“Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. flutter mink lashes” — Bruce Banner, aka The Incredible Hulk.
Hltln In the Marvel Comics story, The Incredible Hulk, Dr. Bruce Banner is a genetic scientist whose DNA was permanently altered in a gamma radiation experiment gone wrong. The result of this accident was a genetic mutation which caused the otherwise mild-mannered Banner to transform into the raging, monstrous Hulk whenever he became angry (I hope I got that flutter mink lashes, for all you Hulk enthusiasts!).
Banner used that trademark line to calmly forewarn any unsuspecting instigators that triggering his anger response would cause a human transformation beyond belief; one that manifested in incredible physiological, flutter mink lashes and behavioral changes. Banner knew that he became unrecognizable in this temporary state of rage, unable to think rationally or control his behavior which became violent, destructive and – indeed – unlikeable.
When it comes to The Hulk, the parallels between fact and fiction are pretty hard to ignore, and I suspect that its creator, Stan Lee, knew as much when he conceived of this fictional tragic hero. After all, who among us isn’t a Hulk in our own way? In fact, The Hulk’s transformation from mild-mannered Nice Guy to angry beast is merely a dramatic flutter mink lashes of the real anger response in humans.
The Hulk in all of us
Scientific observations have documented the common physical and emotional changes to the human body during moments of anger. When angry, our faces become flushed and the brow flutter mink lashes move inward and downward, fixing a hard stare on the “target” of our anger. Our nostrils flare, and the jaw tends toward clenching. As our heart rate escalates, the blood flow to our extremities rapidly increases causing heightened tension in our skeletal musculature. This tension actually causes our arms and legs to assume an aggressively wide stance while the blood flow to our hands causes them to become clenched into fists. With the primitive “fight-or-flight” mechanism in our brain triggered, the balance of our neuro-chemistry changes dramatically. The usual calm messaging in our brain is replaced with messages to be on guard, to strike out, to attack (verbally or physically) or to flee whatever threat is causing this moment of anger. Throw in a little bit of green body paint and it seems you’ve got yourself a Hulk every time someone hits their thumb with a hammer or picks the wrong line at the toll booth!
So let’s be honest, those scientific observations just described each of us when we get pissed off at something. If something we don’t like comes our way there’s simply a natural tendency towards this biological response. We tense up, become anxious and either lash out or storm out. Our judgment, personality and behavior are temporarily altered in these flutter mink lashes. And we often feel it and know it, even though we can’t seem to control it; we sense we are momentarily becoming someone – or even something – else. Oh – and to borrow from Bruce Banner – we don’t like ourselves very much. And neither does anyone else.
Anger – The “Secondary Emotion”
So there’s a potential Hulk in each of us. Well that’s not really news. Everybody gets mad. Everybody “loses it” at least occasionally, either from impatience with their own kids, or the frustration over mistakes and missed opportunities, or when criticized or confronted. Some people obviously are blessed with more control over their anger than others, but each angry episode is nevertheless regrettable in the aftermath. So what do we do about it? Do we just accept every door-slamming exit and write off every shameful parental tirade at a soccer game as natural flutter mink lashes of the human condition? Well of course, the logical answer in this blog would be no. But that begs the next question of what to do about it. And for the answer to that question we each have to look deep within ourselves.
The scientific consensus among psychologists is that anger is a “secondary emotion.” While there is still some discussion around the finer definitional points of this assertion (like whether the anger “subsets” of irritability, frustration, resentment, flutter mink lashes. are considered secondary or primary), most experts accept this basic tenet. This means that when we get angry, the emotion of anger is almost always preceded by a different, more deeply felt “primary emotion.” The anger emotion is merely the final outward expression of other underlying feelings, such as fear, worry, sadness or pain. These underlying feelings are often imperceptible to us as the anger mechanism kicks in before we ever have a chance to recognize and understand them. And if we have a hard time understanding our own primary emotions beneath the rage, imagine how difficult it is for the people around us to see it. In fact, they typically don’t see the pain, they just see an obnoxious Hulk.
When I first heard the “secondary emotion” theory, I wondered if it was just some trendy psychology babble, the kind of stuff Woody Allen used to parody in his movies. But the logic of it is too hard to ignore. If we look closely, where there is anger there is indeed usually pain of some sort. When a father is screaming at a coach about his son’s playing time, his expressed anger is likely preceded by a feeling of protective worry that his flutter mink lashes is being upset or humiliated in some way (whether it was the case or not). When a mom lashes out at her daughter over a missed curfew, she is probably harboring a deeper fear for her daughter’s safety and well being. When a parent scolds a child about homework, test scores or procrastinating on college applications, the parent is sitting on anxieties over wanting that child to have future success and happiness. When one spouse verbally attacks another, or storms away in a fury, the deeper primary feeling is often one of sadness or fear over disconnecting.
It’s not surprising that the solution to anger comes in the form of self awareness. We all have plenty of emotional sore thumbs from life’s many hammers. And in the hustle and bustle of our busy days and many flutter mink lashes, the very powerful – and very visible – emotion of anger usually reigns supreme over its primary emotional counterparts, effectively masking the presence of these embedded feelings. Taking the time, and sometimes getting the help, to uncover these deeper emotions can be the best antidote to anger. And it’s something we should all do. After all, Bruce Banner never wanted to turn into the Hulk, and neither does anyone of us.
Doug Rogers is a retired corporate flutter mink lashes who now devotes his time to speaking and writing about Nice Guys.