You may feel better after you’ve vented your anger but there’s little point –
- Venting does not diminish anger
- The feeling intensifies
- You create fresh damage to those you lash out at.
Why do we do it?
Anger is normal. But chronically angry people have a strong sense of entitlement about how the world should look and others should act. They are poor self-regulators who attribute discomfort they experience others. Poor self-regulation means they do not act in the long-term consistent with values.
Their bravado may appear as strength but it masks weak self-control. When things don’t go their way they lash out believing their anger is a justified reaction to an unfair world.
“If they hadn’t have done that, I wouldn’t be angry.” (They genuinely believe this.)
The surge of anger provides ‘a shot of adrenaline-driven energy’ that has amphetamine and analgesic effects, providing a sense of power that numbs pain. That sense of relief is called catharsis but it’s temporary.