Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “Anger”)

Mr. Jolly, 

I have a friend of mine who always seems to be angry. He explodes over just about anything and he is always talking about fighting someone at the mere hint of a confrontation. I try to tell him that being mad at the world will not solve anything but he doesn’t listen. I am afraid that one day he will get himself into something that he will regret. I am starting to become scared of him myself. What can be done for someone like him, or should I just leave him alone?

Anger is often the result of feelings that are pent up inside. When you feel frustration, desperation, or confrontation and you don’t exercise a means to let it out of your system, then anger can result. Everyone gets angry, but not everyone has the means to control his or her anger. We ALL are byproducts of our environment and our upbringings. In other words, if a child is brought up in a world of violence and chaos, then chances are this child will emulate what he knows as an adult. If your friend is constantly exhibiting anger, then that means he has lost the ability to “control” his frustration. That can also make him “dangerous.” Our criminal institutions are “filled” with inmates who “couldn’t” control their anger at some point, and if your friend doesn’t find a way to limit his then he may find himself in a similar predicament. I rarely get angry, but when I do feel anger I just take the steps needed to help me get over it. First, I have no problem with taking a “long walk.” When walking, all the energy that I would contribute to anger gets released through my workout. For me, walking not only improves my health, but it is “great” for bringing peace of mind. It allows me to reflect on the circumstances at hand and it gives me a chance to “step back from the screen so that I can see the overall picture.” I am also a strong proponent for “re-channeled energy.” When feeling pent up, I think it is great to channel that energy into something positive that works for you instead of against you. For instance, if you like to line dance, then when you get angry go to the line dance place and “dance your frustrations away.” Even if you can’t dance (and we all know MANY people in this category) you will have fun just engaging in the activity. During my  younger years I would always go out and play basketball whenever I felt “stressed.” The more stressed I was, the better I played (because I was letting my stress out on the people who were trying to guard me). EVERYONE should have an “out.” An “out” can be a hobby, habit or desire that helps you when you are feeling out of sorts. It sounds as though your friend doesn’t have one, and that could be a problem in the very near future. You should NEVER endanger yourself when confronting someone who seems to have lost his or her ability to remain calm. If this man appears “unreasonable” then you need to stay away from him. However, if you can manage to talk rationally to him, then maybe you can suggest that he join a gym as a “boxer.” Since he feels that he needs to fight everyone then he can contribute to his own future by showing what he can do “in the ring.” This would be a great opportunity for him to have something else to focus on and hopefully channel his energy into a more positive direction. There are people out there who need help. If we cannot control our anger then at some point our anger will “control us.” There is nothing wrong with suggesting to your friend that he join a boxing gym. If he takes you up on your suggestion, then you just might have saved him from doing something that he could regret later on. That might also save someone else in the process. Good luck to you, and have a great weekend.


Paul Shafer on piano (from the Dave Letterman show), Tommy Bell (on chair) and Brett Jolly in concert (Brett in top center)Image