Emerging Tech

What's with all the angry people on the web?

Why are people so hateful in web forums? It may have something to do with their genetic make-up.

Those of us who blog know that we are sitting ducks for angry outbursts from anonymous readers. Although sometimes bloggers deserve angry feedback, many times the reactions we get are way out of proportion to the issue.

Although I recommend blogging for IT pros as a way to raise their professional profile, I also caution them that it requires thick skin to withstand the vitriol and the insults. While most people are sensible and nice, there are those few who will tell you your face is ugly or sling verbal assaults at your character because there is a typo in your blog.

So what's going on here?

First, people who would not normally confront anyone out of fear of getting their face rearranged, find that the freedom of anonymity and cyberspace releases their inner jackass. Behind the safety of their keyboards they become ten feet tall and bullet-proof.

Second, unfortunately, anger releases an adrenaline and dopamine rush. And, according to research, that combination can be addictive to some people. Here are findings from recent research I found on the Neurological Correlates web site:

Korean researchers combined a psychological test for trait anger with a genetic analysis of their dopamine receptor genes.

If a dopamine receptor gene has extra pieces of DNA in it, then the dopamine receptor protein (encoded by the gene) may be misshapen or may not be produced in sufficient quantity - and it may take more dopamine to actually bind to the receptor to get the synapse to fire in the neuron. For instance, the "7-repeat allele" - a dopamine receptor with seven extra pieces of DNA - is associated with ADHD (see the iHOP (Information Hyperlinked Over Proteins) database entry for DrD4 or the Wikipedia dopamine receptor genes entry, and scroll down for some references).

So, the researchers found, in their population, people who weren't anger-holics and who were the live-and-let-live types had the dopamine receptor gene with few extra pieces of DNA (the "2-repeat allele"). The people who scored high on a trait-anger test had a higher number of DNA repeats (the "4-repeat allele").

So, I guess my question is are there more of these deformed-gene people running around or has the web just increased the ability to get a "fix"?

If you are the type who likes to insult and ridicule via online forums, even if you have genetic reasons to do so, here are a couple of things to do to perhaps forestall your response:

Take a moment before you touch the keyboard and ask yourself:

  • Will what I'm about to say solve the problem I'm having with this person or is it just satisfying my need to lash out?
  • Is what I'm about to type a productive comment or am I just feeding my desire to call someone an idiot and, indirectly, make myself feel superior?
  • Am I addressing the right person about this problem? For example, if an ad feed is messing up a page, the blogger has nothing to do with it. If the website is having a problem, the blogger has nothing to do with it. If there is a typo, there is a way to point it out without calling the blogger's character into question.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

134 comments
premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

Most of the anger, particularly from IT people trapped in the cross fire between management and business, comes from three management problems: 1) Management is incompetent; 2) Management is crazy; 3) Management lies.

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

without much of a chance to come out. Two factors: 1) The Internet has now become an outlet for all sorts of self-expression and anger is just one of them; 2) These days there's a lot more to be angry about -- I am reminded of James Thurber's aphorism: "The world is full of so many things, we should all be happy as kings -- and you know how happy kings are these days."

henryw1957
henryw1957

I'm not so sure I'm willing to jump on the DNA bandwagon as an excuse/reason for internet anger. It was touch upon early in this thread, but I think that today's media plays a huge part in how society has changed. Yes, I know (as previously stated) that angry people have always existed, but you have to admit that, as a whole, today's society (at least from an American's limited global view) is considerably more angry than in the past. Or maybe just more willing to express that anger. But can you blame them? Look at what they watch on TV! How many of these so called "reality" shows are entirely based on conflict, conflict that eventually turns to angry conflict? If a show doesn't have a good mixture of backstabbing, yelling, evildoing (is that a word?), name calling, lying, cheating and the obligatory swearing, then it generally doesn't stick around or spawn (good term) spin-offs (Housewives of Intercourse, PA). Yeah, I know there are a few that don't contain this stuff, but there are plenty more that do than don't. How about the news? They go to great lengths to cover the worst of the worst but, if you'll notice, they seldom will do follow-ups to stories unless, of course, there's more dirt to be uncovered, and they always edit any footage or recordings for maximum effect. Should we talk video games? Really...?!?! OK, Yeah, lets provide our children with games where you can kill things so violently that blood and guts splatter on the screen. No, wait! Lets give 'em one where they recklessly drive around killing the street dregs of our society (ok, maybe that one ain't so bad...kidding!). See where I'm heading? Maybe it does have something to do with DNA but if it does, then it's due to a rapid genetic mutation due to external stimuli. In addition to all that, I firmly believe that the legal system of this country, while not directly responsible with the rise in anger, certainly sends the message that it's worse for you to be caught with a joint than to cyber-bully someone to suicide. People are exposed to so much anger that it becomes their normal way of life. Case-in-point, I was recently walking into a convenience store where a number of youths were congregating around the door. They gave me "The Eye" from the time I drove up until I walked to the door. One individual stood in the doorway. I made eye contact with him so there was no mistaking my intent to enter the store yet, for whatever reason, he decided not to move. Ok... so I put my arm up to open the door and it just so happened that his chest was in the way. Now don't go thinking I was angry because I wasn't. I'm just not going to let someone stare me down with the same disdain, or lack of respect, that this individual did. Think about it. Outside of one or two individuals who commented early in this thread, I think that the crowd is fairly intelligent. Yet even here, the remarks turned a bit ugly. Certainly not to the extent of name calling or requiring the $@#&! characters or any such thing, but they certainly got Snarky (you Mensa guys know who I'm talking about...)! Maybe we could all learn a lesson from the Japanese? Remember seeing the (one or two) videos after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of people patiently standing in seemingly endless lines, waiting for whatever was at the end of those lines? Now, compare that to the (multitude of) videos we watched (endlessly) of people looting and screaming in New Orleans (and I won't even mention that some of those people were police - oops...). Did you see any difference? Hmm, maybe they have a different DNA structure. One that prevents them from enjoying the feeling of anger...

