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By (March 6, 2009) ()

My presentation emotion was “anger,” though the only time I think I was slightly angry this week was about some programming problems in my job – I have been working on a new project and the people who worked on it before made kind of a mess of things.

However, that sort of fell into the category the book calls “anger without attribution,” since I don’t really know the people who worked on it before, so I couldn’t really place the anger anywhere.

A lot of times that I have felt personally angry with people have been in traffic, as either a driver or pedestrian. Anger on the road is not unusual, of course, it’s commonly known as road rage; specifically, the things that tick me off the most are when someone else makes a bad move (missed a sign, didn’t wait their turn at a four-way stop, etc) and acts like I’m the one in error, and the other is when drivers cut me off when I’m a pedestrian in the crosswalk with the right of way.

One of the interesting ideas in the book is that fear and anger have similar physiological characteristics and are sometimes caused by similar situations, but “if you feel more powerful than the other person, you feel angry; if you feel powerless, you are frightened.” (page 126) So if you wanted to prevent someone from feeling angry, you could intimidate them while you’re doing whatever that might make them angry. That kind of reminds me of U.S. foreign policy, there’s that quote (I couldn’t find the exact wording or the source) about how the U.S. would rather be feared than respected.

March 6, 2009

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