Another day, another part of the Seven Deadly Sins, following on from yesterdays post about Pride today’s offering is Wrath.
Wrath/Anger (Latin – Ira) Which comes with a definition of:
“An emotional response related to one’s psychosociological interpretation of having been threatened.”
” inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Wrath, in its purest form, presents with self-destructiveness, violence, and hate”
Anger can also be split up into two sub-categories as follows:
Cognitive (appraisals) Somatic-affective (tensions and agitations)
Behavioural (Withdrawal and Antagonism)
Now, for me this is where this whole covering the seven deadly sins gets quite serious as I have to start looking closely at myself and facing up to some of the failures I have as a person, so here goes.
Before looking into this in a bit more depth, I just always thought that wrath was just wrath, you were either angry or not, but it turns out I am wrong, but no matter how I look at I am still very guilty of regularly committing this sin (in both guises).
Cognitive & Somatic anger is something I feel we are all guilty of at times, it can happen at any time from the most simple of situations, like being stuck in a traffic jam, after a certain period of being stuck in the jam, you brain just snaps and you start to feel really angry with the whole situation and just want to get out of there, if you are with other people, it’s about that time when you start to bicker with them for no apparent reason.
For me, I seem to get the most Cognitive anger when I am in busy situations, I hate crowds and start to feel really uncomfortable (maybe that’s why I have a passion for exploring abandoned buildings as it’s just me, peace and quiet and no one else or why I always do the weekly shop late at night when its quiet). After a period of time, I start to get really irritated with other people around me, for example, I am in a bar and its packed, someone walks into me and does not apologise, it’s this sort of situation where the cognitive anger starts to take over, I have this overwhelming urge to ‘have a go’ at them, I am quite a controlled person though, so very rarely ever say anything and just end up thinking “oh well, they are just ignorant”.
Behavioural Anger is something I know I am very guilty of, I know I do it, I can see myself doing it, but can never stop myself doing it (which causes further anger!!)
If something happens that annoys or irritates me, maybe because I am quite a quiet-non-confrontational person, rather than addressing the situation outright, I just ‘shut up shop’ and stop being involved with the person involved.
In some ways this could be seen as a good thing, but when I do this, I end up sitting there and letting it go round and round in my head, often making the situation ten times worse than it originally was.
Often, the people directly involved in the whole situation often don’t have a clue the reasons behind it and all they can see is that they are getting the cold shoulder, this can sometimes go on for weeks and weeks. By the time I get to a stage where I think “right, this has gone on long enough”, far too much time has passed and it’s not worth ‘dragging up the past’, but the thoughts are still there when something else happens, so then the next issue to crop up is also added to the previous unresolved problem and ‘boom’ the preverbal sh1t hits the fan!
Anyone who has known me for a long enough period of time will have probably experienced me doing this at some point along the way, so now seems a good time to apologise for my actions back then!
This sort of behavioural anger can often lead onto much bigger issues, such as physical violence towards people (either physically attacking someone or worse, killing them).
I have certainly never been anywhere near wanting to kill someone, but I have to admit that there have been times in the past where I have thought “if I hit this person, I will feel so much better”, when you think about it, who hasn’t had these sorts of thoughts.
As I said earlier, I am quite a controlled person and when I see the ‘red mist’ descend, I know it’s best to step away from the situation as any actions taken in the ‘heat of the moment’ would only be regretted the next day.
So there we have it, my little take on Wrath, hopefully the description of some of the failures I have when it comes to this sin don’t paint too much of a bad painting of myself, but when all is said and done, there is no point in doing this if I am not going to be honest.
In some ways I think that Wrath could possibly be one of the worst of the seven deadly sins, but only in the Behavioural context, because it’s behavioural wrath issues that can, if left unmanaged can lead onto bad situations (you only have to look at the current numbers of people who are locked up in this country for violent crimes to get a reference point for this).