total_loss
total_loss

I didn't used to be angry, I used to be a nice guy. In some ways I still am, but society being what is has changed that. I don't like people in general anyway, but more and more people are coming, most with little crying screaming brats. People are destroying the environment, the government wants to control you, they want your tax money to waste as they see fit. Religious zealots are trying their best to control you and government to their agenda. Cameras are everywhere, recording your every move, you have no privacy. In short. you ARE owned. But other than that, things are just peachy-keen. That's why I'm angry.

Old Timer 8080
Old Timer 8080

Since there are MANY non native English speakers/readers here, that makes it imperative that professionals follow the rules of professional journalism..... You ARE a professional, right? ( an example of a troll lead in ) On the Trolling issue: How about an article by a professional about what goes on at REAL trolling sites? You know, like trollvalhalla dot com? People there could cut the majority of newbies who THINK they can troll into little pieces and spit them out with their tails between their legs.... ( the other bookmarked sites are now defunct, I guess an FBI visit scared them off ) I know the history of Trollvalhalla. Details upon request....

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

Anger as a genetic component makes sense because there is an evolutionary advantage to being angry: It renders power and levels the playing field. A bear could easily win a fight with a dog, but angry dogs have been known to drive off bears. If you don't believe this, just consider: Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. There's no winning against that sort of thing.

l_e_cox
l_e_cox

"My genes made me do it!" Is that a responsible attitude? There's a lot of pressure on us to push the cause for all our attitudes and behaviors off on the physical universe. This philosophy doesn't work because it's too irresponsible. "Flaming" is one of those irresponsible habits that people do to others. And it's much easier to do on the internet. It can be used as an attempt to invalidate a point that comes too close to the truth. We call that a "missed withhold." Reactive and irresponsible behavior is not good for human relations. But there's no excuse any more to plead ignorance on the subject. Search a little and you can find at least one workable theory about it and how to handle it in yourself and others. It's time for us to take more responsibility not only for how we handle ourselves when we communicate but in how we handle the other guy. The technology and the understanding to go with it are there to be learned.

