Emotions and Your Health: Anger

“Be not hasty in thy spirit to anger: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”
–Ecclesiastes 7:9 

The year was 1979. A seven-year old boy was in the living room, sitting in front of the TV, playing with some of his toys. After a commercial went off, the little guy jumped up full of excitement. He could hardly contain himself as one of the most famous lines in television history filled his ears.

“Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
With unbridled enthusiasm and putting on his best angry face, the little guy spun around towards his father- who was sitting on the couch near him- and roared, “Yeah, Dad. Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!”

The little guy’s face was so twisted and contorted that his father burst into laughter. Thinking that his father needed more convincing, the little guy started ripping off the t-shirt he was wearing.

The father sat there for a split second in disbelief. His amusement turned to anger. “Boy! What in the world is wrong with you?!”

With his play anger morphing into fear, the little guy meekly replied, “I…I’m The Incredible Hulk, Dad.”

“If you ever tear up your clothes like that again you’re going to get an incredible butt-whuppin’!”

The little guy in this comical story was me. And that was the first and last time I put the shirt ripping routine into my Incredible Hulk impersonation.

When I was growing up, in my mind, getting angry always seemed to lead to one of two results. Either people thought that you were the cool, super-hero, tough guy (or woman) type that wasn’t to be played with or they thought you were the overly sensitive, mindless buffoon moonlighting as a bully type.

Regardless of what you or I think about anger one thing is for sure. It’s one of the most dangerous forces in existence.

Nations have been practically destroyed, countless souls laid to rest, and many harsh words have been regretfully uttered because of anger gone unchecked.

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