We all know what anger is. We've all felt it. When anger gets out of control and turns destructive, it causes stress at work, in personal relationships, and in the overall quality of our lives. Aside from the emotional ramifications like stress and depression, prolonged anger also harms your health. It puts your heart at great risk, increases the chances of stroke, and weakens your immune system.
It's important to understand the different manifestations of anger. An ancient ethical philosophical text, Pirkei Avot, or Chapters of the Fathers, explains that anger manifests in four different ways. These are the ways people experience and deal with anger.
Type 1: One who is quick to anger but easy to appease.
Type 2: One who is slow to anger but hard to appease.
Type 3: One who is quick to anger and also hard to appease. This is only negative.
Type 4: One who is slow to anger and also easily appeased. This is only positive.
Note the wording. Why are types 3 and 4 personalities called "positive" or "negative" even though these also seem to be natural behaviors?
This is a deep insight into the psyche. It turns out, types 1 and 2 are natural. The Type 1 personality is emotional and temperamental, so he is quick to anger but also easy to appease. As quickly as he gets angry, he gets over it. The Type 2 personality is not easily emotionally affected, so she is slow to anger but also more difficult to appease because emotional fluctuations don't come easily to her.
However, Types 3 and 4 are not, in fact, natural. The Type 3 personality is hard to appease, although naturally, he should be quick to appease, based upon his tendency to be quick to anger. The Type 4 personality is easily appeased, although her natural tendency is to be slow to anger. These people have worked against the grain of their natural tendencies and formed a habit. That is why they are viewed as negative or positive personality types.
The fourth personality is the one we should all aspire to be. Notice that even this optimal state allows for feelings of anger. People who experience anger this way are still experiencing anger. We are human. Most psychologists maintain that it is unhealthy to repress our feelings, as it requires a lot of energy and can lead to larger issues over time.
That said, The Type 4 personality's anger lasts only a moment. The anger persists only until the intellect awakens against it. We should never allow this initial feeling to affect our actions.
Now that we have a better understanding of anger and its expressions, here are five tips to help you keep yours under control: