Admit It, You Secretly Like Getting Angry
There's a perverse pleasure that comes from having a good old dummy spit!
If you're a shouter or a stamper, a walker-offer or a sulker, you will understand this theory -- being angry can make you feel good.
You see, according to a new feature in Psychology Today, many of us feel a perverse pleasure when we get angry, because it helps us feel a bit, well, powerful.
READ MORE: How To Talk About Mental Health
"Despite the fact that anger rarely solves anything and frequently makes matters worse between you and the person or situation that incited it, in the moment it still affords you considerable gratification," author Leon Seltzer wrote. "However unconsciously, self-servingly resorting to anger offers you the “reward” of both comfort and consolation. And it labels the other as perpetrator-- and you as victim."
Oh yeah, and boy can that feel good.
Anger is often considered one of our basic emotions, along with happiness, sadness, anxiety, and disgust. Researchers say that we experience these emotions because they served a protective evolutionary purpose. In particular, anger is related to the “fight, flight, or freeze” response of the nervous system, preparing us to fight.
READ MORE: How The Brain Stops Us From Taking Revenge
Not that it's all good -- there are, of course, obvious bad sides to feeling that anger. It can harm our relationships and, studies show, hurt our bodies in the long term by releasing a flood of cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, preparing us to fight. Consequently, our muscles tense, our heart rate increases, and our blood pressure rises. And long term anger issues can result in damage to mental health, work performance, judgement and our legal standing.
But back to the good stuff. According to Seltzer, all anger is a reaction to what feels threatening or unfair to you.
In such instances, you feel unjustifiably attacked, taken advantage of, betrayed, violated, or powerless. And your anger, essentially retaliatory in nature, agreeably serves the function of restoring to you a sense of righteousness and control, even dignity and respect."
You also get a surge of that adrenaline, so you get all fired up with your indignation.
It's, like, SO gratifying, right?
And as for the victim thing. You see, by definition, victims are always innocent, so whether directly or indirectly, in getting angry you’re getting back at whoever is doing you wrong by bolstering your sense of power. It's almost superhuman. And that's pretty intoxicating.
Feature image: Marvel