Rage can be a destructive force both for individuals and society, so Oliver Burkeman learns what can be done to manage anger in a healthy way.
Anger does have benefits, but when it gets out of control it can be destructive both on an individual level and to society as a whole. There’s plenty of advice, indeed there is an entire industry build around ‘anger management’, but in an age with more provocations than ever before, what can people actually do to foster a healthy level of anger in their life?
Oliver explores why anger is such a difficult emotion for people to control, or even really recognise for what it is, tests some of the techniques said to calm problematic anger, and finds out why simply dismissing or extinguishing all anger can do more harm than good.
Dr Ryan Martin
He explains how understanding and acknowledging what sparks anger within us is key to keeping irritation from becoming destructive rage.
Professor Aaron Sell
Professor Aaron Sell is Assistant Professor, Psychology and Criminology at the University of Heidelberg.
He explains the costs of anger can be overstated, and that without it we can be vulnerable to victimisation, and turn to more self-destructive ways of coping with the world.
Professor Maya Tamir
Maya Tamir is Professor of psychology at the Hebrew University. Her research explores the instrumental functions of emotions and their role in emotion regulation. Specifically, she studies whether people know about the instrumental functions of emotions and whether they seek such functions when they regulate their emotions.
She explains that sometimes people might actually want to feel more angry, rather than minimise it.
Dr Mark Vernon
Dr Mark Vernon is a writer, commentator and psychotherapist, contributing to and presenting programmes on BBC radio, writing for the UK national press, as well as online publications and podcasts. He works as a psychotherapist in private practice and has also worked at the Maudsley hospital in south London. His PhD is in ancient Greek philosophy, and other degrees in physics and theology. He used to be an Anglican priest.
He tells us how people can have anger issues, without even realising they are angry at all.