Does venting help with anger management?
Painting by Thai artist Tang Chang at the National Gallery, Singapore. The painting was painted in remembrance of the brutal police oppression in Thailand in 1973.
Psychologist Brad Bushman designed an experiment to make people angry. He found that venting doesn’t extinguish the flame of anger, it feeds it. When we vent our anger we put 😠a lead foot on the gas pedal of the go system, attacking the target who enraged us.
Instead, focusing on the victim activates what psychologists call empathetic anger – the desire to right wrongs done unto others.
Research demonstrates that when we are angry at others, we aim for retaliation or revenge.
But when we’re angry for others, we seek out injustice and a better system. We don’t just want to punish; we want to help.
Next time when someone makes you angry, don’t think about the countless times s/he has disrepected you or disregard your feelings. That’s a sure way of exploding. Instead, think about why this person is a victim of his or her circumstances/ stress. Focus on what can be done.
Adam Grant concludes his chapter on those who championed women suffrage and minority rights that “becoming original is not the easiest path in the pursuit of happiness, but it leaves us perfectly poised for the happiness of pursuit.
“Originals – how non conformists move the world” by Adam Grant
Recently I saw a young man explode because his dish was accidentally cleared by an old cleaner. It was obvious that it was the old man’s first few days at work and he made a mistake. Instead of confronting the young man to give the guy a break, I slipped money for him to buy another plate. Berating him for showing his temper over something so insignificant and cheap like a $4 plate of rice will only embarrass him and not change the world. Surprisingly he accepted the money. Perhaps he’s under dire circumstances as well.
What would you do? Something similar happened recently and someone chose to take a video for the whole world to see.