Anger, as was noted earlier, is a reaction to a conscious perception of a threat. Granted, it is a very preliminary and rough interpretation, occurring almost instantaneously. But that rough assessment is subject to refinement and modification by the same process by which it was initially reached—comparison with previously experienced threats.
The chronically angry person seldom looks past the initial crude assessment. He habitually assumes the worst—that a threat does, indeed, exist. In that regard he is a slave to his anger, bowing uncritically to its interpretation of events.
That is a dangerous assumption at every level. At the social level, it endangers his relationships and prospects for success and fulfillment. At the physical level, it endangers his health. At the psychological level it all but obliterates his prospects for happiness.
Since anger is a top-level survival priority, it blots out virtually every emotion except the ultimate survival response—fear. That leaves the angry individual with a very small and coarse repertoire of emotions to work with. The social subtleties are completely lost on him, making him a bull in the china shop of interpersonal relations. He will be literal-minded, shortsighted and hurtful to others. He will probably be a tyrant when in charge, a loose cannon in cooperative undertakings and an unpleasant and distrusted coworker. If he succeeds in a career, it will be in spite of his personality, and such a success will require very strong compensating gifts and skills.
The ultimate irony is that his every relationship will demand far greater expenditures of time and energy to succeed, while anger siphons off the very energy he needs.
In short, when anger is chronic, it is a kind of emotional malignancy, threatening, rather than enhancing, the possessor’s prospects for success and happiness.
That alone should provide sufficient motivation for change