Wicked Commentary

Anger and Revenge

…And what is really behind it.

All anger is, at its core, a dark and cruel wish for harm to come upon the person who hurt you.

The brilliant French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, taught that aggression results as a psychological defense Jacques Lacan against threats of fragmentation.[1] That is, as infants, we are just a jumble of diverse biological processes over which we have no authority, and our first task in life is to develop a coherent identity which “pulls together” this fragmented confusion. This identity may give the appearance of a unified personality, but it really is just a psychological illusion that hides our essential human vulnerability and weakness. And so, when anything or anyone threatens us with the truth of our essential fragmentation, the quickest, easiest, and most common defense available—to hide the truth of our weakness and to give the illusion that we possess some sort of power—is aggression.

Anger or holding a grudge is so harmful to our health. Health professionals link the following problems linked to anger and grudges:

  • elevated blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • tense muscles
  • heart attack
  • hiatal hernia
  • glaucoma
  • stroke
  • hives
  • asthma
  • ulcers
  • migraines
  • low back pain
  • psoriasis
  • shortened life expectancy

As you can see getting angry over perceived threats or holding grudges is not a good thing for you. And while you may think you are getting back at another person for these perceived insults by another person, you only hurt yourself, not the other person.

Often your anger has nothing to do with the person/s who you think made you angry, but goes back to childhood rage over not getting what you should have gotten or think you should have.

Angry people often blow misunderstandings and minor grievances out of proportion and are more inclined to end relationships with people, even close friends, than work to resolve problems. Other people find their demeanor and mood unpleasant to be around. Consequently, angry people often alienate themselves from others—even their own families.

Before going any further, though, we need to make a clear distinction between anger and feeling hurt or irritated.

We all feel hurt or irritated when someone or something obstructs our needs or desires. Anger, though, is not truly an emotion. In its technical sense, anger refers to the desire to “get even with”—that is, to take revenge on—the cause of the hurt.

Learning to tell someone who you feel hurt over some issue is hard to do. We don’t want to appear vulnerable or weak. Rather we cover that hurt with anger. It is best to learn that telling someone you feel hurt is a much better direction to go and keep your friendships, your marriage and your contact with your children  much healthier. It can preserve ailments brought on by anger. It helps you to grow and be a better person.

Unfortunately many people do not recognize this within themselves and need to seek therapy. Becoming self-aware is difficult but the best thing one can do to become whole.

I believe that a deep sense of kindness and respect for others is one of the best responses to another person’s anger. Listen to the hurts of another individual knowing that anger really has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with the other person and their vulnerable selves and their own sense of self loathing and feelings of weakness and loss of power or control. 

Resources:

The Anger Trap: Free Yourself From the Frustrations That Sabotage Your Life by Les Carter and Frank Minirth. Jossey-Bass, 2004.

Dealing With People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring out the Best in People at Their Worst, 2d. ed., by Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner. McGraw-Hill, 2002.

When Anger Hurts: Quieting the Storm Within, 2d ed., by Matthew McKay. New Harbinger Publications, 2003.

 

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Comments on: "Anger and Revenge" (19)

  1. btw: brilliant ha ha

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Jeff, thank you very much. 🙂

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      • Very well put there. I often interpreted some anger as a sign of insecurity. So this goes a ways to explain some of that..But it seems obvious the damage it can cause the person.

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        • peppermintfarm said:

          Bull, thanks. It is a sign of insecurity and in one’s own convictions too. If you really believe in yourself there is no reason to become angry over almost anything someone says to you.

          It also shows a huge lack of control the person thinks he/she has lost. It’s really sad when you think about it and how much damage people do to themselves over getting angry over nothing in a lot of cases.

          And on top of things to go to so much trouble taking revenge. Can you imagine how much negative time that is spent doing that? I’d rather be happy and not care what someone says to me or about me. i know who I am and I’m satisfied with that. Like you are too.

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  2. Good piece Pepp. It’s not secret I’ve had anger and rage issues for a very long time, but as I’ve gotten older I’m learning to not let the little things piss me off. Maturity I guess (and maybe a greater fear of prison). 🙂

    I can say for sure anger does ware one down mentally and long term will take its toll.

