Online Anger: Where It Comes From and How to Control It

An admission: I have, on occasion, been an asshole on the Intarwebs.  While I don’t agree that “disgruntled customers” complaining about companies is as bad a thing as online harassment and cyberbullying, this article has some useful info.  Andrea Weckerle writes at the Good Men Project:

When people are harassed, attacked or intimidated, what’s really going on is that someone is trying to take away their voice and browbeat them into submission. That’s not okay and it’s not an effective persuasion method. Unfortunately, with a low barrier to entry and the ability to remain anonymous or hide behind a pseudonym, coupled with instant dissemination, global reach, and the inability to fully retract statements, everything is amplified online. Poor self-control and anger management feed right into this. There’s a lot of hyper-aggressive posturing online, venting for the sake of venting, and being intentionally provocative just to get a reaction out of others. It’s as though some people are stuck in perpetual adolescence where being oppositional is a way of life. More often than not they don’t take into consideration the negative effect their behavior has on others or the reputational harm they’re inflicting on themselves.My book “Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies, and Other Jerks,” devotes a whole chapter to anger and anger management. And, not surprisingly, there are gender differences:

Socially there are differences between who is allowed to express anger without stigmatization and who isn’t. For example, anger is generally considered more acceptable in men than in women. According to anger researcher Raymond DiGiuseppe, Ph.D., professor and chair of the psychology department at St. John’s University, men express their anger more physically than women and are more passive aggressive, whereas women hold on to their anger longer and don’t express their anger as openly as men do. Yale University psychologist Victoria Brescoll, co-author with Eric Uhlmann of the research article “Can an Angry Woman Get Ahead? Status

Conferral, Gender, and Expression of Emotion in the Workplace,” noted, “For men, expressing anger may heighten status: Men who expressed anger in a professional context were generally conferred higher status than men who expressed sadness. For women, however, expressing anger had the opposite effect: Professional women who expressed anger were consistently accorded lower status and lower wages, and were seen as less competent, than angry men and unemotional women.

We need to keep in mind that anger on its own isn’t the problem. Anger is a normal and even healthy and appropriate emotion is certain situations. But it’s when anger is expressed negatively and becomes destructive to others or oneself that we need to sound the alarm. So what are some of the things that people can do to more effectively manage their anger? Here are things to consider:

  • Learn how to properly label the emotions you’re experiencing. Feeling annoyed or frustrated is different than feeling furious, and recognizing this will help you decide what an appropriate action in a given instance might be.
  • Find out what your anger triggers are. What issues tend to set you off, what people rub you the wrong way? Knowing this ahead of time will help you brace against them.
  • Recognize your own physical manifestations of anger, such as feeling flushed, or experiencing an accelerated heart rate or tensed muscles, so you can take action corrective action before you erupt.
  • Guard against cognitive errors such as making faulty assumptions about the intent behind someone’s statement, overgeneralizing an event in terms of its negative impact, or using anger as an emotional defense mechanism for an underlying problem.
  • Learn how long it usually takes you to become angry and how long it takes you to calm down again. Commit to not responding to an anger trigger while you’re still in the midst of feeling badly.
  • Decide if, when, and how you’re going to respond to something that bothers you online. Remember that in many cases, you get to decide these things.
  • If you’re required to respond, practice self-distancing, which means taking a detached view of what’s happening and avoiding becoming emotionally tangled up in it.
Read more here.

42 Comments on "Online Anger: Where It Comes From and How to Control It"

  1. lazy_friend | Feb 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

    Your anger is a gift.

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 24, 2013 at 12:57 am |

      From Jesus.

      • lazy_friend | Feb 24, 2013 at 4:50 am |

        Kombat Jesus wants you!

        • Calypso_1 | Feb 24, 2013 at 9:17 am |

          I have a very early memory of being made to march around the church w/ all the other tikes with the xtian ‘flag’ singing I’m in the Lord’s Army. We were then told the greatest thing we could ever be was a martyr for Christ. If only they’d thought to strap the vests onto us then…maybe they wouldn’t be losing the country to devil worshipers & queers.

          • lazy_friend | Feb 24, 2013 at 11:24 am |

            Yeah, they made me sing too. At least they got to hear my golden pipes before puberty hit and took them away. I think some of them a realizing that they are the ones doing the the devil worship without realizing and drinking pretend blood, while most of their high priests are gay and proud of it but just can’t show it so they can keep their job security.

          • lazy_friend | Feb 24, 2013 at 11:24 am |

            Yeah, they made me sing too. At least they got to hear my golden pipes before puberty hit and took them away. I think some of them a realizing that they are the ones doing the the devil worship without realizing and drinking pretend blood, while most of their high priests are gay and proud of it but just can’t show it so they can keep their job security.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

            Just think…. In an earlier age it might have been your puberty that was taken from you.
            And just what was done with those nascent jewels?

          • lazy_friend | Feb 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

            They got replaced with a deeper pitch, which I can’t hold and testosterone which made me want to play a more physical instrument (drums). I was an altar boy too, good thing the priest was a womanizer not a pedobear, at least from my experience. He quit the church for a life in politics where loose women are easier to come by.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm |

            you make a false connection between opera and religion

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm |

            you make a false connection between opera and religion

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

            That’s intersting considering castrati were being enjoyed by Popes & Cardinals alike in the Choir of the Sistine Chapel & long before that in the choirs of Byzantine churches. Can you imagine that heart piercing sonority soaring into the dome of the Hagia Sophia!

            ….. Oh, all before a single opera was ever written.

