Have you ever seen an angry young man? You have? I have. No no, not one of the disillusioned middle-class angry writers who were called Angry Young Men. Not even the authoritative and super-rich hero of Mills and Boon novels, an angry young man with an attitude problem that makes girls swoon.
I’m talking about a real angry man, the everyday type who goes crazy if his bank statement from the remote year 2004 goes missing from the house. Now, how in the world is the lady of the house supposed to know whether the document has run away from home, gone for a walk or is merely playing hide-and-seek? She already has tough time keeping the pair of socks together. And the endless stream of shopping brochures that arrive in the mail-box; takes time sorting wheat from the chaff. Moreover, the lady has to stop her own very important documents from developing wings.
More recently I can say I’ve now seen two angry young men. The first one cited above is not that young any more but the other one is the new young. My son has recently left his teens behind. But even when he was a baby, if I accidentally snatched (as per him) his toy or bottle, there was always a wild and angry reaction, a shrill shriek accompanied by that angry look in the eyes. Angry young babies who are born at midnight grow up into angry young boys who habitually stay awake till late and wake up late. Any effort of their mothers to change these habits cause anger in these angry young men because they sincerely believe there’s nothing wrong in that.
Talking about these men reminds me of an instance when I myself actually felt very angry. I mean very very angry, almost like a Mad Hatter. Many years ago, I was walking back from a shopping center not too far from my home. I had my toddler in my arms. One young man, more of a boy, started to chase me all the way home. He was on his bi-cycle that he kept parallel to me while he made lewd comments. I tried to walk faster but he could easily catch up. Once inside the alley-way that was kind of lonely, I sensed that he will now become bolder. So I tried to run. He obstructed my way with his bicycle and tried to touch me. I looked here and there, saw a stick lying on the muddy street-side which I picked impulsively, and depositing my son on the pavement, I began to beat that chaser. He was confused to see a demure looking dame turning into angry goddess. Laughing shamelessly he ran away esp. as he saw some people coming.
As I walked back home I was fuming with anger and crying at the same time. When will men learn? How dare this mad psychopath show disrespect to a woman, that too when she is a mother of a child? This helplessness tuned me into such an angry woman that day.
Funny angry-men stories apart, writing all this made me think as to why so much anger exists in this world. Everyone feels enraged one time or the other – angry with one’s siblings, parents, spouse, friends, teenagers or even your own babies when they refuse to sleep at midnight when you are sleepy.
Anger isn’t as bad as we think it is, rather it’s often a natural reaction to frustrating events, big and small. As in above cases, except for the Mills and Boon hero, all angry men are frustrated – whether it is the frustration due to an important bank document gone missing, or when the baby perceived that his mother is trying to abort his joy of playing, and the same person on growing up aggressively asserted his rights about sleeping habits.
In our larger society, we see so much frustration within unemployed youth. Also among the employed who are working hard but not getting the desired results. Their anger is upon seeing less deserving fellows get all the credit while they slog. Then we have an example of angry mob that ends up burning buildings. This mob, once a decent public, expected the government to help them with their basic needs. When authorities do nothing for the masses, this public feels cheated and becomes a frustrated mob. Thus, any real or perceived wrong causes anger and frustration. Especially when the people who hurt you or wrong you are more powerful than you, you can’t hit back directly but can throw stones at the government building. You may even take it out on some innocent person. Anger keeps spreading within the community.
Likewise, anger in the form of self-defense is just an impulsive reaction, still not justified but unintentional. Like, when I felt enraged and ended up beating that eve-teasing lout. In our day-to-day lives too, if somebody slaps you, bullies you, criticizes you, belittles you or deceives you – will you not get angry? You don’t want to be taken advantage of, never want to be hurt or bullied by anyone be it within the family, friends, community or society. So you get angry.
Basically, if you’re hurt due to real or perceived wrongs, obviously your self-esteem is damaged. You may either cry and sob alone, or blurt it out in a loud angry manner. But anger almost always conveys that you want to say something which has gone unheard. By reacting angrily, a person is trying to send a message across to the other party, “Hey listen – you can’t take me for granted, you can’t take advantage of me. I too am strong!”.
Thus anytime you face an angry person, try to know the reason for his or her anger rather than assuming that the person is crazy or mad.
There are cases though where, habitually or due to childhood conditioning of mind, some people get very angry, rather extremely so. But their out-of-proportion anger is momentary, a passing phase rather than ongoing. If not, then they need counselling and anger-management.
In contrast to these raging monsters, there are those who never ever get angry. Never or rarely ever. Their anger, if it is ever there, is very slow and simmering, the type that stays bottled up inside till it becomes a more damaging and lasting resentment towards the harming party that they think wronged them. This type of deeply embedded anger is dangerous for self as well as others. Watch out for such people! Tell them to take it out!! Help them. Do not judge them. Because if gone undetected, it is this type of unexpressed anger that becomes permanent sadness, causes depression or may gradually take a form of real insanity. It has a capacity to cause real madness, not craziness like that of Mad Hatter
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