Our Shared Shelf discussion

Nov/Dec - Sister Outsider etc > let's cool down and talk about anger :)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 18, 2018 01:04PM) (new)

Hello everyone,

I feel our shared shelf has been quite quiet lately. I suppose there are many reasons. Maybe people ate too many treats during Halloween or are trying to finish up books before the end of 2018.

Correct me if I am wrong, one of the main theme of thoses two months was anger. I must admit I have not read the three books but I should finish Audre Lorde's book shortly. However, I think this (too often) unpopular emotion (anger) could allow an interesting discussion.

Here are a few questions in attempt to spark the thread. How would you define anger? Is anger violent? Do you think it is better to keep our anger for ourselves or to express it? Are we afraid to express those feelings because they associated with rage, violence (rightly or wrongly)? Is anger an obstacle to communucation or is it a trigger? What spark anger?

Feel free to build on those interrogations by other questions, to only reply those points or just to read the comments.

Let's heat up our brain! (Not sure if it is grammatically english, hopefully it will trigger some smiles) :)

message 2: by Helen, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Helen | 44 comments Mod
Hi Florian,

Thanks for posting this. Love the conversation-starters!I think you'll find that two of our authors this month, Dr. Brittney Cooper and Rebecca Traister answer some of your questions in an upcoming interview for OSS along with some thought-provoking ones from other members! Look for it tomorrow! It's a good one.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 18, 2018 06:19PM) (new)

Hello Helen! 😊

What a coincidence! I'll try to talk to my impatience but sometime it does not listen!

I am happy authors have answered questions similar to those written here. I'm looking forward to reading from OSS members comments. I mean the more answers/questions, the better the discussion!

And yes, I like talking :p

message 4: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Hmm, you're asking some really good questions, Florian!

Anger I think is an emotion that is very close to hate. Anger is an emotion that kicks the gears so you get shit done:) Is anger always violent? Hmm, I don't think it's necessarily always violent... when it leads to you changing the causes of your anger, then that doesn't have to be violent. I think there's always goal and measure, and according to the goal the measure might be violent, but it doesn't have to be.
On whether it's better to keep our anger for ourselves or not - I would say it depends on the circumstances. When you're in a safe space then I think you can express your anger, your frustration, but if you're not, it might be better not to, or you'll face repercussions.
When you let it happen that the anger eats you up, I think it can definitely hinder conversation. When it is in the right place though, and you control the anger rather than it controls you, I think then it really can stimulate discussion.
I also think that anger is something that is sparked by hurt - when you're hurt you tend to go through phases like anger and sadness, and finally, I'd like to say that, for me personally, I'd rather take anger because it let's you do shit, instead of sadness, which just numbs you down into a state where you don't get anything done... that's my experiences at least.

message 5: by Benarji (new)

Benarji Anand | 153 comments Anger is an emotion. It is in every human, even Dalai Lama. Life isn't about not getting angry but how do we manage our anger? How quick do we recover from our anger? What makes us angry?

Some people prefer to bottle the emotion up while others feel the need to express their anger outwards. Both aren't wrong but the only setback to bottling up is if you don't have an output, it becomes destructive, eating us from within but on the plus side, it enables us to be a better listener. It is important to be yourself. If something is bothering you, there should be an initiative to voice out.

I find that the more intelligent a person is, they try to be classy about rage and anger emotions while hotheaded fools tend to let loose and can even be violent. Anger is a moment. Don't be consumed by the moment, especially don't live to regret your actions later.

message 6: by David (new)

David B. | 11 comments I had severe anger management issues at an early age. Worse than most. I calmed down in the preteens, though.

Anger, in its base form, is a form of communication. It makes you more formidable, more able to stand your ground. It can be used aggressively or defensively. Anger is a language, and it speaks well. Unfortunately, it is usually used destructively. Anger is a fire, and it can be difficult to control.

