- If responded to appropriately, anger can have valuable qualities and be beneficial.
- Anger can empower us to reach goals and correct the wrong we may see in our lives.
- We can better process painful feelings when we allow ourselves to feel anger constructively.
Anger has a negative reputation compared to positive emotions such as joy, excitement, and optimism. The lack of appreciation for anger may be rooted in social, cultural, and religious reasons, as well as the obvious manifestation of its often destructive aspects, such as intimidation, hostility, aggression, and violence. However, many scientists and mental health professionals have suggested that anger has valuable qualities and can be beneficial.
If used properly, anger can help us move positively toward meeting our needs and goals. Anger provides information that allows us to better engage with the world around us. If we use anger as information to evaluate the situation better, we can adapt our response accordingly to better our position. The following is a list of why it is good to be angry and the benefits it provides when the appropriate response is taking place.
- Anger protects us. Anger is designed to protect ourselves from an enemy or danger. Anger motivates people to become attentive to threats and sharpens our focus. When we are threatened or attacked, anger is activated and drives us to fight back and act swiftly and forcefully to defend ourselves.
- Anger empowers us. Opposite to fear driven by helplessness, anger makes us feel in charge and gives us a sense of control. People who experience and display their anger in a proportional and balanced way are better positioned to fulfill their unmet needs and control their destinies than those who suppress their anger.
- Anger’s discharge is calming. When you experience physical and emotional distress, anger strongly motivates you to do something about it. As such, anger helps you cope with stress by discharging the tension in your body. The result of your action calms your “nerves.”
- Anger indicates injustice. Anger emerges when we are denied rights or faced with insults, disrespect, manipulation, exploitation, or injustice. Anger indicates that something is not quite right and that someone has been treated unfairly.
- Anger drives us to meet our goals. Anger motivates us to pursue our desired goals and rewards. When we don’t get what we want, anger is triggered, indicating we have moved away from our objectives. It energizes and pushes us to act to achieve our goals.
- Anger safeguards our values. Anger serves as a value indicator and regulator. Anger is activated when our values are not in harmony with our situation. It makes us aware of what we stand for and motivates us to take action to change the situation and realign it with our values.
- Anger instils optimism. Astonishingly, anger can bring optimism. It encourages us to focus on what we hope to achieve rather than focusing on the hurt, abuse, or victimization. The anger mechanism is geared toward what is attainable, not the impossible. As such, we feel positive about our ability to change the situation.
- Anger leads to self-improvement. Anger can make us better. It provides insight into our faults and shortcomings. If looked at constructively, it can lead to self-improvement. If we know what makes us angry, we can work on these triggers to improve our response.
- Feeling anger enhances emotional agility. Emotionally intelligent individuals do not resist anger. Instead, they utilize the wisdom of anger to enhance their well-being. As a result, these individuals have greater emotional flexibility and agility, and their response is more adaptive.
- Anger covers painful feelings. In its raw state, anger prevents (defends/blocks) you from feeling even more painful emotions. Once you allow yourself to feel anger constructively, you can dig deeper to process your painful feelings better.
- Anger motivates us to find a deeper self. Anger provides insight into ourselves. It is the top layer of much deeper and hidden parts of the self. This is why it is important to trace the trail of anger and dig down to find and address its source. We can only free ourselves from the suffering it sometimes induces after addressing the blockage that leads to anger.
If responded to properly, anger can be constructive and can have a beneficial role in our lives. In addition to its protective tendencies, it provides the motivation and action that empowers us to reach our goals and better ourselves. It pushes us to correct the wrongs we see in our lives.
Yet, the key to effectively utilizing anger is to express it appropriately to the situation while using our wise minds. As Aristotle said, we have to be angry “with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way.” He also said that this task is not easy and requires practice.
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