tarose.trevor
tarose.trevor

I think it all starts with frustration, and not just on the web, but in life in general... a lot of the people in the world feel powerless to change their lives, because so many of the things they need to affect that change cost money that they dont have, and no one will give it to them, and they just struggle to live week to week... people who earn a good income in life dont know what it feels like to be stuck minute after minute, day after day, week, month, year, decade... and thats just people getting stuck FINANCIALLY... what about all the other ways people can get stuck? ...through a belief system they hold that they dont realize is causing them trouble, through a culture they are a member of which will not LET them escape (and in some cases will literally kill them if they attempt it)... so when you see someone in life or on the web who appears hateful, here is my advice: 1 - until proven otherwise, give them the benefit of the doubt that it is all coming out of frustration, and without trying to teach them anything, listen to them, ask them questions, and when you are tempted to think you have them all summed up, dont stop there... ask them MORE questions, and ask them every kind of question you can imagine about what they believe & why they believe it without trying to give them advice... over time, you will get better at it, and it wont take you so long to get to the heart of the matter, but there will always be new ones that come up which are still very difficult to get to the root cause... and anyway, i think you will find that in many cases, all of it comes back to some level of frustration. To give you an extreme example, in australia we have had a debate about the arrival of people by boat seeking refugee status, and it has come out of a lot of things which on the surface appear quite racist... and i like many others get very upset & react emotively when i hear some of the things that come out of people's mouths, because my own mother arrived here by boat from Latvia in (i think) 1950 or thereabouts, and i think the only reason they didnt treat her as badly is because at least she is white... so yes there are some elements of the debate that perhaps are racist... but on the other hand, i can also look at the debate like this: australia has a limited supply of water & a good lifestyle, and if we take in people who do not understand the culture & the rules here, they pose a risk of reducing that lifestyle for others... for example, the union movement fought long & hard for decent wages & working conditions, so when someone who is used to being abused for money overseas comes here & is willing to undergo the same treatment, they lower the bar for everyone, and the less scrupulous employers out there who are willing to exploit this now think they are onto a good thing, which means there is less money circulating in the economy in wages, and people have to compete against a domestic market that is divided between fair & unfair rates of pay. So why shouldnt people be upset about that? ...the problem though, is that they are neither wise & intelligent (no offence) nor articulate enough to recognise & state this issue in the manner i have just done... now, am i deluded enough to think that this (and similar justifiable concerns) is the ONLY reason and that racism doesnt come into it? ...of course not... i have been at a BBQ with my sisters friends, while dating an Iranian girl, and one of my sisters friends at the BBQ casually stated his opinion that we should nuke the middle east into glass... but generally speaking, i think even these more extreme views of people would not be there if some simpler fear or frustration hadnt first gotten out of control either in the person themselves, or in their parents/family/society from which they inherited it... and sometimes its all gone way too far, and no one can figure out what the root cause is anymore. The biggest problem in the world, is that people dont tend to think this deeply about problems, and so they never get diagnosed for what they really are, and then solved... i have spent years thinking about a lot of things, and i hope to anyone reading this in full that it shows ;-)

itadmin
itadmin

to really flame someone. It's often clear their comments are based on stupidity and there are just too many stupid people on this planet for me to take care of. So, I yawn at their invective and go on. Now on the road is a completely different matter. I've traded in my Uzi for an AK47 as I've found the Uzi just doesn't have the range to deal with all these queue jumpers. It's surprising how fast they can get out of range when the first bullets hit home. And there's nothing like automatic rifle fire to teach a psychopathic truckie how to comport himself publicwise.

tim.stephens
tim.stephens

The Net makes you invisible so you can be something that in reality your not. My belief is that people who use extreme language and insults are frustrated bullies. Too gutless in the real world to be nasty and so live out their fantasty of being a tough guy/gal online. They are just sad individuals.

amithist
amithist

If no one responds to the posts that this type of person posts then they are not getting the attention they want. Like all bullies they are just cowards. As I told me niece the other day when she got upset over a forum response. Flaming Flamers for their Flame is rather inflammatory. Don't encourage them.

stevew
stevew

People have not changed. It has merely become more convenient to "shoot first, think second" and then change sides if necessary. The only difference between the "old days" and now is the vitriolist has no skin in the game. At least in a duel, they finished the aggressions mano-a-mano.

dhobert
dhobert

Consider that we have become a culture which rewards anger. Whether the source is our screaming four-year old because we won't but that toy or this cereal ( and then give in just to have peace) or the foul-mouthed screaming teenager or adult outside on the sidewalk whose issue is unintelligible because of their rage, we have become adept at not confronting anger and thereby acquiescing in its spread. In some 'primitive cultures' one who cannot control his/her anger is taken to a hut at the edge of the community and is not permitted to rejoin it until one has resumed behaviour befitting a human--a time out of much greater proportions than we are prepared to impose or legally able to consider imposing. In Japan (where I had the pleasure to live) a frequently angry person is taken to a Shinto priest for an exorcism of a mushi (a bug or worm) believed to live in their gut which causes their angry outbursts. The power of belief (and the strong social controls to which almost everyone in Japan bows) bring the person's behaviour back under control. We do not have those strictures in our 'culture' any longer. Other commentors are right in their assessment: we tolerate behaviour and conduct from officials, celebrities, strangers, co-workers and family which should be censoured. It begs a question. Rather than giving up or giving in, what reward does the angry person expect to reap from the behaviour and are we prepared to prevent them from having it? If the reward they seek (recognition, fear, intimidation, getting their way...) is withheld, might they seek another means to get what they want and adjust their actions? For the purposes of this discussion, would a poster take a more civil tone if they knew their posts would be removed when they were judged not merely inappropriate, but judged as rude and abusive? If we want civility we must practice as well as insist upon civility.

