Dealing With Your Anger

For those who like spelling!
For those who like spelling!

I was faced with the question today of whether or not anger is a bad thing or a good thing. It is my personal belief that anger is one of the emotions that you should avoid because it is one of the emotions that stems from fear.  However being the open-minded person that I am, I am willing to look at the emotion of anger from a neutral standpoint and decide once and for all if it is desirable to be anger or not.

Anger is just Anger

I am the first to admit that anger in and of itself is not a bad thing or a good thing, it is just a thing.  We all experience the emotion of anger because we are human, it is how we deal with that emotion that I think is important.  So where your anger takes you in your thoughts, words and actions will determine whether that experience is productive or not.  This determines if it is good or bad for you.

Is anger Good?

Happiness is better than anger.
Happiness is better than anger.

There are some good things to anger.  The emotion itself exists to let us know when someone or something is hurting us or our needs are just not being met. It acts much like a smoke detector, warning of potential danger.   The positive possibilities exist when you look at the anger and understand why you feel this way.  Dealing with these emotions positively and discussing them with the people who are close to you, allows you to work on that warning sign and the next time it will bother you less.

Anger Problems

It’s not the anger that is the problem, poor management of anger is the problem. If you are prone to angry outbursts, then you know that anger is more often than not going to entice you to say or do something that you will be apologizing later for.

Anger causes you to react from emotion and act quickly, without really thinking and those results are usually bad.  But more importantly, I believe it is important to recognize where that anger is taking you.  If for example, anger makes you physically violent, then that is wrong and it is always wrong.  That is the most dramatic case and most people would agree that it is never OK to commit physical violence no matter what someone does to make you mad.

tumblr_mdfkwiHmPt1rzcaajo1_500Everyone knows someone who has an anger management problem, and they are not pleasant people to be around.  You live your life walking on the edge of a volcano, with no idea when it might explode, spewing hot lava all over you.  I also have been fortunate enough to have interactions with people who use their anger as a push to understand themselves.

The same filter should be applied to other reactions which result from anger.  Much like the action to hit, push or slap a problem away from you because it hurt you, a person can react just as thoughtlessly by adding hate, revenge or jealousy to the problem.  This would be a great example of how turning the emotion of anger into something very bad.

Anger leads to Revenge, hatred, and jealousy to name a few

Negative thoughts that we entertain are going to affect our lives negatively.  Whether you believe in karma, quantum physics or Christianity, hate is not an acceptable thought or behavior and nothing good ever came from revenge, hatred or jealousy.  They are nothing more than a person’s effort to “pay back” someone or something that hurt them or didn’t fulfill a need.  So allowing this anger to churn inside of you and spin out these other negative thoughts and actions, is going to have a negative impact on your existence.

Hating someone because of something that they did, to you or someone else is the same thing as hating yourself. We all have the ability to commit great evil and to show tremendous love.  How can you hate someone else for acting exactly like you are capable of?  You never have to like what they do or accept it.  Deplore the act, but forgive the person responsible, because it is only through forgiveness that you can find peace.

Revenge will Get You Nowhere

The same can be said for revenge, the most natural response when someone hurts you is to want to hurt them back in any way you can.  Through name calling, disparaging comments or actions that you know will cause pain.  You can find revenge, but it will not make you a better person.  Anger is the hot rock that burns the one that holds it.  To hold a grudge, or obsess about paying someone back, is only going to stop you from moving forward.  The past

All emotions are ok, it is our reaction to them that causes problems.
All emotions are ok, it is our reaction to them that causes problems.

is gone, it is over and no matter how much punishment you hurt feelings get you to implement, you can’t change the act that hurt you.  This thought pattern will stop you from letting it go and move forward.

Jealousy is a Monster

Anger often is turned into jealousy, about careers, love or even possessions.  There is nothing positive about this emotion.  Jealousy is selfish and can turn one of the best experiences in life, love and turn it into a controlling, manipulative relationship.  Most of this comes from anger, that you either ignore and are a slave to in your reaction to it.

These are just three negative emotions that stem from not handling your anger in a positive way.  My experience with each of these has been inclusively negative in every way imaginable.  Jealousy stems from anger fed by insecurity. Revenge is a reaction to make someone else recognize and understand the hurt you are feeling and hate is an emotion that has no positive aspect to it at all.

Forgiveness is Final

There is no reason to beat yourself up or think you are a bad person if you experience anger because we are all humans and we all experience anger.  Gandhi experienced anger, but he didn’t let it consume him. He believed you had to forgive those who wronged you or the things that happened to you.  Once you let them go, they no longer have any power over you and you can freely move on with your life.  Much like a giant burden is taken off of your back.

In conclusion, Anger is an emotion that is neither good or bad it is an inevitable piece of being a human being, stemming from being hurt or not having your needs met.  How you deal with anger and what you let it manifest into in your thoughts, words and deeds are where anger can be recognized as either positive or negative.



10 thoughts on “Dealing With Your Anger”

  1. Jonathan,
    Love this very open-minded analysis of anger. I agree that anger is neither good nor bad. It is our reaction to anger that counts. One could say that any life event is neither good nor bad, but our reaction makes it so.
    I love the Emerson quotation. There is so much good stuff in this post and on your blog. I look forward to delving deeper.

    1. Thanks Kozo, I was writing that specifically for one of my friends, we have debates all of the time, and I have known him since we were in kindergarten, so that is a lot of debating. My thoughts are what you read, but he sees anger as a positive, a motivator. He was supposed to comment his reactions, but never did, so I guess I won that debate. Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I have written what I think and feel, and really haven’t shared it too much. I come from an upbringing that was very stoic. Men didn’t express emotion, all of that macho stuff. My biggest struggles in life have revolved around letting go of that notion that emotions are wrong and just being who I am. To heck with what people think. Anyway, I appreciate your comments so much, as you probably know, there is nothing better than having someone else appreciate and get what you are writing about because it is who you are. Have a great day my friend.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and to respond to it. I did read the article that you wrote and posted above and it was quite enlightening. I agree that we need to trace the roots of our fear, because that is where our fear lives daily. Rest assured that I have spent a lot of time considering this, and the root of the pain that I have dealt with has become a lifelong companion. But it is not so powerful as it was in the past and in fact there is little fear of it now. As you stated in your post we all have something that we have experienced which requires forgiveness. The most difficult forgiveness is for ourselves I think. Thank you again for the comment I wish you the best today and every day in all that you do!

  2. I really do enjoy your posts, Jon.

    Anger is a crucial emotion, and there is much discussion of it and its aftereffects. I have found that we need anger, we must not suppress injustice, pain, shame, or injury, but fully investigate the feeling when it occurs, then we can transmute it so that it doesn’t move into the need to retaliate as well as creating more suffering for ourselves.

    It was so uplifting for you to mention the part about forgiving ourselves, and the surrender into the event that started the whole process is what I’ve found to be key in our future success and happiness, and then, yes, the fear does dissipate. This suffering is important work, and we are all in this same boat called life on earth, throwing an occasional preserver, or sometimes jumping out of the boat for each other…it’s definitely an adventure.
    Take care….

    1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! I agree so much that anger is necessary because like all emotions it is there to tell us something isn’t right that we need to know. Then when we investigate it it generally for me has revealed what I needed to know at that time. Almost always it is a fear of something for me. I loved your image of throwing the occasional life preserver or even jumping in to help when we can! That is my philosophy of life. 🙂 And you are right it is an adventure. Thank you for taking the time to comment and making my day!

    1. I prefer passion over anger but that is probably just semantics. 🙂 Great to hear from you Arlarna! Made my day to see your comment. Hope all is well with you and all your adventures.

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