A lot of people think of anger as a bad thing, something to be avoided; it is like “the enemy within” that must be conquered.
But anger is not an enemy. If it weren’t for anger some people who are alive and well now would be dead, and many injustices would never have been changed. It’s not wrong to be angry. Anger gives us the motivation and the energy to carry through important projects.
The problem is when we react with anger when it is not appropriate and/or use inappropriate ways to express anger. Inappropriate anger reactions develop out of our experiences and are related to, for example, self-image and our expectations of other people. These could be partners, work colleagues, or even people we have just met for the first time. Anger can become our standard response to any situation where we are thwarted or fail in some way.
Because we are unique, each person will find his/her own best way to manage anger. A combination of practical techniques and personal therapy can help us to find that way. As with all habitual behaviours, it is easy to get discouraged because we find changing it difficult, so it is important to have confidence and not give up. We can use the energy and motivation of our anger to carry us through this process too.
Articles on this topic:
by Dr Catherine Gibson
Stress and Anxiety
by Loretta Tyndall