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WCCO: Are People Angrier Nowadays? And What Can We Do To Manage It?


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Are People Angrier Nowadays? And What Can We Do To Manage It?

 

In public and across social media, anger is boiling over. Arguments are quick to erupt and sometimes turn physical.

 

We wanted to know: Are we angrier nowadays? And what can we do to manage it? Good Question.


From chaos in the clouds with people fighting on airplanes, to brawls at school board meetings over mask mandates, to protesters clashing with counter-protesters in the streets, people are fed up.

Does it seem like people are just angrier nowadays?

 

“I think a little bit, or at least people are expressing their anger more,” said Aaron Sharff, as he awaited his flight at MSP Airport.

 

Sam Franklin doesn’t need the latest viral video to know that anger and the public expression of it are more prevalent.

 

“It’s like a balloon so filled with air that it’s gonna pop,” Franklin said.

 

She also leads a weekly anger management group that is getting more participants.

 

“I think just the increase in the amount of referrals and people seeking anger management has gone up. More people angrier, more people are having a hard time keeping it in and finding healthy ways to manage it.”

 

Is it OK to feel anger?

 

“Yes, you’re always allowed to feel your feelings. I think it’s how you act on them is what’s important,” said Abigail Earnst.

 

Franklin agrees, and said anger gets a bad reputation because for some people, it can lead to harmful behavior.

 

“Anger is really there to let us know that people have harmed us, and to give us a drive and to give us the energy to protect ourselves,” said Franklin, adding that people are feeling harmed recently due to the current events.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a loss of life, jobs and freedoms. At the same time, systemic oppression of people of color has been rising to the surface.

 

“It’s hundreds of years old, and that anger has been building and building and building,” she said. “So what happens is when we hold on to anger, we can’t protect ourselves. It just builds … and it explodes.”

 

Is there a right way to express your anger?

 

“I would say maybe there’s a healthier, more effective way in ways that don’t lead to harm to others,” said Franklin.

 

Removing yourself or avoiding a situation that causes anger is a good step. After that, people must figure out a way to calm down or discharge anger that has already formed. That could be through exercise, deep breaths or channeling it toward positive action.

 

“I think the first thing is to not suppress the anger. It’s to acknowledge when you’re getting angry and kind of look at it, take a step back and saying ‘Is this person or this situation harming me in some way? Is there a way that I can protect myself that doesn’t involve unnecessary harm to others?’” said Franklin.

 

Beyond helping ourselves, Franklin said we can help others recognize their anger in an empathetic and caring way. Be sure to set boundaries as well, especially if that person’s anger is causing you harm.

 

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This Cruelty is the Trump Effect on America (johnpavlovitz.com)

 

This piece from John Pavlovitz a few weeks back directly addresses the topic. He's got a book out called "If God is Love Don't Be a Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans."   He lays much of the blame largely at the feet of one person...

 

He starts by describing three recent incidents that showed up back to back on his timeline - the woman in the grocery store stalking a woman and her daughter, mocking them for wearing masks and deliberately coughing in their faces, "video of hundreds of anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers protesting in front of a hospital in Texas (whose state has 100,000 new COVID cases a day) while inside, more people were taking their last, labored, lonely breaths," and a tweet from Rep. Jim Jordan - with a video of 80,000 fans at a Wisconsin football game - saying that "real America" is over masking and distancing.

 

He notes that these examples of cruelty these days are far from uncommon .

 

And then he writes:

 

In this iteration of our nation, the elemental decency that should define human beings is no longer a universal requirement. The base-level expectations of those we live in community alongside simply do not exist anymore. There is no standard anymore.

 

For so many people here, it is no longer just about a sharing a difference of opinion on an issue or about voicing opposing political ideologies or even about the expression of personal or religious freedom—it is about inflicting as much pain as I can to people who I know nothing about and who have done me no direct wrong.

This is the Trump Effect on America.

 

These open acts of viciousness can be traced directly back to November 8th, 2016.

 

Though certainly not created then or by the man, for the first time in America’s history the latent ugliness in people was revealed and validated and celebrated by a sitting president—it was officially normalized. And what we’re experiencing now; this staggering, insensitive posturing in the face of so many people’s suffering, is the late-ripening fruit of something that has been set into the bedrock of half our nation. It is the malicious entitlement that MAGA was designed to nurture from the beginning.

 

Without that man taking office, I do not believe for one moment that suburban woman is there stalking complete strangers in a produce section.

 

I don’t believe we’d have a defiant, conspiratorial crowd marching around a maxed-out ICU where so many people are at the precipice of death.

 

I don’t believe that one of the most high profile Republicans in the country would be giving a brazen social media middle finger to the 625,000 thousand Americans who have died in less than two years.

 

Without Trump, these things don’t occur. The selfishness and malevolence would still be present, but it would not be so joyously and openly wielded at strangers.

 

 

This Cruelty is the Trump Effect on America (johnpavlovitz.com)

 

 

 

 

I can't say I disagree.

