read them in full:
- Think before you speak
- Once you’re calm, express your anger
- Get some exercise
- Take a timeout
- Identify possible solutions
- Stick with ‘I’ statements
- Don’t hold a grudge
- Use humor to release tension
- Practice relaxation skills
- Know when to seek help
See full Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper from the Mayo Clinic.
Ultimately, some causes of stress are beyond our control. But, we’re needlessly subjecting ourselves to stress and negativity that we can control. I wholeheartedly believe we need to take a step back — to tune out and turn off. Avoid news for a while. Don’t read anything about politics. Leave the gadgets turned off. Stop, live, breathe and enjoy! The frenzy of life is causing people to lash out in anger and unless we change, our world will become a much harsher place.
If we make the time to decompress and re-charge our mental energy, we can greatly reduce the causes of our anger — and I truly believe that we need to make this change pronto.
“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” – Henri Nouwen