A couple of days ago, my mom, sister and I found ourselves engaged in a rather intense conversation regarding how some folks tend to get a wee bit violent toward inanimate objects when they’re extremely angry. My mom and I have this in common, as much as I hate to admit it, while my sister, on the other hand, has as much patience as Joseph of Nazareth hearing out Mary’s version of how she managed to get pregnant despite being a virgin.
That’s a hell of a lot of patience, for anyone unfamiliar with Jesus’ conception story.
Because my sister does not get violent toward inanimate objects regardless of the level of anger she is experiencing, she asked me to describe to her the meaning, and furthermore purpose of it, and what exactly it accomplishes. I explained to her that when I reach an unprecedented level of rage, any conscious logic I may possess entirely dissipates, and all I can focus on is the satisfaction I will gain in breaking something in my immediate surroundings. I explained to my sister that this moment of satisfaction is fleeting as hell, because as soon as your anger clears and you’re able to think once more like a sensible human being, you come to the realization that you’ve created an even bigger problem for yourself in regard to repairing whatever it is you just yeeted across the room.
After I described it aloud to my sister, I realized how absolutely absurd this mentality sounds to anyone who is unable to relate to it. Do inanimate objects possess reason, accountability or feelings? Nope. Are they able to differentiate between working properly and working incorrectly? Negative. Should we, therefore, take our frustrations out on them in a physical manner when something sets us off? Probably not.
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2 thoughts on “Understanding violent rage toward inanimate objects: a how-to guide”
Interesting blog, especially today, feeling the way I am. Having lived for the past 17 years with someone who periodically becomes enraged enough by life to throw things (not at me) or break them, and who admits that a ‘red mist’ descends, in which he can see and hear nothing but his own sense of outrage, I can relate to your sister. Technology is his favourite ‘hate’. As are noisy neighbours. I have repeated, again and again, that I am not asking him to not be upset or angry about anything – only to recognise the destructive pattern and after-effects of his behaviour, and to work on finding a better way of responding… rather than reacting. He has improved – but that could at least partially be because I have consistently worked on figuring out the most productive ways of handling him. When someone is in that state of mind it is so easy to throw fuel on the fire and make it worse. It’s a shame because he is, in other ways, a considerate, caring partner. His outbursts hang like dark clouds on the horizon, and you’re just waiting for the next one to blow your way and dump its harmful, unhealthy contents on your head. Over time, it starts to seriously chip away at the way in which you view that person, and you start to question whether or not you want to live with it long-term, despite the peaceful and happier times.
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Thank you so much for reading, and for your insight. It sounds like you’re more than familiar with dealing with someone who tends to get violent toward objects when they’re feeling angry or frustrated. I appreciate your words about how it is easy to make the situation worse by escalating things, and admire your care, concern and effort to assist the person you’re discussing. They’re fortunate to have you and your patience.
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