TecEvo
TecEvo

A lot of comedians bring this one up because it's something people can relate to. You'll notice a huge difference between someone who has bumped into you while walking, and someone who has cut you off while driving. Almost invariably, both people will apologize for bumping into the other. Conversely, both people involved in a near miss traffic incident will blame the other and wish death upon their descendants. The internet is just like a highway, and our computers are just like cars with limo tint.

sboverie
sboverie

The article had a bit of speculation about dopamine receptors and extra DNA that causes people to be a jackass as well as rage-aholics. I suppose that thinking someone is just an angry mutant helps the writer to protect themselves from irrational responses. I view blogs like this as a discussion; a discussion can talk about different viewpoints respectfully as long as people feel safe to say their minds. It breaks down when someone does an ad hominem attack based on something minor like transposing two letters in a word. There are people that I will read but will not respond to their comments; mostly because I am not interested in changing their minds about a subject and I am not changing my mind to make them happy. The discussions that are thoughtful and respectful tend to share other viewpoints well. The discussions where emotions dominate tend to be interesting but also disappointing in talking about any real solutions or defining a problem.

sharpear
sharpear

I don't think it's really that much of an anger issue. Words are words. They have no effect or emotion on anyone except the way you read them. If I where to read to you the same things I write, people would be amazed that it was nothing as they actually thought I said it, but it's something I have worked over time to understand how people will read and take my comments. I do sometimes intentionally do it. Sometimes I am just too lazy to re-word things or not enough time to care, and although I do point out typos, its never actually in a bad manner, and I can never find my own mistakes. I just like things to be clean and nice looking most the time, and spend plenty of time to proof read. I do agree that most people sit behind the computer as a shield, but those are always the fun ones, because once you take that away, their attitude changes instantly once they realized you pin pointed them out and become very nervous and try to be best friends. I just like proving people wrong, yet I hate to be wrong myself, which I am sure a lot are in this same category that cause arguments over a forum topic like it's something special. People also look at my writing as Cocky, but I review a lot of facts before typing, and very rarely do I open my mouth to talk to people in person, because I can't edit and reword, plus it has real life emotion and body language to give the full effect. After reading some of the posts JamesRL explains a lot of my thoughts on the matter very well.

rondec
rondec

This discussion was going on in the pre-internet days half a century ago. Then it was about drivers in their cars and how, when many people start their engines their attitudes and behavior drop to that of a frightened and frustrated child.

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

Thank you Toni. Yet something else passed genetically -- like inherited aptitudes (Thanks, Johnson O'Connor!), alcholism (Thanks, Dr. James Milam), predisposition to mental illness (thanks... oh, never mind!) and Executive Ability (thanks, fun guys at Toronto University!). If it's DNA, it was there already. The Internet just gave it an opportunity to come out! come out! They're back! So now what we have to do is to be able to screen for it. That way, we can set the child on the path to become either a super soldier, venting angry aggression in our fabricated wasteful wars or be elected to the highest offices in the land and become a Congressman or President. It also works for CEOs and Chairman, if the VAP (Very Angry Person) has a business bent, to tromp the competition and stamp the life out of competing corporations. Toni, you get the most useful blog entry of the week! (I hope that doesn't make you angry!)

jsaubert
jsaubert

"The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization." ~ Sigmund Freud Ah the Internet! It always strikes me as funny when we as a society like to treat the internet like it's some how removed from reality. Like it's this little bubble where people's big bad angry selves come out to play. Although it does showcase a "silent majority" sort of situation. The majority of folks online and off are watchers, absorbers, and consumers of things whereas a smaller percentage are more active. The more passionate about something a person is more they interact, the more they speak out (or in this case type out), the more they care what others think, the more they are likely to "fight" for it. On the internet you're potentially dealing with vast number of people more than you would ever come into contact with on a daily basis. The silent majority remains silent, therefor there are limited ways of judging it's size, the percentage of the internet's population that is the "active" portion is nearly the same as with a smaller group ... it's just that there are now a grater number of them plus they tend to gather so it only seems like there is a mass of angry people on forums. To a ceratin extent there in fact ARE a mass of angry people on forums, the mass of non-angry people is far larger but mostly goes unnoticed. During a hour car trip a driver could pass 1000s of vehicles on a highway and once the trip is over they are unlikely to remember the description of any given one unless it was in an accident or was extremely unusual. It's the totaled pink truck with orange stripes that catches our attention over the 50 grey mini-vans. High amounts of "Anger" could be a genetic trait but I feel it's more of an acquired state of mind that brings that trait to the foreground.

jthomson
jthomson

So what's the best response to an angry poster? --Cite the research that it's in their DNA and they need to work harder to control themselves? --Point out that if they had a valid point they wouldn't have to shout and make ad hominem attacks? --Ask if that's how their mother raised them? I'm actually serious here - how can the angry posters be toned down? And I do realize that the responses have to be gentle, given that they are already enjoying an adrenaline and dopamine rush.

