As we go through our daily routines, we all at times come across situations that annoy us to the extent of us wanting to smash something.
It could be because the maid did not get the kids ready on time for school or a fellow motorist suddenly switching lanes and cutting in front of you, causing you to stop suddenly, sending loose objects flying inside the car and planting the urge in your mind to get out of the car and give the offender one good one right on the kisser.
Children may get angry with their parents for refusing to give them what they want.
Every week, soccer fans see red and invent new words of insults as their favourite players get booked and penalised for offences that could have been avoided had the players themselves kept their cool. All these are signs of mismanaged anger.
According to experts, anger is an emotion just like any other. Anger comes from frustration when things don’t happen the way we wanted or expected.
“If something does not happen the way we want it, we get angry,” said Dr Mohammad, a psychologist working in Gaborone. “It changes our perception at that moment and we may end up seeing more wrong than right.”
Mohammad says there are different ways of expressing ones anger. Some people react violently while others just keep it inside.
Demonstrative expressing of anger is whereby a person gets into a rage, yelling at others, throwing around furniture and sometimes even attacking those around them.
Recently, South Africa ruling party, ANC, ordered its youth league president Julius Malema to attend anger management classes after Malema lost his temper during a press conference, calling a BBC journalist a “bloody agent” during a press conference.
Suppressive expression of anger is where a person keeps their anger inside.
Dr Mohammad warns that this is not the best option as it can cause depression, which may lead to alcohol and substance abuse.
Nobody likes being around an angry person, hence this can affect relationships at work and at home.
Being angry all the time also poses a health risk.
“It can weaken a person’s heart in the long run,” says Mohammad.
Anger can be managed.
Gaborone-based Dr Rahman says people can be trained how not to get angry.
“It can be done in groups, through anger management programmes. But most importantly a person needs to first admit to oneself that you have a problem.”
International catwalk queen, Naomi Campbell, and R’n’B singer, Chris Brown, are some of many celebrities who have had issues with their temper.
Brown took up anger management classes after he assaulted his ex-girlfriend, superstar Rihanna, while Miss Campbell was ordered by a judge to take up anger management classes after she assaulted her maid.
Anger, wrongly used as an outlet for bottled-in negative emotion, gives the mistaken belief that when one bursts out, they ”are letting it all out”.
The way we handle anger has everything to do with how others perceive us and get along with us.
I personally do not like the feeling that hangs inside me after I blow up at someone in anger. It makes you angrier because a feeling of shame starts gnawing at you as you realise on your own that you did something wrong.
But since anger can be managed, we should try to admit to ourselves that we are in need of such help.