Many people believe that we can’t put Stoicism and anger together, but in truth, Stoics can and do get angry. Stoics believe that anger and annoyance are caused by an exaggerated or irrational view of external events, which we’ll discuss in this blog post. But first, I will answer if Stoics really get angry and why?
Stoics can get angry because it is our instinct to yell or get angry. However, the Stoics understand that anger is a destructive emotion that needs to be controlled by not letting emotions harm their actions. Thus, while Stoics feel anger, they know they need to control it to prevent it from distorting their actions.
This blog post will discuss why Stoics get angry and what makes them different from others when experiencing anger. Furthermore, I will talk about annoyance as it is closely related to anger. Lastly, what is the impact of the Stoic’s reaction to anger on our society?
Do Stoics get Angry?
Stoics can get angry, and it doesn’t defy the core Stoic beliefs.
In fact, experiencing anger coincides with the Stoic’s belief in the dichotomy of control.
To briefly introduce the dichotomy of control, we need to understand that the Stoics believe that everything that happens in our lives can be divided into two things we can and can’t control.
We can’t control many things, such as the weather, other people, and experiencing emotions.
You see, emotions are deeply embedded into our being, and it is close to impossible not to experience emotions.
Since anger is an emotion, this means experiencing anger makes us human, and trying to reject the feeling of anger does not follow the dichotomy of control.
That means Stoics understand that they will experience anger at certain points in their lives.
However, this might seem confusing since Stoic texts say that anger is something we should avoid, which is also correct.
But how can the concepts of experiencing anger and staying away from anger coincide with one another?
That’s where we need to talk about the concept of how Stoics react to anger or annoyance.
Do Stoics get Annoyed?
Stoics can get annoyed because it is normal for humans to get angry. Furthermore, many external and internal factors can cause annoyance that is outside our control. However, since being annoyed can be destructive to our wellbeing, the Stoics know how to react to being annoyed appropriately.
Right now, you have the basic understanding that Stoics get angry or annoyed because it is normal for humans to be angry.
However, the Stoics also understand that being annoyed can cause us to be irrational.
For example, when we are angry, it is normal for us not to weigh the consequences of our actions. That’s why it is normal for people to regret their actions after being angry.
For a blog post talking about the Stoic’s view of regret, you may check my other blog post about the topic, which you’ll find here: Do Stoics have regrets?
So, to put these two concepts together, we need to go back to the dichotomy of control.
Remember that while there are lots of things we can control, there are also things that we can control, such as our present actions and thinking.
That’s why while it is impossible not to feel being annoyed or being angry, we can react appropriately to being angry.
One of the oldest and most effective Stoic ways of dealing with anger is not deciding on anything when we get angry.
That means when we know we’re angry, we should cool down and try to calm down. Then that’s when we should decide on anything.
This method follows Stoic’s idea of staying away from passion.
For instance, someone annoyed us with nasty remarks about our performance on our work, it may cause us to feel anger which is normal, but the act of revenge because of anger is irrational.
Remember that Stoics try to stay rational. In fact, it is common knowledge to others that Stoics are rational.
To be rational, we must avoid reacting inappropriately to emotions such as anger.
Furthermore, we must understand that our view or perception of emotion drives our thinking and actions.
For instance, let’s go back to the example of nasty remarks on our work performance. It might be true that the person annoyed us because of the comments.
However, it is also true that the person might only be concerned because they know we can do better on our work.
As you can see, our perceptions define our actions. The good news is that what we think is usually inside our control.
So, while it is normal to feel anger or annoyance, we can react appropriately to them by having a different perception.
If not, we can react appropriately by calming down and not letting too much anger drive our actions.
That way, we can reconcile the fact that Stoics do feel anger like all people. However, they react differently by not letting emotions drive their actions.
That way, they stay logical and happy despite life’s unpredictability.
While this concept is beneficial to Stoics, it is also true that this has some implications on society. That’s what we will talk about in the next section.
How does Stoicism cause Anger?
Stoicism can cause anger to other people since they won’t be able to see the usual reaction of people to such emotions. This is because the Stoics know that anger can cloud their ability to be reasonable. Being different makes other people uncomfortable, which can cause anger or annoyance.
I must admit that this idea of not letting emotions drive actions have helped me through the most challenging years of my life.
For one, I suffered from the usual quarter-life crisis where I didn’t know what to do with my life.
However, understanding the concept I wrote in this post has helped me cope and be grateful for the things I have.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the same for others.
Everyone has some sort of expectation, and trying to get away from these expectations can cause anger.
Since people expect that emotions can drive wrong actions, it is uncomfortable for others to see Stoics reacting differently to emotions. This can cause them to be angry because of the discomfort.
While this may seem weird, it is a fact that people can get angry because of this.
Furthermore, Stoics can also cause anger by pushing their beliefs to others.
Lastly, people also hate being given quotes by people who feel they are too smart. That’s why Stoics who provide lots of quotes to their friends can be annoying for some.
While their intention might be for the benefit of others, what others think is entirely outside of our control.
If you check my posts about Stoicism, I rarely put quotes. If I put quotes, I make sure to explain what they mean rather than leaving them with a quote.
That way, I can make people comfortable by introducing Stoic concepts such as this blog post about anger.
What’s next? Are you interested in knowing what the primary goal of Stoicism is? If you are, feel free to check my other blog post here: What was the goal of the Stoics?