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Why Aren't We Always Angry?

There are restraints on our behaviour and mood that prevent us from always being angry:

  • Inhibitions: These are at the root of our in-built self-control mechanisms. They act to hold us back when our emotions would otherwise lead us to act unreasonably, and may perhaps take the form of tolerance (“They’re only children kicking a ball around – they need to let off steam somewhere”) or of an awareness of consequences (“If I try to overtake this traffic jam on the wrong side of the road, they might not let me back in if a bus comes the other way”).
  • Moods: Sometimes a particular situation might drive us to distraction; at other times we don’t even notice it. This may well be down to our “mood” at the time. When we’re in a good mood, irritants are often too trivial to break through the overall sense of pleasure we feel; when we’re in a bad mood, our defences are down and it may not take much to make us feel even worse than we already do. Bad moods can be the result of a range of factors, such as illness, tiredness, medication, or social factors such as bereavement or the breakdown of a marriage.