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?
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.
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.
Everyone 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
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.