Anger is not in itself an inherently detrimental emotion. It’s just that we often associate the responses triggered by anger as harmful - like violence, aggression, and the consequent bad behaviors we use to project how we’re feeling when angry. Anger is further associated, at times, with negative habits like bad language, rude gestures, even smoking or overeating. But whatever it's rep, it's one of the most common and basic human emotions and so, when faced with an unfair situation, anger is the almost always the most immediate and natural response.
Yet, that’s not to say we should all resort to throwing a tantrum when traffic is congested, when we’re denied a pay rise, or when we feel generally cheated and unappreciated, since anger has very real physical consequences. Constant fits of anger are known to increase the risk of heart disease, not to mention the potential for destroying relationships and causing psychological harm to oneself and others, or worse, inflicting violence on someone.
In many societies, expressing anger is viewed as more appropriate for men than women. Since we typically teach our boys to be more aggressive and our girls to be more reserved and passive, it’s perhaps unsurprising that men are more likely to express anger through violence, whereas women more commonly transform their anger into resentment. The fact remains, everyone experiences anger the same way, but we each differ in how we express it.
Which places in the world are people likely to get angry more often? We all have an impression of which places on earth are notorious for having the angriest citizens and we tend to rely on stereotypes to make conclusions about the nationalities with the shortest fuses. Stereotypes do, at times, carry a grain of truth; a bustling metropolis is often thought of as angrier than a quiet rural area, but this has much to do with the fact that more people of every creed can be found in a large city. Maybe that’s why the typical image of an angry place that comes to mind is that of grumbling people rushing past each other on busy streets and taxi drivers roaring expletives á la New York City.
Yet, based on the statistics collated by Men’s Health Magazine, New York takes 43rd place in the top 100 angriest cities in America. The findings are based on several criteria: the number of aggravated assaults per capita, the number of city-dwellers with high blood pressure, the length of time spent waiting in traffic, and the number of anger-management specialists per capita. Based on the findings, we're looking a little more in-depth at the top 10 angriest cities, drawing a focus on perhaps the most pronounced effect of getting angry: getting violent.
10 Miami, Florida
9 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
8 Houston, Texas
7 Dallas, Texas
6 Charleston, West Virginia
5 Newark, New Jersey
4 Las Vegas, Nevada
3 St. Petersburg, Florida
2 Baltimore, Maryland
1 Detroit, Michigan
Coming in at number one, Detroit is infamous for its high crime rate and impoverished communities. Such living conditions make it no surprise that Detroit is the angriest of the 100 cities featured in the study. Detroit has a population of 707, 096 and the FBI reports that in 2012, there were 9,341 cases of aggravated assault. Detroit also has a crime rate of 79 per 1,000 residents, the highest of all cities in the U.S.
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