My post on anger left some questions. One reader, Bryan, asks on my blog if I am advocating a kind of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” position. It is a wonderful question and deserves a response.
Bryan points out how small, practically automatic choices lead to depression and anxiety, and postulates that similar choices lead to chronic anger. Let’s go further with that idea.
Think about our species history. We spent nearly all our history living in huts, trees and caves, in tribes of less than 300 people, usually around 150. This is called “Dunbar’s number,” from British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who reported on a correlation between brain size and number of individuals in a tribe, pack, or herd. The bigger the brain, the more individuals in a herd. He postulated that the size of the human brain seemed designed to keep close track of around 150 people.