JamesWHudson
JamesWHudson

People do this because you can't see them face to face!

dogknees
dogknees

Amongst ourselves, my friends and I regularly have what you might call "robust discussions" or more simply, arguments. It is, however, a given that no matter what is said, it will never result in a physical response. It's just not acceptable to escalate the level of aggression in this way. So, from my point of view, I can say anything and not expect a physical response. That's a pretty bold statement, but it is what I believe and how I act. To my way of thinking this is just a given. They are only words. Just vibrations in the air. If you ask a psychologist they will tell you it's your choice how you respond to what is said and done around you. You are always responsible for your actions, including the escalation of the level of aggression that some appear to be saying is normal and acceptable.

kevsan
kevsan

Another way to look at is why people aren't angry. Compare a person with high anger against one with the more healthy moderate anger ( A normal human emotion) and you will find in 99% of cases that the more placid person has either no issues in life or has dealt with them effectively. Anger is a normal human behavior and when one does not have the tools to deal with the issue that creates the anger then that anger becomes more acute. The best way to deal with anger is to divert it into something productive that will give one that adrenaline and dopamine rush. So before lashing out at someone's opinion go out to your garden and pull out a few weeds, they deserve your wrath. Go for a walk, chase a cow or whatever physical task you can conjure up then come back and write your reply. Chances are you won't even bother. Same applies to dealing with other people's anger. The armed forces for centuries have had to deal with anger issues with troops. The solution was always take them for a 5 mile run.

