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Robert Jaffe

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Is the exteriorisation of angry feelings a good thing or a bad thing?

Years ago there was a fashion that advocated getting angry when you felt angry. It was thought at the time that it was better for the angry person to show and demonstrate their anger than to repress it. Now psychologists have changed their minds and reversed their position. It's now believed by almost all professionals that getting angry when you feel angry makes things much, much worse, both for the person feeling angry and for those around him or her. This issue is related not only to violence, but also to current political polarization. What do you think? What do you feel is the proper way to deal with angry feelings?

Topics: violence
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    May 20 2011: for politics , I think a third party (a professional mediator )might be helpful.
    personally , the bottom line is not to act that anger out on someone else and leave the scene if possible.but ye , its not that simple ...
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      May 20 2011: Well, Ms. Shaw, I think you're right about professional mediators. I WAS a professional mediator for 35 years (retired now) and I do think they might help the political situation. Some others have suggested that the different sides in politics trust different kinds of people, and that those particularly trustworthy folks be used to tamp things down.

      For example, take AGW. Neither side is actually listening to the other. There's a complete lack of trust on each side. Most people who think AGW is real trust scientists and specialized government officials. The anti-AGW group have been said to place more faith in businessmen and clergy. They simply do not trust scientists or government officials on this (or probably any) issue. If we could find some successful businessmen and evangelical clergy who do believe in AGW, perhaps they might have an easier time getting across the idea that AGW is real and has to be acted on now.

      As for the bottom line, I do agree with you about not acting out the anger on someone else and getting away from the scene. I think Kathy K above has some good ideas on that point.
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        May 23 2011: Mr Robert thanks for the AGW example. and yes wether or not a conflict can be resolved is not only determined by the third party but both sides who are willing to work together.do you think would it be helpful to get people from both sides to work towards a common goal or a spesific task ?

        i agree with what Kathy said and anger is always secondary feeling and what associates with it is of importance.

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