Why do we get angry?
“I could scream down the throat of people who try to crowd into the train before people have the chance to get off.”
Reasons for getting angry include:
- facing a threat to ourselves or our loved ones
- being verbally or physically assaulted
- suffering a blow to our self-esteem or our place within a social group
- being interrupted when pursuing a goal
- losing out when money is at stake
- someone going against a principle that we consider important
- being treated unfairly and feeling powerless to change this
- feeling disappointed by someone else or in ourselves
- having our property mistreated.
If we think someone has wronged us on purpose, this can make us angrier. If we’re having a bad day and are in a state of constant tension, we’re more likely to snap when something else goes wrong, even if it’s something that wouldn’t usually bother us.
We may feel angry immediately or only feel angry later when we go back over a situation. Anger can surface years later that has its roots in abuse or neglect long ago. Sometimes anger stays locked inside us for decades because it wasn’t dealt with sufficiently at the time.