As I was heading home after work last week, I witnessed an incident that left me furious and agitated. I was waiting for a taxi at the traffic junction when a city bus stopped in front of me. I was surprised, but then I saw an old man alighting from the bus. He had barely stepped out when the driver took off leaving the old man terrified. From the corner of my eye, I could see the driver wanted to overtake another bus. My blood boiled at the apathy of the bus driver as I felt sad for the old man. I was angry. But there was little I could do for him. After a long wait for the taxi meandering through the choking city traffic, I finally reached home. The moment I walked into the house, my sister asked me why I was late. I yelled at her on top of my voice, bringing the roof down. Puzzled at my reaction, she seemed to wonder what she had asked to incur such wrath. I realised I was ticked off by an absolutely innocent question. I just couldn’t help it. But why was I so angry? Where did this anger stem from? I contemplated for days and began investigating this red-eyed monster.
Generally, anger is a spike in temper, resultant of a person feeling that their personal space–it could be ideas, choices, physical space, individuality or self-respect–is threatened. Sometimes, it can also stem from a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.
According to the Oxford dictionary, anger is defined as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. In psychological terms, anger is an emotion that ranges from irritation to rage. There are many triggers for anger outbursts. While some just touch a nerve, some are deliberate. Every person has unique triggers. While being ignored and standing at the receiving end of bad behaviour and unfairness seem to be the most common, some of us also react aggressively to violation of personal boundaries (which are unique to every individual) or even something like hike in prices. Many of us can’t take defeat in our stride and that triggers an angry reaction as well.
Anger is described as a protective measure to cover fear, hurt or sadness. It is a warning sign that something is not as it should be.