Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Is anger a sign of guilt or innocence?

Early September, I noticed a very interesting British Psychological Society (BPS) article: We Think Anger Is A Sign Of Guilt — But It May Actually Be A Better Sign Of Innocence.

Actually, this question has been on my mind, once in a while. We may view others as guilty when they display anger, while we view ourselves as innocent when we are angered (eg, by a false accusation). How is that discrepancy even possible?

Explaining this rather complicated area is more easy while using a diagram:

The key item in this diagram is (non) Acceptance, as often in my blogs. The other items are consequential. Hence, anger is a consequence of non-acceptance or denial of guilt and/or shame.

The acronym DABDA is an abbreviation of the five stages in processing grief, a concept developed by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004). These 5 stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. In my view, these 5 stages apply to all major changes in our lives, including (false) accusations of accountability and/or responsibility (my blogs).

In 2016, I published my blog Human Emotions (2) – a revisit, which mentions anger several times. Anger is an emotion that some people are able to – and will – use in a rational way, in order to hide their guilt & shame (my blogs). Perhaps, this is why we have come to distrust anger in certain situations (eg, in a courtroom). Such anger may be fake rather than genuine.

I suppose that genuine anger is the result of an emotional outburst (eg, an explosion), while calculated anger builds towards the moment of anger and omits such an explosion.

Anger Never Dies (2010) by Hooverphonic
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

[Chorus]
Anger never dies
It’s part of life, it’s part of you
The end will cease the fire
And make us accept we tend to lose

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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