“How much more harmful are the consequences of anger and grief than the circumstances that aroused them in us!”MARCUS AURELIUS
In today’s quote from The Daily Stoic, Marcus Aurelius is pointing out a simple truth: erupting in anger usually makes a difficult situation worse — and the reaction is often worse than the thing that caused it!
When we react from a position of fury or grief, we usually do so irrationally and chaotically. We “crash around”, metaphorically speaking, careening wildly from one extreme to the other as we “get it out of our system”.
But what does that help? Answer: nothing, and it actually makes everything worse. Anger is toxic. No matter how some people might try to sugarcoat it or paint it in a positive light, it is a negative thing through and through. Nothing was ever made better by anger being added to the mix. Some people think it’s a sign of manliness to demonstrate rage, but nothing could be further from the truth.
So before you react, ask yourself whether your anger is going to make everything worse? And counter to what you might be hoping, is it really going to make you feel any better? (Hint: it won’t.)