Ask if the experience of raging is worth the psychological fallout

Some people simply need something to be furious at.

Their rage is not about emotion, it’s about identity. Saying that they hate things is what makes them happy. It’s the pellet that makes the rat feel like themselves. They’re defined by what they don’t like.

This behavior, foul as it may be, is psychologically understandable.

Who doesn’t love yanking that pressure release valve to let the all their steam escape?

But from a practical standpoint, the economics of hate doesn’t compute. Not that we need a clinical reason not to rage, but it’s an interesting way to think about it.

Because putting aside our own peace of mind and potential for joy, just to feel those hateful feelings, isn’t worth the effort.

Reminds me of the popular productivity study that found it took an average of twenty three minutes for employees to get back to the task after a coworker interrupted them.

A similar reaction happens when we distract ourselves with our vitriolic feelings. Our frontal cortex lights up. It’s like introducing sulfuric acid into our system, and allowing the reside left behind to wear down the machine.

Nepo, my current favorite philosopher, says that the reward for loving is being the carrier of it. Which also means that the opposite is true.

The punishment for hate is being the messenger of it. Every time we show that kind of feeling towards someone or something, it’s recorded in our body.

Point being, if we find ourselves trying to gain power and authority by putting things down, we should ask ourselves if the person or thing we are hating is really worth it.

Probably not.

We should ask ourselves who we would be without any of our resentments.

Probably a lot.

We should ask ourselves if the experience of raging is worth the psychological fallout.

Probably not.

Carlin’s immortal words come to mind. The comedian once wrote:

All of your chanting, marching, voting, picketing, boycotting and letter writing will not change a thing. You will never right the wrongs of this world. The only thing your activity will accomplish is to make some of you feel better. Such activity makes powerless people feel useful, and provides them the illusion that they’re making a difference. If you think there’s a solution, you’re part of the problem.

We may be attached our fury because it’s fashionable, but that doesn’t mean we have to revamp our entire wardrobe around it.

I’m not saying we have to love everything, but let’s not waste any more time hating it either.

Who would you be without any of your resentments?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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