Nov 012010

Anger is a difficult emotion to control. When you are livid with rage, you lose your ability to reason and turn into a monster. You shout, you rage, you smash things and cause destruction. In our calm state, we would be appalled when someone behaves like a raving lunatic. Yet when it comes to our own tempers, it is hard to take such a detached perspective. Thankfully, the Incredible Hulk, the poster boy for anger and destruction, has much to teach us about losing our tempers. Read on to learn about the dangers of letting our anger control us.

Incredible Hulk Statue at SDCC by Loren Javier

Background of the Incredible Hulk

Dr Robert Bruce Banner was a brilliant scientist who worked for the military. But not all was well for this mild-mannered man. Under his controlled exterior lay deep-seated emotions that he had trouble dealing with. His life changed forever when the blast from his gamma bomb failed to kill him. Instead, it turned him into a 7-foot monster known as the Hulk.

The Hulk was the embodiment of all of Banner’s repressed emotions. But it was mainly anger that drove the Hulk. The angrier the Hulk became, the stronger he got. Due to the Hulk’s superhuman strength and lack of self-control, he caused untold damage and destruction wherever he went. Naturally, most people feared and viewed the Hulk as a monster.

What then are the dangers of letting our anger control us?

The Incredible Hulk by Darren Hester

Anger Causes You to Say Hurtful Words

The Hulk had very little self-control over the things he said or did. In the midst of anger, it is hard to control the things you say. But when you are angry, you may not even want to do so. Instead, you want to give vent to your anger and frustrations to feel better. Under such conditions, you could say many hurtful things that you would not have said otherwise. Words spoken in anger could cause irreversible harm to a relationship. By then it is too late for regrets. You cannot take back what you say.

Anger Causes Destructive Behaviour

You cannot speak of the Hulk without thinking of the destruction he left in his wake. The damage he caused cost billions of dollars. Words alone may not be enough. When you are livid with anger, you could engage in hurtful and destructive behaviour as well. You could do spiteful things just to even the score. While you may not necessarily destroy things like the Hulk, you could hurt people unwittingly on a mental or emotional level.

Anger Makes You a Burden to Others

It comes as no surprise that the Hulk was a danger and a burden to others. Losing your temper is disruptive to the environment around you. It creates a scene that brings everything around you to a halt. When you lose control of your temper, you force people to drop what they are doing to deal with you. Depending on the situation, they may have to accommodate you or put you in your place. This can make you a burden to others and cause them to feel tensed if you lose your temper on a constant basis.

Anger Causes You to Alienate People

One of the challenges that the Hulk faced was his alienation of friends and allies. When you get mad at others, you are bound to do and say things that will have negative consequences. You cannot expect to lose your temper without paying a price for it. After all, you might alienate others in your rage. This could lead to tension in your relationships in the short run. If the damage is deep enough, you could end up turning a friend into an enemy. Repeatedly losing your temper will cause people to dislike you. Although they may not openly admit it, they may be unwilling to lift a finger to help you if you need it.

Anger Turns You into an Unthinking Monster

When people think of the Hulk, they remember the dumb, angry monster who caused widespread damage and destruction. He was a danger to friend and foe alike because he could not control his temper. This is what anger does when it consumes you. Your rage, which may prove too much for you to handle, clouds your reason and judgment. In the throes of your anger, you could across as an unthinking brute to those around you.

Bowen Incredible Hulk by Carlos Ayala

Taking Action

As long as you live in this world, you are bound to get angry at one point or another. Anything can set you off. Even so, it is important not to let your anger get the better of you. Cutting loose and lashing out when you are angry may help you to relieve your rage and make you feel good. But there is a price to pay. The things you say and do in your anger may have grave consequences for you. Thus as far as possible, you should try to avoid losing your temper and turning into a monster.

Are there any other dangers of getting angry that I have missed out? What are your thoughts about losing your temper? Do share your thoughts and comments below.

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  18 Responses to “Anger: The Dangers of Becoming the Incredible Hulk”

  1. all too often we react out of anger, only to regret our decisions and wishing we could erase what we did. a timely reminder to rethink how to resolve issues of anger before it becomes overblown.

    • Hi Saucy Interloper,

      You’re right about the regrets that come after actions committed in a moment of anger. It is hard to erase what we said and did after the deed is done. Though we may apologize and try to make amends, the damage takes time to heal. It is better to halt our anger in its tracks or to direct it where it cannot do much harm. That way, the anger is expressed but without the negative consequences.

      Thank you for your comments!

  2. Hi The Vizier,

    Anger is certainly one of our least attractive – and destructive – emotions. When anger gets out of control it becomes very difficult to think clearly… and that leads to all sorts of consequences, very few of which are positive.

    Anger usually comes about when we come face-to-face with a situation with no immediate escape. Allowing space and physically separating yourself from the source of your anger can help immensely with how you handle rage. You stop yourself doing or saying things you’ll most likely later regret.

    If someone always reacts to anger in the same way, they usually benefit from getting anger management help.

    • Hi Scott,

      Anger is truly one of our most destructive emotions.

      I agree with you that putting some space between yourself and the source of your anger helps you to manage your rage better. It also helps to try to focus on other things to let your anger pass. The more you harp on something, the worse your anger becomes.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  3. Wow! What a positive and informative post. Most people don’t realize the effect anger has on them and their loved ones. It is exhausting to deal with whether it’s our anger or someone elses. I have found that meditation, praying, and taking solitary walks to be a great cure for my own anger.
    Thanks, Dandy

    • Hi Dandy,

      I agree with you. Anger, whether it is your own or someone else’s is always tiring to manage.

