Anger is actually beneficial for the workplace. That’s the conclusion of a scientific study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior. And what can I say except that makes me angry.Ironic, I know, but here’s why:
You should never have to tell people that it’s okay to be angry. In fact, when people go around saying it’s okay to be angry, that in and of itself is a sure sign of emotional dysfunction.
Here’s what Dr. Dirk Lindebaum and Dr. Deanna Geddes say in their article, “The place and role of (moral) anger in organizational behavior studies”
Allowing morally-motivated anger to be expressed can serve as a tool of organisational diagnosis to better our individual and collective behaviours. Moral anger serves to avoid harm while improving upon or removing an unacceptable situation that violates important moral values. By prompting helping behaviour, moral anger attempts to reconcile disparity, repair damaging situations, restore equity and improve the human condition.
So people are supposed to read this an change their policies at work?
You know what? It makes me angry that some puke from HR would go around and say, “Hey, it’s okay guys. Get angry a little bit. Let out your emotions. In fact, lets schedule an anger workshop next Monday at 8AM.”
What kind of anger requires permission to exist?
That just shows your work environment is a namby-pamby place where people pretend everything is okay when it’s really not. People are getting walked all over by jerks with smiling faces rather than standing up and saying, “No!”
The worst people to work with are not the crudgemons with bushy moustaches and brooding unibrows. As gruff as they are, they get the job done and don’t mess with anyone.
The worst people to work with are the pretty boys with soft hands and clean shoes. The ones with bright eyes and wide smiles who backstab their way to the top. They speak the corporate language and hide behind the shield of workplace policy where any sign of dissatisfaction is treated like insubordination.
They make work like a cult where people act their parts even when no one is watching. (With all the survailance cameras who’s to say no one is watching?)
They are the ones who bother you while you’re trying to do something important. Like to remind you that you need to dig through the trash to recycle all the used plastic knives and forks.
Don’t put trash in the wrong trashcan.
You just know that these same corporate yes-men are going to cite this study sometime soon and it’s going to be infuriating.
Look, most of us are here at our jobs just for the heath insurance benefits. We put up with a lot just to avoid the hassle of changing jobs.
So what’s it going to be like to have the same people who secretly make your blood boil at work tell you it’s okay to be angry?
I think you’d just laugh. That’s what I would do.
Believe it or not, this is nothing new to me.
I am a Christian and have been going to church all my life. Not too long ago Pastors started delivering sermons where they claim that some anger is actually okay. They cite Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where he says, “In your anger do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26)
Pastors point out that the Bible doesn’t say, “Don’t be angry.” The bible just says when you are angry don’t sin. Then they recount the famous story of Jesus Christ angrily turning over the tables of the money changers in the Temple.
They make a distinction between sinful anger and the anger that’s allowed, which they call righteous anger.
Sound familiar? How about this scientific study’s usage of the term moral anger.
So this study not only wasted money telling people what should already be obvious, they totally ripped off Christian preachers!
That makes me angry!
But you know what else? My anger takes a little twist here. Bear with me while I try to explain it.
You see, Christians are terribly Bible illiterate now-a-days. Pastors don’t often hold up the Bible as the ultimate authority. They will only offer Biblical solutions if the ideas presented are corroborated by Science.
In other words, American pastors treat Science like the ultimate authority — particularly Pastors ministering in the city toward millenials.
So while they formerly were timid when they kindly suggested to the congregation that it’s okay to be angry, now that there’s a scientific study saying the same, they will pound the pulpit!
And that makes me angry! Why not be bold to begin with? It’s because of emotional dysfunction in the church.
It’s the same dysfuntion of America at large.
Newsflash: Science says it’s okay to be angry. In other news, science is still undecided if men and women are different.
Yea, I’m angry. Anger is a powerful motivational force. When something bothers you, you off your butt to fix it.
But you should never have to stoke anger. You should, like the Bible, try to limit anger. And that only works with people who naturally get angry to begin with.
The fact that we need to amplify anger shows that anger isn’t naturally occuring. And that’s a terrible omen. Why? Because without that motivational force, problems won’t get fixed.
Let me give you an example that just happened right now in the moments before I started typing this. I work in the oil field. Let’s just say there’s anger to spare out here.
Anyways, we’re going to rig up for a job, and a crane sets up right in our way.
So my boss goes over to talk to the crane hands and they’re acting like total jerks.
So my boss gets heated. The situation is escalating. I’m cracking my knuckles thinking we’re in for a fist fight.
But cooler heads prevailed. My boss talked to some other big wigs here and we got the situation resolved.
But not without anger.
If my boss didn’t get angry, he wouldn’t have gotten the crane moved, and we wouldn’t have been able to do our job.
I feel really stupid even giving you this example. But it really goes to show how stupid you are, not me.
Furthermore, I’m afraid that this might get me and him in trouble if some corporate type at my company reads this.
So let me shift to an example playing out right now on the world stage.
Muslims all over the globe are radicalizing. They are beheading innocent Christians and non-Muslims everywhere. And our President is ushering them into our country by the thousands. Now Muslims are killing Americans on American soil.
Does that make you angry?
It makes me pissed. This is a serious problem.
But there is only one leader who is angry enough to stand up and offer a legitimate solution. And that’s Donald Trump. He says we should ban Muslim immigration.
Makes sense, right? Muslims can’t kill Americans in America if they aren’t allowed in.
That’s righteous anger. That’s moral anger. Whatever you want to call it, it fixes the problem.
But how is Trump treated? He’s treated worse than the Muslim murderers!
All these hand-wringers denounce trump as mean-spirited. He yells, his face turns red, and he sounds so… so angry!
“Ban Trump!” they scream, “See how it makes him feel, the stupid fake hair dope. Aw! He makes me so… so…”
See what I’m saying? Emotional dysfunction!
They get angry at someone for being angry because anger is bad except for certain circumstances where it is permissible.
Earlier I asked what kind of anger needs permission to exist? The answer is fake anger. If anger is manufactured that means that the underlying problem is manufactured too.
Trump isn’t the problem. Muslims are the problem.