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Hi Dave,

      Yes I know but this was not about anyone particular person, not you, I hope you can see. I just decided to put up a different kind of article for a change of pace. Also to help others to understand about anger and revenge.

      You’ve made great strides with your anger issues and I applaud you for that. Yes maturity is a great one for learning there are other things in life to enjoy and not spend time being angry all the time. It’s a waste of energy and as the article states it is very bad for one’s health.

      Not spending time on anger we can all find our lives to be more peaceful and we liberate ourselves from a lot of grief.

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      • Oh yea I know that Pepp. It was just a good opportunity to bare my soul and maybe give someone else hope, if they fight the issue(s) like me.

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        • peppermintfarm said:

          I figured you did Dave. It is good to share your fight against being angry a lot. Sharing always helps others to see they are not the only one who fights the same demons. And thanks for sharing btw.

          Like

  3. willibeaux said:

    Pepp! Don’t get mad; get even! I believe this fits the article too. What say you?

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      willi, LOL! I guess you could fit it in but it kind of sounds like revenge. Or maybe I’m missing something.

      I know one thing I’ve done in life is when someone tells me I can never do this or that, I decided I would do it to prove myself. It’s a very uplifting form of getting even I guess. But it was never done to get even but to prove myself.

      On one of my jobs I had this young woman, (about 15 years younger) tell me I’d never last at the job we were doing because I was too old. LOL! I didn’t even get angry over such an insult but thought it was funny since she had no idea what I was capable of.

      Not only did I last but I moved up on the ladder within the company after she had long ago quit. Now I didn’t purposely do that to show her. I did what I always did, work hard, keep my nose out of others business and take initiative which gave me plenty of rewards at my job. My Dad always told me “Pepp, you can do anything you want in life” and that stuck with me always, it was a good lesson for a Papa to tell a young girl.

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    • Hey Willy, just so ya know, remember that little mishap back on that Holler that time was an accident ya know. Just remindin’ ya.know.

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  4. Relevant article.
    A+

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  5. Great article. I think I will be able to put it to use….as soon as this election is over. LOL

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    • peppermintfarm said:

      Terry, LOL! I guess a lot of people fall into that category.

      Now the following from the Declaration of Independence I call “justifiable anger”.

      Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

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      • What they were really saying was :
        TRUMP 2016 !!

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      • peppermintfarm said:

        I think that is what our Founders had in mind exactly Terry!

        After all they didn’t make the government their “only” job, but had other jobs they went back to do. Unlike today our Founders all knew what it was like to work a job other than just politics making hand over fist in others’ money. They would have frowned on that and are probably rolling over in their graves from what they see now.

        So what is wrong with having a business man who would be someone who may very well interest them in our dire economic needs?

        TRUMP 2016!!

        Like

  6. I can understand that all to well, since I used to be part of that group getting angry and when I got really angry I get hives on my neck. I been getting help on that for the last 10 years but sometime I still slip mostly when someone yells at me and I have no idea why. Then my anger flares up. I know it’s not healthy because blind rage can lead to something you will regret. Thankfully I never got that angry most of the time I cried or raise my voice . I believe pepper has seen me angry but not at my worst. This was interesting and something I can relate too

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  7. peppermintfarm said:

    Hi Susie,

    I’m so glad that you liked this article and could relate to it. Now I don’t recall seeing you angry but I do remember you feeling hurt and crying. But I have to say I wouldn’t have blamed you that time if you had gotten angry. You sure were pushed enough.

    Ah you get the hives. Yes I agree that is probably anger related. And I think you do really well after your 10 years with someone helping you with it.

    It can be very easy to slip into anger. I know when someone yells at me for some reason that I have no idea about, it is bewildering to say the least. I’ve had that happen to me and I just usually brush that off as “their” problem. Not mine.

    Oh yeah, blind rage can lead us down a really bad road to destruction in so many ways.

    Susie, I’m so glad you found it interesting.

    Luv ya

    Like

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