Everybody has a moment when they become angry. I know I do and I’ve seen normally mild mannered individuals succumb to the red mist and explode in a flash of rage. Usually this is a rare occurrence.
However, the are some people who seem to spend their entire day in a perpetual state of fury, never resting from their wrath until they close their eyes to sleep, whereupon I’ll wager their dreams also involve stomping around shouting and screaming at every poor figment of their imagination.
I like to refer to people like this as Mr Angry or, in the case of ladies, Ms Angry. Let’s not forget that such illogical behaviour transcends gender.
I have worked with such people in the past. We all know a Mr Angry.
Mr Angry fails to control his temper and has a short fuse and the only reason he seems to be calm is because he is waiting for a random person to speak to him so that he can explode in rage.
Mr Angry is usually a bully who thinks that bellowing at people will somehow force them to behave in the way that Mr Angry wants.
Mr Angry also explodes when something trivial annoys him – like this man:
Personally, I hate being angry because ultimately that is undoubtedly a low point. It is a rare event, dear reader, and when I am possessed by rage, my mind isn’t clear and I am prone to say things that I will later regret. I am sure this is the same for everybody.
When this happens to me, I simply walk away from the target of my wrath as soon as I can. The symptoms can actually be physical – increased heart rate, anxiety, depression and high blood pressure are just some of them.
Some people may argue that it is sometimes beneficial to become angry in order to “let off steam” and while that may be true for the occasional hissy fit, I think that if you are constantly angry it can’t actually be that good for you.
Therefore I avoid it when I can – and if I can’t I simply run away from the source of my anger.
Okay, regular readers may say; “But hang on! You often rant and rave about things on this very blog!”
Yes, that is true, but it is a technique that I have honed, certainly over the past few years. Anger is pointless but the ability to “let off steam” on a blog allows me to vent my spleen in a controlled way without the adverse reactions associated with a full blown Incredible Hulk moment. And I enjoy it because I can inject a little humour into the mix.
This is also what I do at work; I strive to “let off steam” in a fun way, which allows people to laugh at me. It’s entertainment in a way.
People who know me really well consider me to be very laid back and this is the truth of the matter. I rarely genuinely lose control.
Yet I have seen people who thrive on this anger, maybe because they have had some success in the past as a result of it.
Here’s an example.
Many years ago, I was working in an edible oil production plant. We had supplied a process management computer system to the company and we were testing it in real time. I had heard of a man whom I shall refer to as Mr Banner (in a similar way to the Hulk) and that he was prone to moments of rage.
Yet whenever I had met him, he has been as nice as any person I had worked with. One day, we were running a test and something went slightly wrong.
We were all trying to find the problem and it was either a computer glitch or a problem with the equipment itself. We were in a control room above the equipment and we had to wear all the safety gear including hard hats and goggles to satisfy the Health and Safety police.
I looked at the computer screen and after about five minutes of watching what was going wrong, I turned to the guys in the room and told them that I thought I knew what the problem was. We had a test system downstairs and I knew that I could confirm my hypothesis on that machine and actually fix the issue. I said, “Give me ten minutes.”
Now everybody in the room seemed to accept this – apart from Mr Banner. He glared at me and then he glared at each of the other guys in the room in turn. Then, in a true Hulk moment, he pulled off his hard hat and screamed:
He walked to his hat, picked it up and I could see his inner struggle. I expected him to calm down but he didn’t! Instead, he picked it up again and hurled it across the room at the wall. I was expecting him to turn green but instead his face darkened to a weird crimson colour.
That was my cue.
I turned to the guy next to me who was also goggling in shock and said “I’m off to the test system!”
I left the room and went downstairs shaking my head in disbelief and half expecting Mr Banner to follow me. There was no way I was going to tolerate that kind of behaviour.
Thankfully, I was not followed.
Twenty minutes later, I had found the problem and returned to the control room with the fix. The rest of the day was fine and by then Mr Banner had returned to his normal calm self. I received no words of thanks and he behaved as if the episode had not happened.
What scares me about such behaviour is that it is unwarranted and also the perpetrator thinks that his antics will force people to bend to his will.
However, what makes me laugh about Mr Angry is the irrationality of it all and, sometimes, I have to walk away when I see Mr Angry in full flow, in case I burst out laughing and enrage him further.
Like in this video:
My advice to Mr and Ms Angry is to take a deep breath and walk away. That’s what I do – it works for me – unless Piers Morgan is on the TV.