Anger is a Drug
I just posted that I wasn’t going to blog more than once a week or so, but this is related to yesterday’s thoughts.
I go on internet diets to reduce the signal to noise, but I am most likely to simply restrict access to bad news and stick to safe places on my blog or social media. I’ve had run-ins with a few fans who I’ve had to ask to please stop sending me bad news articles, or to please understand that I can’t help them with a problem.
I’m a cartoonist. And I’m not equipped to deal with some of the problems people bring to my inbox. And if someone acts out when I say this, I realize I am dealing with someone who is not well, and I shouldn’t take it personally.
I don’t believe human beings are equipped to deal with the level of bad news we get in today’s society. In the past, we dealt with what was in front of us. Now we have links 24/7 to worldwide crises, to go on top of everyone we know who acts like every time life doesn’t go their way, they are as underprivileged as those born in the Black Hole of Calcutta.
But everybody has a bad day. How much of that bad day should you vent?
Not that much.
I posted the other day about a creator who lost a gig because I sent a client their way. Alas for them, they’ve been venting online a lot. Apparently, for a long time. The client took one look at that tantrum and went the other way. This is not the first time I’ve had this happen. For all I know, clients took a look at something I wrote on my old blog and went the other way, too.
I started going to motivational seminars years ago, and they helped me quite a lot. I learned that when I just, you know, didn’t vent, I tended to feel better. And I learned some techniques to control what language I used to apply to every day situations: the more dramatic and negative the language, the more dramatic and negative I felt. Reduce the power of the words you apply to a situation, and you reduce your perception of the power of the situation.
You may still not be able to pay the rent on Monday, but you don’t have to frame it as an end of the world crises. “Hm, guess I’ll be late. I could use some extra money, so I’ll get a part time job, too. I’ll go look for one right now!”
It beats the heck out of wailing, “WAH! No one will help me and I have the worst luck in the world!”
A bit of self control changes your outlook. Focusing on the negative makes you more negative. That’s all there is to it. “Cheer up!” won’t cure someone who is dealing with mental illness, but it won’t hurt you one bit.
You’re not responsible if someone is acting out. You have the right to get some distance. If they can’t deal with that, they need professional help.
Anger is drug-like. And like any prescription there are times you should take it and times you shouldn’t. Don’t get addicted.
And don’t let other people blackmail you into believing that your happiness is a sin against them.