ENetArch
ENetArch

This was originally posted to: Is Anger Management BS? By Steve Tobak | March 10, 2010 http://www.bnet.com/blog/ceo/is-anger-management-bs/4069 The Anotomy of Anger Many men are taught to not show their emotions, let alone cry .. so when the damn holding "Lake Anger" bursts, no one has any training on how to deal with it. Both internally and externally. We have no cooping mechanisms. I've been studying this in many different circles as of late. For those interested, I have written a protocol on dealing with individuals RAGING! And I have studied my own anger, which may be atypical, and those I work with, in personal situations, in social groups - like MKP.org, and as part of my work as a Facilitator. So, here are some findings that may prove helpful. First, Steve, has identified two key factors concerning RAGE: - ?episodes of aggression against people or property out of proportion to any provocation.? - "... it seems that people aren?t getting what they need." I'll get to these points in a minute. First, let's start with the man raging. He's just come out of a meeting that didn't go the way he expected and is exploding. His whole concept of how things were / are supposed to happen has been shattered and he's left facing a shattered reality. (what ever that means to that person at the moment.) Outside him everyone immediately reacts .. according to their level of Introverted or Extroverted -ness. Everyone seeks safety in many different ways, and the best / easiest way to build safety is to give this man space .. Let their rage burn out and let them cry as long as they are not hurting people. The next step is understanding .. who here hasn't hit upset, anger, pissed off, and/or rage. If you claim that you've never hit these emotions, then you're lying to yourself and everyone else around you. First off, who here has built a plan that didn't go the way they wanted .. guess what, you probably got upset. So, if you can get angry, why can't these people. The only difference is is how it's being expressed. So now look at yourself and the messages you received about being angry and how you were allowed to express it as you grew up? Did your parents frown on it? Does society frown on it? Were you told to keep your anger in? Were you told not to cry? Did you learn that if you expressed emotional upset that people took advantage of it? The list goes on. What does it mean to other people when you get angry and throw a tantrum? Now let's look at Steves first point: - ?episodes of aggression against people or property out of proportion to any provocation.? I called it "Lake Anger" and it's built upon on years of messages and beliefs telling you that expressing emotion is bad. Eventually something shakes the base, rattles it, cracks it, and just like all damns the water behind them comes crashing through, raging out of control until the levels settle. We as a society fear that type of anger. There is a mechanism in most damns called "leeway". It allows water to spill over the damn. The problem is that most people don't know it exists, don't use it, and fear using it. They fear what they have not experienced. The idea of actually, on purpose, getting angry to see how the act, react, feel, express themselves, and more is scary. Will I hurt someone, or myself? I'll look silly? I'll scare my friends! the list goes on of reasons why not to sue the Leeway. But what if you didn't need Lake Anger anymore? While Lake Anger can be cleared by destroying the damn, it can also be cleared through the Leeway. And eventually the damn that created Lake Anger isn't needed anymore. The problem though is getting through all the messages we were taught as children about how anger was or was not to be expressed. In order take down the damn for Lake Anger you have to be willing to look at Steve's 2nd point: - "... it seems that people aren?t getting what they need." Anger is created when a plan doesn't go the way we wanted. Think about this as a project manager, sales rep, or child. How many times have you had to identify the risks, unknowns, dependencies, and made assumptions that upset you. I now look at every incident that angers me as part of a project plan .. if I'm getting upset that something isn't going to work out the way I expect it to, well then I better include that into my project plan and then build a contingency plan for it. Let's though go back to watching children. Who hasn't had a little one that's wanted a toy, candy, or other interesting thing in the story while shopping, and had to tell them "NO!" And then they get upset, and we do WHAT??? Tell them to stop crying or we'll give them a reason to cry ... hate to say this, we already did. We told them that what they wanted at that time they can't have. And the body's natural response is to cry about it. It is the body's way of letting go of the emotional need to HAVE, WANT, MISS, or NEED SOMETHING. Have you lost a loved one and cried about it? This is the same reaction. It is the process of "Grieving": Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. if you watch children that WANT something, you'll see them go through the same process .. NO, I want it ... denial. Fits of Anger and tantrums when they can't have it. Bargaining with the adults to have it, "I'll keep my room clean for a week if I can have it!!!" Depression and pouting when they can't have it. And finally acceptance when the need, want, or desire has waned. However, there is one need, want and desire that doesn't wane .. and that's for the need to feel cared, loved, accepted, and supported. As teenagers trying to build self identities the problem becomes exacerbated due to parents need to control, so when the child begins exploring personal preferences, the parent reigns them in. The child reacts by acting out. What this interaction seems to indicate is how the division between parents and children appears - fear of losing the child by the parent causes the parent to withhold the expression of Love, Care, Concern and Support, while creating unnecessary childhood wounds. The wound for feeling a lack of care, concern, love, support and acceptance can also appear if a parent is missing from the relationship either physically or emotionally. And it appears through various other means as well. In the end, it really comes down to the fact that there is no cooping mechanism provided to the child thus the grieving process is never completed. The process of going through Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance is stopped at Anger because bargaining for someone to express love, concern, support or acceptance is a useless act FOR A NEED THAT MUST BE FILLED. So we learn to fill this need via other means. We build our entire world on the bedrock that the damn for "Lake Anger" is built on. The problem is .. our world is the small village below that damn. We build it by out performing others, excelling at something, making ourselves unique and impossible to remove, building support networks, and so on ... it's our way of ultimately attaining the feeling of being loved, cared for, wanted, accepted, and needed. It however never resolves the original problem. so when the foundation shatters the damn, so is the life they've created. All the work the did to be special is gone, meaningless, useless, and washed away. Interestingly enough though, if you've ever had the opportunity to study the Egyptian Nile river, it floods its banks 2 times every year. Farmers have learned to accommodate this rage. They welcome it. Why? Because it brings new fertile soil from which to grow crops in. So does rage. It washes away the old habits and beliefs that you thought you needed to be someone special, wanted, needed, and indispensable even if you happen to be the most hated person in the company because of your behaviors. And you are left with the problem you didn't know how to deal with way back when. The problem is a belief that the only way to feel loved, cared, accepted, and supported is from without. People that are well centered know that love, caring, concern, and acceptance come from within. IT'S YOU ... staring at yourself in the mirror that has to love yourself, care for yourself, accept yourself, and be OK with yourself. As a child the only thing you saw was how others took these from each other, so it was natural to follow the same habits. So as an adult you take love, care, concern, and support. And when you can't get these needs met in a work situation anymore .. you rage. What will it mean if the project fails, you're blamed for it, and you're terminated? How will you feel / react / respond? How have you been trained to feel / react / respond? Or replace project with Sale, or any other word that describes your job or importance. What if you are the CEO of a major billion dollar corporation and the US decides that all your endeavors are for naught, brand you as evil, and say that you need to issue a product recall for all your products. I think the CEO of Toyota is doing extremely well considering his upbringing. If the Anger Management classes are teaching anything: it's the same message we learn in sales .. separate the product from yourself, maybe the client isn't buying that product today. It doesn't mean that the client isn't buying from you. Just because you didn't get Love, Caring, Concern, Support, and Acceptance from those you wanted it from, doesn't mean that you were Loved, Cared For, Supported or Accepted. It could mean that they didn't know how to express it or give it. ENetArch 03/11/2010 08:11 AM

DFO_REXX
DFO_REXX

I think Bob T hit the nail on the head, at least in terms of what lets people post angry replies. Being anonymous lets us forget our inhibitions toward direct insults; it also prevents repercussions (consider plausible deniability: "I never said that!"). Part of the problem, too, is the way we usually read posts. If the comment being responded to is written in a non-emotional way, people will read their own emotions into it. If the comment is written in an emotional way, for some reason unknown to me (but probably not to psychologists) there is a tendency to read it negatively. I've experienced this so many times I chalk it up to people not liking to be told certain things or being addressed in a certain way, and this is unpredictable, so I simply write literally, try not to use emotionally-laden syntax, and (try) not to take it personally when I get flamed.

pfeiffep
pfeiffep

I choose to ignore angry rants and such. Yes I intentionally capitalized READING since I think that freedom is much too much under-used. Another way of thinking about this .... My freedom to swing my arms violently in the air should be abruptly ended when in danger of interfering with someone else's ability to move about freely.