Many societies try to shun anger as a negative emotion, but it is an important part of psychology, whether or not people accept it. Those who understand anger and learn how to harness it can become quite influential.

This is a link to an article on anger I found a while back. It took me about an hour to read, but it was very informative and thought provoking. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...

message 7: by Savannah (new)

Savannah  Jackson  | 8 comments I think ultimately anger is an emotion, of other emotions. Something is behind it. Sadness, pain, feeling misunderstood, grief, etc.
I don’t think anger is inherently violent. I feel anger towards a lot of societal things right now but it’s mostly out of fear and trying to understand why.
I think this is a really good question.

message 8: by Savannah (new)

Savannah  Jackson  | 8 comments Anger I think, can be a fuel to spark change, to turn a new chapter in life. It can be a positive thing if funneled in the right way.

message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 264 comments i believe anger is an emotion inherent in all humans. i don't believe there is anything good/bad, or right/wrong about it. most of us learn about anger from the adults in our lives while we're growing up. that knowledge goes a long way toward our perspectives on anger and its expression.

i was someone who was not in touch with my anger for most of my life; therefore, i rarely felt it, let alone expressed it. i've learned that unexpressed emotions stay inside us, and can be extremely destructive to us physically.

being angry is natural. expressing anger is important. how we express it is a choice. i've been taught that expressing it safely means we don't hurt either someone else or ourselves in letting it out.

it feels good to me when i am now able to feel and express my anger. i was tolerant and patient for too long, to the point that i allowed my boundaries to be crossed over and over. this resulted in unhealthy patterns and physical illness. i don't wish that on anyone.

ultimately, i believe anger is a reality of knowing ourselves, what's ok and what's not for us as individuals.

message 10: by Agnes Szalkowska (new)

Agnes Szalkowska | 386 comments Well let me think from the psychology point of view on Anger:

Anger is a natural and mostly automatic response to pain of one form or another (physical or emotional). Anger can occur when people don't feel well, feel rejected, feel threatened, or experience some loss.

The type of pain does not matter; the important thing is that the pain experienced is unpleasant. Because anger never occurs in isolation but rather is necessarily preceded by pain feelings, it is often characterized as a ''secondhand'' emotion.

Anger: A Substitute Emotion

Anger can also be a substitute emotion. By this we mean that sometimes people make themselves angry so that they don't have to feel pain. People change their feelings of pain into anger because it feels better to be angry than it does to be in pain. This changing of pain into anger may be done consciously or unconsciously.

Being angry rather than simply in pain has a number of advantages, primarily among them distraction. People in pain generally think about their pain. However, angry people think about harming those who have caused pain. Part of the transmutation of pain into anger involves an attention shift - from self-focus to other-focus.

Anger thus temporarily protects people from having to recognize and deal with their painful real feelings; you get to worry about getting back at the people you're angry with instead. Making yourself angry can help you to hide the reality that you find a situation frightening or that you feel vulnerable.

In addition to providing a good smoke screen for feelings of vulnerability, becoming angry also creates a feeling of righteousness, power and moral superiority that is not present when someone is merely in pain. When you are angry, you are angry with cause. "The people who have hurt me are wrong - they should be punished" is the common refrain. It is very rare that someone will get angry with someone they do not think has harmed them in some significant fashion.

message 11: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Here are some readings I can recommend from a course I took two years ago about anger and race:

Roxane Gay, Who Gets To Be Angry?

Lisa Feldman Barrett, The Varieties of Anger

Audre Lorde, A Poem for Women in Rage

Mychal Denzel Smith, The Rebirth of Black Rage

Books and articles:

bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism

J. Halberstam, "Imagined Violence/Queer Violence: Representation, Rage, and Resistance"

Robert Staples, “The Myth of Black Macho: A Response to Angry Black Feminists"

Julianne Malveaux, "The Sexual Politics of Black People: Angry Black Women, Angry Black Men"

Just a few that I immediately recall!

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