Last week someone had an outburst in a meeting. I didn’t think much of it, but afterward, a colleague told me she was angry about this other person’s outburst. She was surprised that I wasn’t mad. “She was disrespecting us! You should be outraged!” I was pretty happy about the outburst because I gained valuable insight into this person, they were upset and felt strongly about the topic. It hadn’t occurred to me to be angry.
I’ve experienced this phenomenon a few times where people tried to encourage me to be angry. It leaves me feeling dumb like I’m not smart enough to see the problem. But did I really need to find things to be upset about?
So I’ve decided when I want to be angry and when I don’t.
Angry: I’m not seeing the injustice happening. Social activists help us see injustices in the world that we’re not aware of. Detroit has a problem with their water? Oh, now I know, and I’m outraged! Corporate workers are giving up their humanity for money? Good to know. Someone stole from me and I didn’t realize it? Angry!!
Not Angry: Someone is reacting to a situation. Eh. Have your reaction. Be human. Let me know when I can help. I’ll wait, or maybe I won’t wait. But either way, you’re not affecting my mood.
There are plenty of things to be angry about. If I’m not angry, don’t try and make me.
What are you angry about? Let us know!