The Ecology of Anger: The Most Misinterpreted Emotion

We can never be quite clear whether we are referring to the world as it is or to the world as we see it.” — Gregory Bateson.

Kenneth Silvestri
ILLUMINATION-Curated

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Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Anger happens as an emotion. In my mind, it is neither bad nor good, and it does not have to be one or the other. It is just a human emotion looking for an understandable context. It is confusing, as Carol Tavris described in her classic book Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion. Why is this so?

Alfred Korzybski coins a famous phrase, “The map is not the territory.” He used this to explain how our imposed models of reality differ from what we encounter.

Anger implies that there are very few one-size-fits-all solutions that work for everyone. However, when it is repetitively heard, i.e., “ Release your anger” or “anger is unacceptable,” these admonitions eventually become believed as absolute truth. This perpetuates a narrow view of anger and a need to defend oneself with some degree of aggression.

We may and should, in many cases, use maps and words to orient ourselves: to drive on the correct side of the road, ethically live by some sense of a golden rule, and hike freely in the mountains.

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Kenneth Silvestri
ILLUMINATION-Curated

Dr. Kenneth Silvestri, is a psychotherapist, certified homeopath, poet, and author of A Wider Lens; Train Romance; and Legacy Poems, www.drkennethsilvestri.com