Old Timer 8080
Old Timer 8080

Journalism used to be a PROFESSION that had STRICT RULES and BASICS. Thou shalt use PROPER SPELLING, GRAMMAR and PUNCTUATION AT ALL TIMES. You don't like the criticism, DO YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOB. When it comes to the other " anger ", how about a backlash from all the people who refuse to go POLITICALLY CORRECT and wince whenever someone " refuses to be quoted because they were not authorized to talk to the media ".. or the GARBAGE MAN who is now a SANITATION ENGINEER. I could go now, but I hope you begin to see my POV ( another peeve, TLAs instead of the words ) REPORTING and JOURNALISM ( to be honest to be called a JOURNALIST is an epithet in my opinion ) is about communication. Anything that detracts from that is to be considered NOISE. So how NOISY is your work? the noise level at TR has been getting quite high lately..

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

about the issues you invoked, then it was constructive. If you just walk around angry, you live with the added frustration with yourself for not trying to do anything about the things that angered you. Anger is a great personal motivator, but once you've been motivated it's no longer very useful in your quest to right the wrongs that angered you. It can get you off the couch, but won't be helpful in battle.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

Not frustrated ones? Or territorially bellicose (most likely)? Snarling, I'm sure, but calling dogs who run bears off 'angry' (to make them thus a relevant example) might be a bit of a projection. Ask the dog; I'd bet he/she had a blast doing it, loved every moment of the confrontation, and wasn't 'angry' as we know it in the least.

pfeiffep
pfeiffep

I'd much rather have all the angry people in the world venting their frustrations on the internet than in person. It's easy NOT to read drivel, it's hard to avoid nasty behavior when confronted with such in person. Also it's a bunch safer too! Better to ignore the angry posts and move on to what really interests you!

ultimitloozer
ultimitloozer

"If you ask a psychologist they will tell you it's your choice how you respond to what is said and done around you." You need to make sure that this psychologist does not earn a large portion of their income as an expert witness for defense teams. They will insist that the individual is not reponsible for their choices (actions).

dogknees
dogknees

It's an emotion. You may not be able to control your emotions, but you should be able to control your actions.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Anger and fear are tied together. Like two sides of the same coin. It's not just that my plans are awry. I can have no plans or expectations, when out of the blue the big bad wolf jumps at me. In anger I jump back harder. Of course in a business setting, that's not excusable or allowable. But I've been in settings where it is not only expected but required if you don't want the rest of the pack to jump on you. I don't have an answer. My response has been to seek jobs/settings where I'm not expected to jump on others. Perhaps that's the cowards way out.

ENetArch
ENetArch

I've though quite a bit about this response to Steve in relationship to your article. There is a difference between anger management and verbal abuse. I think that is the major distinction here is not just about someone getting angry about a situation, but that someone is verbally or physically attacking the individual that represents the problem - in their opinion. I think the biggest problem people have is separating the problem from the person. This is where the berating or verbal diarrhea comes from. Secondly, our K-12 educational system provides few opportunities to examine how to maintain this separation. I've only seen clear examples taught in debate classes. Nor have they been taught to consider another's opinion based on it's merits. (Though English Comprehension might touch on this.) As a society our exposure to negative rhetoric sets a disturbing president. Is it OK for presidential hopefuls to LABEL people as barbarians? Is it OK for children call each other derogatory names. Where do we draw the line between verbal abuse, physical abuse, bullying and hate crimes? That question was raised by the discussion of Hate Crimes bills that passed through congress and many state legislatures. For example, law enforcement now holds those using verbal abuse accountable should someone commit suicide or act directly or indirectly on those statements to harm another person. But I digress, the discussion is on why people feel name calling, bullying, and other forms of verbal abuse are OK? If the future president of the US can do it, why shouldn't it be OK? To take a page from Buddhist's and Psychological circle's texts .. if you engage in the same behavior over and over again, your brain builds an efficient pathway to reduce the number of cycles needed to complete the task. So, if verbal abuse is constantly chosen, then the path in-effect is being reinforced. And if we as a society want to end verbal abuse then we need to really see it in all it's forms an constantly condemn it when it appears. Because if we don't condemn it, we condone it.

