What About Group Anger?

Q. What are the dynamics of group anger or riots that are growing in the United States?

A. Let’s Talk! Clearly, an angry mob is one angry person finding another angry person and another! In my last post, I gave as a definition of anger, “the result of things not going the way we had hoped. Loss of hope. Things are just not right.” Somehow, when one angry person is with another angry person there is comfort and a dark sense of excitement. That fuels the fire!

Many have said our world is upside down and not at all the way it “should be” with answers seeming outside of our grasp. If we can find others who feel the same way, this strangely legitimizes our dark sense of being right in our anger.

There are several remedies. One internal piece that we talked about last time was reframing: changing one’s thinking, coping with the difference between how things should be and how they really are. Part of this is letting go of the expectation you had of how life should be. Ouch.

Then there is forgiveness. But, another action and external piece we can take is to go to the one or ones involved and try to talk about the problem and come to an agreement on some level. Talking is better than STUFFING our anger. The ramifications of stuffing are enormous. Taking up an offense is devastating too. Let’s talk about both of those next time.

One more thing to throw in the stew is the idea of processing the grief of things not being the way they should be. Grief and anger are cousins, so we hurt and we are angry all at the same time. Sometimes they are so tangled we can’t separate the two. Ask God to untangle the tangles and give you His wonderful wisdom and view of the situation. He will.

For Deeper Reflection

James 1:4-5 “And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.
You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com