            P.S.
            I would be cautious in certain haute circles in suggesting that opera is not religion.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 26, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

            indeed, what a treat it must have been to hear a boy’s voice with a man’s power singing God’s praises. One of the more tangible/apparent extinct-anachronisms from the perspective of our age. I knew I was baiting amelioration with that comment.

            I just went last week, taking advantage of comp tickets through my organization. I wish I could splash water on the orchestra for being too loud. “Yes Wagner wrote this for 24 strings…USING GUT!!!!”

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 26, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

            indeed, what a treat it must have been to hear a boy’s voice with a man’s power singing God’s praises. One of the more tangible/apparent extinct-anachronisms from the perspective of our age. I knew I was baiting amelioration with that comment.

            I just went last week, taking advantage of comp tickets through my organization. I wish I could splash water on the orchestra for being too loud. “Yes Wagner wrote this for 24 strings…USING GUT!!!!”

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm |

            I am a strong exponent of correct period instrumentation. I am classically trained, most practiced upon the cors anglais. I am also a fair counter-tenor.

            These days I am more likely to found twanging on a berimbau & intoning strange cryptic vocal modulations.

            The drone captured me early in my student music days (thanks La Monte Young).

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm |

            I am a strong exponent of correct period instrumentation. I am classically trained, most practiced upon the cors anglais. I am also a fair counter-tenor.

            These days I am more likely to found twanging on a berimbau & intoning strange cryptic vocal modulations.

            The drone captured me early in my student music days (thanks La Monte Young).

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 27, 2013 at 1:32 am |

            that is really freaking interesting. also that guy “totally looks like” Arvo Pärt

            http://cheezburger.com/7097456128

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 27, 2013 at 1:32 am |

            that is really freaking interesting. also that guy “totally looks like” Arvo Pärt

            http://cheezburger.com/7097456128

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 27, 2013 at 8:51 am |

            He’s my idea of a True Drone Operator

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLitnrAd9jg

          • Calypso_1 | Mar 7, 2013 at 9:14 am |

            listening to ‘In Principio’ this morning

            may your day be as composed

    • Anarchy Pony | Feb 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm |

      Thus Spake the prophet de la Roca.

      • lazy_friend | Feb 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm |

        It’s a great statement and advice. There are a lot of people that get abused because they are afraid of showing anger and losing their “reputation” or friends or whatever. People that get angry all the time need anger management, as its not a party if it happens everyday. But if you are fairly laid back and something is pissing you off, for god’s sake let it be known.

  2. and remember:
    yer good enough, yer smart enough and doggone it, people like you.

    • canadaslade | Feb 24, 2013 at 7:04 am |

      my roomate’s mother-in-law makes $70/hr on the internet. She has been
      unemployed for 5 months but last month her payment was $13745 just
      working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site and read
      more ­ ­ ­A­s­k­2­5­.­­c­o­m­

      • BuzzCoastin | Feb 24, 2013 at 7:10 am |

        This is about online anger and I’m sick of your go get a job bullshit.
        What the Fuck are doing posting this kinda shit here. Who the Fuck do you think you are?
        Your roommate’s mother-in-law is a cheap whore.
        (And you spelled roommate rong you asswhole)
        It will be a cold day in hell before I go to A­s­k­2­5­.­­c­o­m­
        except for DOS attack you scum bag.
        Oh &
        have a nice day!

      • BuzzCoastin | Feb 24, 2013 at 7:10 am |

        This is about online anger and I’m sick of your go get a job bullshit.
        What the Fuck are doing posting this kinda shit here. Who the Fuck do you think you are?
        Your roommate’s mother-in-law is a cheap whore.
        (And you spelled roommate rong you asswhole)
        It will be a cold day in hell before I go to A­s­k­2­5­.­­c­o­m­
        except for DOS attack you scum bag.
        Oh &
        have a nice day!

      • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Feb 24, 2013 at 9:49 am |

        Please tell me it’s working with online anger management. I would also accept running a server for videos of obscure SNL references.

        I shutter to think what else it would be.

      • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Feb 24, 2013 at 9:49 am |

        Please tell me it’s working with online anger management. I would also accept running a server for videos of obscure SNL references.

        I shutter to think what else it would be.

  3. Someone should post this on ATS!

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 24, 2013 at 1:06 am |

      Try this first.

      • Mmm, petro-chemicals, yum!

        • Calypso_1 | Feb 24, 2013 at 9:32 am |

          Even better a fluorinated benzene fused isoxazole.
          That will really freak them out.

          • InfvoCuernos | Feb 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

            WTF? All its missing is some mercury.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

            Fear not. Our chemtrail program has it covered.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

            Just wait till the liquid mercury mirror resonator gets installed on the HAARP.

          • I’d move to Idaho if it weren’t for all the Mormons and smelly beet sugar processing plants. Nampa stinks!

          • This is starting to read like a table of contents for a book. One without a happy ending.

            @Jnana – Will not buy beet sugar, and Mormon is no longer PC. I know because one of my roommates used ta be one. Saints is the politically correct way to refer to them.

            LMFAO Mitt Romney, Saint.

            @InfvoCurnos – We are getting are daily recommended allowance of mercury in the High Fructose Genetically Modified Corn Syrup – I believe in full names.

            @ Calypso – Now they told me on ATS that HAARP was just research and there were no Chemtrails. And we know it is correct because Phage said it was. Meh!

  4. LucidDreamR | Feb 24, 2013 at 1:46 am |

    Boy the world would sure be a boring place if all these “bad” emotions/reactions were eliminated. I love technology and robots… but I’d much prefer staying human thank you.

  5. I only act angry, because I want people to think I am cool.

  6. I only act angry, because I want people to think I am cool.

Comments are closed.