ENetArch
ENetArch

Update .. Brad Warner in Sit Down and Shut Up, discusses anger from the perspective of two paths. The first path is the one you wanted. The second path is the one you're on - aka reality. When our consciousness realizes that the two are different is when anger rises.

f.stephens
f.stephens

I agree, that my freedom to swing my arms anywhere I want to, stops when it infringes on the rights of someone else.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Those qualities are probably less so when using the Gonzo writting style pioneered by Mr. Hunter S Thompson.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

I understand you point without the EMPHASIS. It makes your writing HARD TO READ. It also makes you LOOK STUPID.

bboyd
bboyd

I'm impressed. Maybe he cut and pasted from something that lost the formatting. We can hope.

dogknees
dogknees

.. say that they aren't a psychologist but a professional witness!

dogknees
dogknees

Is only the beginning. It's where you start as an adult, not where you should end up. Same with parents, what they teach you is where you start, not where you finish. If men aren't taught to deal with their emotions in school or by their parents, then they should learn it for themselves. Many of us do and we're sick of the behaviour of those who choose not to, and then blame someone else not teaching them how for their actions. As an adult you are solely responsible or your actions, including how you choose to respond to the actions of others. There are those that like to say that it's not a choice, that it's forced upon them by the actions of others, but I disagree. At some point these people choose to do what makes them feel good rather than what they know they should. That's a choice, conscious or not.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

DOCTOR Hunter S. Thompson (deceased).

Old Timer 8080
Old Timer 8080

You know, when the AVERAGE SCHMUCK wasn't on DARPANET... When the only communication was a KSR/ASR 33 TELETYPE WITH ONLY CAPS AND NO LOWER CASE.. When it cost over FIFTEEN THOUSAND USD for the interface and a ONE THOUSAND USD a month for access to this " special club " who usually had above average IQ,s and showed it in their conversations... Now any person with an IQ that matches their shoe size and has $3.00 ( the going price for a used DSL adapter ) and $30 a month can voice their opinion. Spitfire Sysyop is an exact example of the kind of person I am talking about.. I was trained that EMPHASIS needed capitalization before it was considered SHOUTING... I qualify for MENSA and have the street cred to prove it. Most people who comment qualify for DENSA IMNSHO....

pfeiffep
pfeiffep

Maybe not quite as much as this poster!

Aramel
Aramel

I don't think there are so many people who are angry.I guess you should try search for people who are much more pleasant then those who you have met until now.

JamesRL
JamesRL

The very proper grammarians who taught me would have taken marks off any essay where I tried to use capitalization to emphasize anything. This, of course, was pre internet. Perhaps this will change over time. But I recall from my BBS days (80s) and my early internet days (1992) that capitalization was considered yelling then, and was highly frowned upon.

BlazingEagle
BlazingEagle

Sometimes, Capitalization is used for emphasis & NOT yelling.

JJFitz
JJFitz

that gave me the vision of an old guy waving his fist in the air yelling, "Hey kids! STAY OFF MY LAWN!" Might I suggest using italics as I have? This basic html code is easier on the eyes than all caps.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Thanks I needed that. Only a fool would brag on owning not one but three of the most unreliable cars ever made. But now I understand why you brag on being able to fix your own cars, thats pretty much manadatory for someone in your position. Do you ever have all three in perfect working order at the same time? And thanks for illustrating so well the ad hominem attack and bringing us all back to the purpose of the thread. You couldn't attack the logic, so you attack the person instead. As for trolling, I've been trolled by much better than you, like Snopes, as one example. But he was actually funny, in a dry acerbic way. You just seem bitter that your glory days are well behind you.

Old Timer 8080
Old Timer 8080

Actually, I DO drive my 1977 Jaguar XJ12.....and I have TWO OTHERS to choose from... Actually, you are the type that personifies the typical underachiever who still lives in their parent's basement.... Now I could keep on this trolling thread, but there are many better people on the 'Net to troll....

JamesRL
JamesRL

I've only been on bulletin boards since the late 80s, and the internet since 1992. Even back then, CAPS were considered to be shouting. I'm sure you are still driving your late 70s car too, because nothing in the world has improved since the days of the digital dinosaurs. By the way I learned to program on a mainframe using a DECWriter terminal that was basically a printer with a keyboard, but I wouldn't for a monement think of using one of those today. I don't care if you qualify for MENSA. I passed the test, but didn't join the club. It doesn't mean that everything I type is gold, or that I am always right. You've lost any cred you had with me by claiming your intelligence and denigrating others. Where I'm from you can't just claim intelligence, you have to demonstrate it. Your english compositions skills aren't showing me much.