Let's do this without anger.
That's right, I dare you.
Eliminate anger from your vocabulary for the next month.
(There are those darned crickets again.)
That doesn't sound that bad, does it? It's not. I'm talking about the common use of the word "angry" which usually leans more in the direction of antagonism. I tend to talk a lot about what words mean vs. how they are used, and anger is a big one. I think it is very rarely used in the dictionary sense, which is pretty mild.Anger: (Webster) a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.(Bing Dictionary) a strong feeling of grievance and displeasure.
No, in it's purest sense, there's nothing really wrong with anger. It's just that the word anger, and all it's synonyms, are worn out from overuse. Many people in the
world today know how to have one of two feelings: Happy and Mad. No one really has a problem with happy. Rarely do people come to therapy with joy management issues. If we're not happy, we're mad. Except mad goes nowhere. Mad is full of adrenaline and while it feels powerful, it merely masks whatever else we're feeling. So we get mad, and we act out . . . and then eventually it ends, the adrenaline goes away, and nothing gets resolved, because whatever the issue was, it was moot because people are desensitized to anger. Either they don't hear an angry person because they're so entrenched in their own flight response or they don't hear the person because they are entrenched in their fight response. Either way, the message is lost.
So let's give it a rest. For one month, don't use any of the following words: mad, angry, pissed, furious, ticked-off or annoyed (especially at the end of the phrase "he/she/it MADE me _____"). I would be tempted to add irritated and frustrated, as they are frequently synonyms for angry as well, but I will allow them, with some strict limitations that they be used according to Webster's Dictionary. I'm picky like that. For the record, I'm only letting in things that are physically irritating, like the scratchy tag on your shirt collar, a flickering fluorescent light (actually I would go for ANY fluorescent light), or the whining tone in my children's voices as they tattle on each other in the back seat (what, did you think I was immune to that??).