What makes you angry? The injustices of the world? The jerk who stole your parking space? The spouse who won’t get off the couch? Whatever brings out the ire, it’s safe to say that you’re not the only one who gets a little angry from time to time. As common of an emotion as anger is, though, it is certainly very misunderstood. Read on for some of the most surprising facts about anger.
1. Your Anger Can Be Caused by the Strangest Things.
Many people like to describe their anger as something that happens to them; the tailgater and the line-cutters caused their outburst, not their reaction to other people’s rude behavior. But the truth is often way more complicated than that. Traumatic events can cause people to develop a short fuse. But even the most patient people in the world, when placed in uncomfortable circumstances, can be prone to angry outbursts. Hunger, hot weather, aches and pains, dehydration, and even being left-handed, can increase your chances of getting angry.
2. Anger Is Totally, Completely Normal — To a Point.
Anger is one of the most basic human emotions. Taken at face value, anger is merely a response to abnormal or dangerous situations, and there’s really nothing good or bad about it. What makes it good or bad, however, is how you respond to anger.
3. “Letting It Out” Isn’t Such a Great Strategy.
It’s obviously better to punch a pillow over another person, and will probably spare your loved ones’ feelings if you vent in the shower. But is it really doing you any good? Well, probably not. In fact, it can actually make your anger worse, because it can, “foster aggression by giving people permission to relax their self-control.”
4. Gender Plays a Huge Role.
It’s no stretch to say that, at least in Western culture, anger is a masculine emotion. And, as a result, boys and girls are are taught different things when it comes to managing their anger. Boys are socialized to be more aggressive, and girls, more passive. As adults, men are more likely to express their anger physically and impulsively; women, on the other hand, tend to have a harder time expressing their anger, and tend to be resentful and angrier for longer than men. In the end, though, neither of these coping mechanisms are healthy ways to deal with anger.
5. Anger Affects Your Health.
People with a short fuse, according to several scientific studies, can increase your likelihood of suffering from heart disease and strokes.