4Complainers Live Longer
We all hate people who complain. People who spend all their time whining and being negative or critical tend to get on our last nerve and usually cause us to have to complain to other people about the complainer which makes us complain even more because now they've turned us into some kind of hypocrite and we don't like feeling that way and we've been feeling bloated all week because we've been drinking way too much Diet Pepsi lately and what is it with this weather anyway is it going to rain forever?
In other words, constant complainers suck because their disease is contagious. And that's disastrous, because how can anything be accomplished without the power of positive thinking?
While we may like to think that negativity evoked by their complaining will eventually kill them and hopefully not us, not all complaining elicits bad reactions. In the right context complaining can actually boost the complainer's health and immunity as well as the health of those who share the same complaints.
Our forefathers were super-complainers
Dr. John Brantner, a professor of health care psychology, found that cancer patients who complained about their aches and pains lived longer than those who took their pain passively and stoically. They were more more likely to demand more of the hospital staff to deal with the pain and take control of the situation. So suck it, Abigail Breslin's sister in that shitty Cameron Diaz movie!
In your FACE, punk!
But what about all of the non-cancer stricken people who can't go a few minutes without complaining about the state of the world and its decay? What do PETA members who throw blood on people who wear leather and Teabaggers stomping around with "Jesus Hates Health Care" signs get out of it?
Well, research has shown that they're boosting their own mental health and immune systems, for one. It's all about the power of complaining in groups. Humans are social animals and even bitching about things we can't control gives us a boost if we do it in groups.
3Anger/Wrath Can be Good For Your Blood Pressure
Everyone deals with angry assholes in their life, whether it's a boss with rage issues, an angry spouse or an angry Internet commenter whipped into a caps locked fury because some Internet writer accidentally transposed some numbers when discussing the episode of Boy Meets World where Topanga and Cory finally bone (it's episode 67, by the way).
This man had a lot of restraint
When confronted with a rage-a-holic our most common response is to tell them to chill out. We may even joke about how their blood pressure will get out of control, or that they'll have a heart attack if they don't calm down. But science says we may be wrong about that. In fact, in the right situations, rage could actually help your blood pressure and general well-being.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that while anger may not be better than sitting in perfectly calm silence, in stressful situations, it was a much better alternative than our other tendency in those circumstances: fear.
As we hinted at with the cursing thing above, anger is most often a result of triggering the primal "fight or flight" response, which we developed for survival situations but that we tap into basically whenever we're confronted, frustrated or pissed off.
"A parsec is a gauge of length, not speed! I'll kill you!"
So when we get into some screaming match with the jerkoff in the next cubicle, some of us rage, others back down and fret about it for the rest of the day. Studies show choosing anger provided more positive effects on both blood pressure and mental health than responding in fear, which was shown to only be effective at increasing pants shitting and ass beatings.
To test how people react and their stress levels, researchers used the most emotionally reactive subject known to man: math. Participants were told to count backwards by seven from 9,095 and to count backwards by 13 from 6,233, an experiment that kind of pisses us off just hearing about it.
To make it even harder, the experimenter pointed out the participants mistakes and harassed them to make them go faster. Those who responded to the experimenter with angry facial reactions had lower stress than those who responded fearfully. Those who rose from their seats and beat the experimenter into unconsciousness were most likely met with raucous applause and a steady flow of gratitude sex, although no data is available to support that assumption.
Another study found that people who responded to the September 11th attacks with anger were more optimistic months down the road than people who responded with fear. Anger gives feelings of certainty and control and optimistic perceptions of risk instead of causing you to retreat to your remote cabin with a 10 year supply of window plastic and duct tape.
So even if you think Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" is a stupid song (which it totally is) it was apparently a healthier reaction than freaking out and hiding in the basement.