 

Edited by Dan T.
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Learn to let **** go.  Work less.  Build yourself a larger tribe and dedicate yourself to it.  
 

humans aren’t built to replace human connections with social media and work all the time surrounded by people they can’t trust.  We’re not built to live like this.  

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Yea, one of the things that has saved me throughout all of this, and in particular the last six months, is my neighborhood "pod" is awesome right now.  The one family that didn't really fit in left, and two more showed up that are both ideal.  I feel bad because I haven't gone to see my mom or brother in months, but we just have too much fun on the weekends. 

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6 minutes ago, Corcaigh said:

I’m reading this with my third beer in hand from the comfort of a cabin after a day of hiking in the wilderness with my dogs and wondering what is this “anger” of which you speak.

 

Too much reaching for a screens to find whatever social media page will continue to feed our over-stimulation addiction.  Invariably its anger and outrage that we gravitate towards on these devices, and the relevant companies are happy to feed it to us.  Hence growing outrage, growing anger, and we forget how to relate to other humans and with the world around us.

 

Get out, get hiking, just sit and allow yourself to be bored.  We don't do these enough these days.  Kinda hard to be angry surrounded by nature...hit the nail on the head @Corcaigh.

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You got to have time and energy for sex, which it seems that no one I know has that kind of time or energy anymore. Well, except for the guy that got divorced twice and drinks cheap PBR at the local dive strip club. He has plenty of time. 
 

the other day, my wife’s eyes and face were really red. It was 5 p.m.  I asked her if she was ok, I thought she had been crying. She said “no, I’m just really worn out.” She gets paid well, but she is always on call. Never has to go in, but we cannot even sit through a movie without someone contacting her about something. There’s always a text or an email. She has to carry her company phone with her wherever she goes. 
 

thing is she likes her job. She believes in it. She will continue to do it in some fashion. But, she hasn’t had a hobby in over a decade. I finally got her to sit down and play some games on the switch. She was into Animal Crossing last year, but quit around New Years. I got bought her Stardew Valley and got her into it a week or so ago and now she is enjoying it. She likes games that are relaxing and you don’t die.

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I think social media and the addiction to it has led to people getting more angry.  Conversations and topics that might have taken up 30 mins of someone's day 20 years ago now consumes them from the moment they wakeup until they pass out with their phone in their hand.    It is the constant dopamine generated by the interaction-validation dynamic.  The feeling of having a real voice in the matter is so enticing for people.

 

I remember when I first signed up for this board in 2001, I felt sort of like that at the time. I would get a little discouraged on days where there was slower activity because I enjoyed the engagement with everyone whether it was friendly or not.   Social media has made it even worse. 

 

Like imagine for a second  being a Q follower, every second of every day you are likely searching far & wide for validation of the most insane conspiracy theories which paint everyone who disagrees with you as a literal demon.  That can't be good for your mental health.  

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11 hours ago, Fan since a Fetus said:

You got to have time and energy for sex, which it seems that no one I know has that kind of time or energy anymore.

 

I disagree. People just need to make it a priority. That includes putting it on the schedule if need be. 

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12 hours ago, NoCalMike said:

I think social media and the addiction to it has led to people getting more angry.  Conversations and topics that might have taken up 30 mins of someone's day 20 years ago now consumes them from the moment they wakeup until they pass out with their phone in their hand.    It is the constant dopamine generated by the interaction-validation dynamic.  The feeling of having a real voice in the matter is so enticing for people.

 

I remember when I first signed up for this board in 2001, I felt sort of like that at the time. I would get a little discouraged on days where there was slower activity because I enjoyed the engagement with everyone whether it was friendly or not.   Social media has made it even worse. 

 

Like imagine for a second  being a Q follower, every second of every day you are likely searching far & wide for validation of the most insane conspiracy theories which paint everyone who disagrees with you as a literal demon.  That can't be good for your mental health.  

 

To piggyback on top of that...it's the illusion that people get that their opinion matters.  It doesn't.  It might in their social media land, it might make them feel like they're being a part of something that matters but outside of that, no one cares outside of your friends, family and loved ones.  Like you said, the feeling of having a real voice...you might have a real voice on twitter, but the dude you just cut off in traffic doesn't give a **** about that.

 

People are the perception of their emotions and thoughts, they are NOT their emotions and thoughts.  Social media distances us from that.  People don't know how to deal with negativity, they blame everything in life on something else other than the reality they've created for themselves.  Some people are always looking for the negative, no matter what.  Of course they have anger issues, how people view the world is a confession of their character.  

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1 hour ago, Spaceman Spiff said:

Some people are always looking for the negative, no matter what.

 

I'd like to highlight this point, because it's a recent phenomenon of social media.  A popular content provider can post any positive, inspiring, harmless thing - and a group of people will find a way to **** on it.  "There's always someone" (a lot of someones) in the comment section who Debbie Down the hell out of whatever it is.  The "serious trolling", or whatever you want to call it, is out of control...and as much as I ignore it, I still take the bait from time to time.  "Why", is what I end up saying to myself afterwards.  "**** these bammas and live your ****ing life."  

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