In a message dated 6/7/99 11:58:20 PM, you wrote:
Actually, it appears now that this was a bit of a myth. Feeling angry, and
getting angry are sort of different. There apparently is no sych thing as
"blowing off steam".At least not from a medical point of view. Coping skills
for anger that include talking about it, being assertive etc, seem to be
healthy. But fight actions reportedly Steam You Up More, not release steam.
Darwin speculated that the "agitation informed the emotion itself: that what
we do tells us how we feel."
When we first get mad, at like say, Joe's insults ;- ), mike may feel an internal organic rush. The chest tightens, the blood rises, and we may feel a pounding in our temples. These reponses are the ACTUAL emotion, not a response to them, according to some philosophies. Chemical changes elevate and escalate and so forth.
However, problems of assertiveness are different from controlling anger. Finding anger distasteful may simply be a very healthy aversion to a life-shortening sequence of events (just as some people hate cigarrettes, or fat). Or, it could be an assertiveness problem, which means walking thorugh fears of confrontation, etc.
At anyrate, newer studies are showing that the difference is not in controlling OR venting anger, but in how we are EXPRESSING it. Impulsive, Type-A wall punching eventually results in high blood pressure, stress and heart attacks. It also is a precursor for domestic violence, can make us lose friendships, and can even threaten business and livelihood. Talking about it an a calm manner, even if you're feeling just as angry, seems to have less health risk.