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The North Wind

The North Wind

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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererApril 23, 2024

Anger needs to be addressed

The picture is not a pretty one. A trivial setback, such as a parking ticket or a drink accidentally spilled in the lap launches a seemingly mild-mannered person into a tirade. This comes complete with a beet-red face, eyes bulging in their sockets, the spray of spittle and a highly-visible vein pulsing somewhere in the face or the neck.
Nearly everyone knows someone who is like this. This is the person you’d rather not break bad news to and rather not correct when they’re wrong. This is the person who lets their temper best them on a regular basis, causing them to say things in the heat of the moment that will make anyone within a two-mile radius cringe.
I didn’t encounter problematic anger until recently. A friend of mine was having anger issues while she was going through a breakup with her boyfriend. After months of verbal abuse directed at him, the situation culminated one afternoon when I saw her hurl furniture, rip the knob off his bedroom door, smash a cell phone to smithereens and pull out chunks of her own hair. The neighbors, who had been subjected to this behavior one too many times, called the police.
She was repentant once it was over. This period of contrition was typical of her outbursts and typical of those with anger problems.
The counseling center at Villanova University lists things to watch for which may indicate difficulty in coping with anger According to their Web site, a problem develops when “You hurt others, especially those you care about, by demeaning or putting them down, cursing at them or being verbally abusive. You end up regretting something you said or did when angry,”
Being so completely controlled by anger was a scary ordeal and the fact that she couldn’t help it left her feeling powerless.
According to the American Psychology Association (APA) Web site, some people are more hotheaded than others. “People who are easily angered generally have what psychologists call a low tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that they feel that should not have to be subject to frustration, inconvenience or annoyance.”
When subjected to these things they may hurt themselves or others. This kind of behavior shouldn’t be passed off as something trivial. The fact that they have a shorter fuse may end up affecting their career, their relationships and their overall happiness.
Although we all experience anger, it’s often viewed as a negative emotion and rarely discussed. Consequently, people don’t know how to deal with it. When somebody deals with anger inappropriately, people are often made uncomfortable. It’s socially unacceptable for an adult to throw a tantrum which bullies or berates others. Rather than pointing and gawking, loved ones of people who behave in this manner should understand that nobody would choose to lose control so willingly.
People need to be understanding, but they also need to put their foot down when it’s clear that those with anger need help.
In a 2003 article in the APA’s “Monitor on Psychology” magazine, Howard Kassinove of Hofstra University said that anger is a problem that hasn’t received proper attention.
“Anger has been an understudied emotion,” he said. “An enormous number of people come in with anger problems, but the literature base is small, there are no anger diagnostic categories and psychology textbooks rarely mention anger.”
Since information is scarce, it’s often hard to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger. Villanova’s counseling center offers more signs to watch for that may indicate an individual is having trouble coping with anger.
These signs include feeling out of control when angry, frequently complaining about others rather than confronting them directly or taking anger out on someone or something else rather than the person or situation that is bothering them.
As with other psychological conditions, such as addiction, admitting that there is a problem is often the first step.
If a student or someone close to them is having an issue with their anger, he or she should remember that counseling services are available, both on campus and within the community.

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