Anger(s)

May. 16th, 2017 11:24 am
percygranger: (Sherlock This is the Stupidest thing I'v)
[personal profile] percygranger
So, I have realized recently that I have at least two different forms of anger. And this language feels inadequate, but we'll just keep going, because what the hell else am I going to do? 

So, my main reaction to/use/form of anger is the angry-quit. I say "eff this" and leave. It's rude, generally speaking, since I'm disengaging without all the social niceties that humanity wants to demand of me. But it does the job I need, usually. I get away from the angry-making thing, I am no longer in the presence of whatever poison set me off. I have no chance of attacking them (assuming this is a person) physically or verbally to their face. It is face-saving, in a way. I might leave abruptly, but I don't otherwise disrupt the flow of humanity.

And then there's the rarer form of anger, which a friend of mine actually recommended to me. The active, confrontational style of anger. Or "get shit done". Perhaps anger as fuel would be a good term here, since it's not just a rocket that takes you away, but like, an engine that keeps you going to do a thing. I find confrontation to be non-optimal in most situations. Angry confrontation doesn't manage to create good outcomes, on the whole. People get defensive, there's a fight, etc etc. Nobody changes their mind, things don't actually get done.  (Not that I calmly confront people all that often. Oh no. I am an avoider of the highest caliber, and generally prefer to ignore issues rather than deal with them. Yay social anxiety and cultural training. But angry confrontation seems even less likely to me than the calmer kind.)

Unless...one is confronting a system with evidence, apparently. This is the only time I remember using my anger in this fashion, and actually getting a result that was a net positive. It had to do with a combination of first, a malfunction of said system, then I avoided it after the people who were supposed to help didn't, and the state's lackadaisical response to me trying to fix the problem after several months of living in social anxiety limbo. Getting goosed into action by getting pulled over. And then someone telling me they couldn't do squat because I had the wrong paperwork, even though I knew I had the right stuff somewhere and couldn't find it at that moment, then I found it, and was like "They will die, or I will die on this hill, there is no other option."

So, confrontation, refusal to accept their normal options, because I had made good faith efforts which were ignored, in my view. However, I did not feel good, after. I got what I wanted and more, through this confrontation, through repeating myself ad nauseum, and basically applying social pressure to people who weren't the ones who had screwed me over, just the ones on the front lines of dealing with the public. I wasn't impolite, just insistent and angry-feeling. There were no smiles. Maybe I would've felt better if this hadn't been a situation that dragged on for months and involved me getting stopped on the road and feeling unsafe and so on. But the end result of this did not fill me with glee. It was mostly exhaustion and mild relief, aggravation at the whole thing even being a thing. 

Maybe this is what protesters and social justice people feel like, especially if they're a minority of some sort. Like, they're just trying to get what they need and are owed in some form. It sucks, the whole situation sucks, but this is how you get there. 

That kind of angry action was me pushed to my limits, I think. I was fed up, just unable to deal with letting it go another hour, another day. It was not a fun time. So, this is why I stick to avoidant anger. The other kind is not worth it, in my view. The emotional outcome is not catharsis. I am not an activist, despite my liberal views. I don't have the energy for it. And I don't want to be pushed there again, but honestly, it probably will happen. Ugh. 


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