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Anger and the Android by Shannon Munford

Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind. –Robert Ingersoll

A man makes inferiors his superiors by heat; self- control is the rule. Anger is an uncontrollable feeling that betrays what you are when you are not yourself. Anger is that powerful internal force that blows out the light of reason. Know this to be the enemy: it is anger, born of desire. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I never tell my clients to stop being angry. It is an impossible task. You could not do it if you tried. To not be angry is to not be human. Anger is a normal human emotion and it can be very useful when it serves us, not when we serve it.

Without embarrassment, I can proclaim that I am a genuine “Trekkie.” A Trekkie is a fan of the long running science- fiction series Star Trek. One of my favorite characters on the show is Data. Data is an android, a mechanical human like creation who has obtained self- awareness. Despite Data’s accelerated intelligence and sensational strength, he lacks emotions. Throughout the series Data embarks on a quest to be human- to love, to laugh, to cry and to feel anger. I’ve counseled a lot of people and it seems many of us are trying to become more robotic and less human. I’m afraid we have risen a generation of Data’s, men and women void of emotion, filled with apathy. We are unable to cry and afraid to laugh. It is as if our emotional circuitry has been fried. We are often left with one functioning base impulse, the emotion of anger. Anger is one gift of our humanity, but like all gifts we have the choice to abuse it our use it for the greater good.

Before CD’s, MP3’s and illegal down loads, music was delivered to us on vinyl records. Records split the songs on two sides, as one side was not enough to hold all the songs. The singer or musician often recorded divergent styles of music on each side to portray their versatility of mood and talent.

Like and record, anger has two sides. There are two different ways anger echoes in our relationships. Side one wields songs of rage and violence: the abusing husband or boyfriend who blackens the eye of his significant other or the fatalistic women who keys their mates car and boils his pet rabbit in a fit of passion. This type of anger is often demonstrated as outward behaviors. It usually creates a clear victim/perpetrator dynamic. Cursing someone out, punching a whole in the wall, destroying someone’s reputation through lies and rumors can all be found on side one.

The flip side of anger or side two is a song of internal pain and resentment. Its silent scream is most likely the result of a deep emotional wound, the death of a loved one, abandonment, rejection, repeated disappointments and abuse. This type of anger can be just as deadly but in this instance the victim and perpetrator are one in the same, you. Unlike the individual who disseminates his anger throughout society, people who internalize their anger hold on to their pain. Eventually it eats them alive as if it were an acidic poison or violent infection. Internalized anger is often manifested in behaviors such as cutting, (a practice of skin mutilation performed by the severely depressed) addiction, and suicide. Make an effort to identify for yourself what type of anger resides in you and possibly the people around you.


Anger Management classes focus on the consequences of anger while teaching techniques to avoid violence. Effective communication, self-awareness and stress management are productive tools for preventing anger outbursts

About the Author

Shannon Munford M.A is the owner of Daybreak Counseling Service an anger management education center in Los Angeles, California. http://www.daybreakservices.com http://angerarchive.blogspot.com
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