Anger has over the years been recognized by numerous psychologists as being problematic in everyday life. It is not surprising that a vast range of individuals are constantly delving into the subject in a bid to further understand anger and its occurrence. In his article, Santella embarks on the same venture and seeks to substantiate why people are constantly angry. While doing so, he offers experts’ opinion from psychologists on the subject and at the same time articulates his own opinion. Santella is concerned with the increase in acts of rage found in most people. More so, it is evident that anger is an emotion which every other person exhibits and must learn to live with. In support of the claim that people are becoming intensively angry and at an alarming rate, Santella sites increased reports on road accidents which have been as a result of enraged drivers1. Furthermore, modern politics have been increasingly characterized by hate speeches and politicians who are either aware or unaware of how their anger is unavoidably transmitted to their massive followers. In addition, literature which focuses solely on anger issues has become dominant in the modern publishing market making anger an inevitable force to reckon with. Santella further invokes reasoning on why individuals are constantly angry and whether anger is meant to serve particular functions in an individual’s everyday life. Even though anger often results into devastating events such as accidents, homicides and other crimes and despite the fact that it is closely associated with negative impacts, it is nonetheless at time considered positive. When initiated at the right times, Santella implies that anger can become a positive aspect in an individual’s life. That is, one can focus their welling up frustrations and anger into a motivational force which can assist them in achieving their goals2. Following its often destructive nature, it is eminent that people need to learn how to manage their anger. Anger management programs are utilized by individuals who aim to tame their angry self and learn to either avoid it or prevent it from assuming an immense negative force. Regardless of opinions that the classification of anger as a disorder could aid angry individuals in recognizing their anger issues, Santella concurs that it should also provide an excuse for crime perpetration by angry offenders. As such, the ultimate responsibility for every individual is to learn how to deal with their anger appropriately.
One of the most apparent characteristics of this article is its friendly language. Santella utilizes both conversational and formal language in relaying his opinions on the subject. The conversational approach acts as an interest catalyst which allows the audience to comprehensively engage in the author’s arguments. Santella’s reference to the individual self incites the reader to analyze their everyday actions and how they anger responses have affected their lives. Santella has also proven to have engaged in extensive research on the subject evident in the references made throughout the article. This research supports his thesis on increasing anger and its destructive effects. In doing so, the article embarks on providing reports, interview and book analysis of expert opinions on anger. Furthermore, the cited articles provide a formal approach to the subject making it a future reference material for other interested in the subject. However, there are instances when the author wholly relies on their personal feelings and observations without any evidence and this may dispel the article as being weak and inadequate for academic use.
1. Andrew Santella, “Why So Mad? Why everyone is So Angry and why we Must Calm Down” Notre Dame Magazine (Summer, 2007): 103
2. Ibid, p.104
Santella’s arguments on the occurrences of anger and its negative impacts are intricately supported by materials learned in the course. In exploring how individuals are always faced with annoying situations which contribute to their anger outbursts, the author asserts the notion that it is often from within individuals that they can control their environment. It is only under individual assertiveness that anger can be manipulated into serving a positive and more endowing purpose. Such a force has been seen to contribute to the realization of justice in instances when anger directed towards numerous societal vices such as rape and murder is channeled into an agenda for instigating changes in the society. As such, Santella is keen to note that anger management techniques often rely on enabling the individual to capture their inner will and focus it to deterring anger. In altering the way individuals think and perceive their environment anger management specialist encourage the use of various exercises like visualization, relaxation and also humor. All these methods aim at achieving control of this emotion.
Santella points out that of all the vices in the society, anger is exceptional because it rarely pay’s off an individual’s self interests3. Both locally and internationally, cases of domestic violence have been on the increase. In the United States, broadcasts are made on child abuse and other forms of domestic violence almost on a daily basis. In a particular instance, a man infuriated by salary delays in his workplace ended up killing his wife after she politely requested for money to pay bills. Ultimately, anger arouses deadlier actions such as murder or even domestic violence which in the end results to grave repercussions like imprisonment or paying hefty court fines. This man only gained life imprisonment after a momentary lapse of anger. In essence, there has not been any instance when anger has benefited such people who are merely seeking to elude their responsibilities and instead prey on others’ vulnerabilities. Furthermore, Santella argues that in learning how to control their frustrations and anger issues domestic violence perpetrators can learn to leave in harmony and at peace with other members of the society.
At one time or the other, individuals express the emotion of anger when faced with frustrating, annoying or irritating situations. Even though this emotion is part of being human and often inevitable, it should be controlled amicably. Individuals who often get angry over trivial circumstances such as having their foot stepped on or even queuing for long do so because they lack self-control. This virtue differentiates peaceful people from those who perpetrate rage crimes. Ideally, people should not wish for a world without annoying nuances but should reflect within themselves and after capturing that, which invokes their anger, learn how to control it. This form of self-reflection prevents one’s anger issues from accelerating to destructive levels or to a point of no return. Self-reflection will aid one in determining whether they need help in managing their anger as opposed to classifying anger as a disorder to serve the same purpose. Anger in most cases is destructive and it is important for individuals to stop and think about the consequences of their actions before they act on their anger. In doing so, they must weigh the costs and benefits of these actions and come to the ultimate conclusion that they will lose more than they will gain from such action. Only then in a world where sensibility and consideration exists can peace also reside.