      I too have tried meditation and praying to manage my anger. Occasionally I have gone for walks, but it was to my favourite bookstore because books make me happy. There I would loiter for hours if time permitted and slowly i would forget my anger.

      I have found that it also helps to manage your anger if you reframe the way you look at events that caused you to be angry in the first place.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  4. Hulk Smash!!

    …I have found that often the problem (at least for me) with explosive anger is the idea of pent up frustration. It is like a release valve on a steam system, you need to bleed it off a little bit rather than letting it build up.

    Personally I find the best way to do this is to be upfront and not hold back over small things. When some is rude, calmly tell them what you think of what they say. Often repeating back to them what they just said.

    Many times people do not realize how the things they say can affect others. When they know about it, they usually will remedy it. By doing this you clear out those lingering resentments and never allow enough “steam” of anger and resentment to build up for an outburst.

    One additional cost of anger is the physical aspects. For bruce banner it made him big green and ugly. For the rest of us it similarly affects us physically. It can make you sick. It raises blood pressure, which leads to numerous circulatory system issues. It can even make you more likely to get sick, because of all the stress taxes your immune system.

    It is not only bad for you mentally, but physically

    • Hi Steve,

      It’s always nice to see someone who is familiar with the Hulk’s catchphrase. :D

      I too have experienced explosive anger due to pent up frustration. So you are not alone in this. I agree with you that it is important to nip the problem in the bud. If we allow small things to become big things, we are likely to lose control over our tempers then.

      It is true that people do not realize the effect that their words have on others. After all, each of us have our own likes and dislikes, so misunderstandings and miscommunications can arise from time to time. But being upfront in a tactful way as you have mentioned, helps to resolve any potential for conflicts before they happen.

      Yes, anger can have a detrimental effect on our health. If only the people who have bad tempers and hold grudges realize how badly their anger is affecting their health in the long run. Even so, unless they are able to perceive events in a different manner, it is hard to let go of their anger.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments! :)

  5. Hello the Vizier :)!
    Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts in such great detail – I will respond soon but I was drawn into reading this post on anger- Oh the angers I wish I had controlled earlier in life, there is no shortage of them – the saddest part is that I never remember what made me angry – only that I was angry and very angry – and with age, maybe comes some patience and wisdom or we may just be tired of going through those emotions which never serve us well. Thank you for a very well-written post and for educating me about the Hulk to boot!
    Farnoosh recently posted..Fyodor Dostoevsky- “Crime and Punishment”My Profile

    • Hi Farnoosh,

      So nice of you to stop by! It was a pleasure to leave my thoughts on your blog. :)

      Anger is not easy to manage. For you to have gotten angry, you must have felt strongly about many things. What is important is that today, you are more patient and wiser than you were in the past when it comes to losing your temper. With your experience, you would be better able to handle any confrontation.

      Thank you for your comments!

  6. Anger is certainly destructive energy. Thank you for reminding me about the incredible hulk. Now that you’ve mentioned, the hulk is certainly symbolic of how one can turn so ugly when fuming with anger. We should not let our negative emotions rule our better judgment.

    • Hi Evelyn,

      I chose the incredible hulk partly because he is my favourite superhero and also because he is the perfect cautionary tale of losing your temper. Being aware of our negative emotions is one way to prevent them from clouding our better judgment.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  7. I like how you bring the Hulk into an article about anger. I agree Irving, anger has destructive effect on all areas of life. Anger destroys relationships, anger destroys friendship, anger threatens the health, anger leads to depression… Anger is not helping you to achieve something. It destroys all chances for success.

    Let me explain my way… I do not drink alcohol. Why? Before, I was drunk a couple of times. I do not regret anything, but I felt the huge loss of control. The mind was dysfunctional, the behavior was limited and unstable. I could not talk, think or act.

    Anger has the same effect on person as alcohol. It is very unstable. And, like alcohol, anger has no purpose. And anger, like alcohol, is a choice. And anger, like alcohol, can become addiction.

    Everyone should pay attention to their anger and channel it into something constructive.

    • Hi Marko,

      The Hulk has been a large part of my life. I have always liked him as a superhero and for his power. But if I were to step back from my fanboy view of him, the Hulk also has much to teach us about anger. Part of the reason he’s such a loner is due to all the negative consequences of his anger.

      I like the way you use alcohol to illustrate the loss of control we have when we are angry. It is very apt. More importantly as you have pointed out. Anger is a choice, albeit a difficult one to control and it can become an addiction if we do not manage it well.

      Thank you for sharing your insights! :)

  8. Anger is perhaps one of the ugliest expressions of a human being and personifies a lack of control.

    We’ve all lost our cool, but we should all work mercilessly to learn how to ensure we do not engage this very destructive emotion for our sake and that of others.

    It takes consistent work to overcome the tendency to get angry. The simple act of having consistent awareness that we view anger as ugly will help us not to engage in it.

    • Hi Bamboo Forest,

      You are right. Anger is an ugly expression that signifies a lack of self-control.

      I agree that we should all work patiently and consistently to manage our anger. It takes time and effort to change an old habit which has become a part of our instinct. By taking small gradual steps, we will successfully manage our anger one day. The key is consistency.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  9. First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Many thanks!
    Lacey recently posted..Very Cheap Car InsuranceMy Profile

    • Hi Lacey,

      The best way for me to centre myself and to clear my head is to take a pen and a piece of paper and go to a unfamiliar place solely for the purpose of writing. That place should be free of distractions so that I have no alternative but to focus on the task at hand.

      I hope that helps. :)

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