Anger and the Gang (Rudeness, Sarcasm, Cynicism and More)
Recently, a debate was sparked on FaceBook when I posted this question/statement as my status; “Being rude to people is nothing more than deep down anger; what are so many people so angry about? Do not engage and simply smile”. The post was in response to something I read about being rude and why people choose to put negative energy like that into the universe. I was surprised by the reaction of my declaration that rudeness was tied to anger; it actually made people kind of, well, angry.
What was most shocking was the level to which things escalated and how quickly it got there. Why does my, or anybody else’s, opinion really matter? Why the need to furiously defend why we believe what we believe to the brink of nastiness? To me, the answer is very clear; it’s ironically all about anger. I am not trying to uphold my statement, for me personally it is the truth and that is all I need. However, I feel the topic is so vital that it requires explanation.
So what exactly is rudeness? I guess it is probably very different things to each and every person based upon what types of behavior you are willing to tolerate. As a mother of 3 young children, I will tell you that kids can be socially rude and that it has nothing to do with rage, usually just innocent inconsideration. That being said, I have seen many parents react with total outrage to their little ones lack of social graces; which of course turns the minor, laughable gaffe into an uncomfortable mess that teaches the child nothing about their manner’s related faux pas and leaves them feeling hurt and confused.
The rudeness that hangs out with anger usually comes in the form of snarky or cruel sarcasm, disrespectful attitudes, offensive responses and extreme impoliteness. We have all experienced a person of this sort and many of us engage right back because that type of energy can be contagious. It happens everywhere every single day; at sporting events (even children’s sports), in school, at the office, at home, at family gatherings, etc… It has become an ugly habit in our society, to treat each other poorly, and it must stop. We have become so accustomed to rudeness that many do not even recognize it any longer.
The amount of cynical and unbelievably hurtful things people say daily is staggering; but because they wrap it in supposed humor and tie it with a ribbon of “just joking” that makes it okay? It truly does not; anger is anger and just because you are smiling or laughing when you spew it does not raise the vibration of negativity it delivers once said.
I am often amazed at what people find humorous. People actually pay money to hear others mock, tease and ridicule other countries, certain types of people, the opposite sex, entire occupations, and the list goes on depending upon whom it is they fear. When you are putting people down, jokingly or otherwise, it is based in fear and insecurity and those are just part of Anger’s gang.
It seems that many people only consider anger to be in the form of irate arguments in which there must be yelling and screaming. While that is definitely true, it’s far from the extent that this emotion covers. Anger comes in lots of forms and when it builds up over time, it can spill out as insolence, defensiveness, cynicism, anxiety and more. Countless statements are relayed daily that most assume are not said in anger but they are absolutely based in it. When you aggressively defend your beliefs in a conversation or sarcastically joke about the lifestyle choices of another or refuse be kind to a waitress because he/she made a simple error or post a cynical comment on a blog about a news story; you are indeed playing with anger. Maybe it’s not the driving force behind your actions because you don’t necessarily feel mad, but make no mistake that acting in this manner is a bi-product of anger; you just might not be aware of it.
Every time we are annoyed, irritated, enraged, infuriated or simply upset over something or somebody; it is stored within our being. Even when we have supposedly gotten over the matter, it remains. Releasing toxic emotions through meditation, chakra cleansing, yoga and other spiritual means is a beneficial way to ensure anger does not foster and bring its friends along (rudeness, sarcasm and cynicism) to take over; sometimes we don’t even realize when it happens.
So how can we distinguish anger and the gang from truly humorous and witty repartee? It’s actually quite easy; how does what you or somebody else says make you feel? Not just on an emotional level, but within your intuition. What message are you receiving when you hear a friend tear down another friend with a sarcastic, joking statement? Really listen to the words, the tone and ask yourself what reason there is to speak this way? If it truly is just to be funny, than you would not need to do it at the expense of another; judgment is judgment even when it is humorous. Needing to bring others down to make yourself feel better denotes insecurity and an annoyance over not measuring up in some way. It’s never really about just cracking a joke.
Then there is the art of debate; when does conveying an opinion cross into anger territory? Another easy answer, when it becomes defensive. Conversing with others and talking about why we believe something is fine, even healthy. However, needing others to believe what we do and judging them when they don’t does cross a line into unhealthy. When I hear people debating or see it online I can always tell that it starts friendly and then there is a turning point where cynicism rears its ugly head and the only goal is to slaughter the opponent with an even wittier and more hurtful retort to vehemently defend our point. Why the need to demolish the beliefs of others? It’s all about insecurity and the anxious need to control. If your goal is not to convert nor condemn but merely to convey then you will simply state your stance and never feel the need to defend it; only to define it. Once you begin using the language of justification, anger has stepped in.
When faced with these tactics, it truly is best not to engage. Participation is degrading humor, gossip, cynical debate and rude exchanges will only exacerbate the negative energy surrounding these behaviors. When we choose to ignore or walk away, we end the cycle and restore positive energy; when we do not, we become part of the anger. Awareness is vital and will help you determine if anger or one of his buddies has come for a visit; best to not let any of them in and politely shut the door.