Ways You Can Make Anger Work for You
Why People Get Angry
Anger is considered a negative emotion, but if you change your perspective slightly you can make anger work for you.
We typically become angry for two reasons:
- First, we must experience some sort of pain.
- We must blame someone or something for our pain.
You will not feel anger without both of these components.
Becoming angry may cause a rush to judgment, which is particularly harmful in a business relationship. However, jumping to conclusions will be harmful in any relationship.
“The best fighter is never angry.”
The Complex Emotion of Anger
Anger is a complex emotion most people feel on some occasions and it can be difficult to understand, let alone manage. Sometimes it can erupt like David Bannner turning into the Incredible Hulk, and other times it lurks below the surface. It can seem to come out of nowhere or build slowly like a storm, and we aren’t always aware of the true cause of our feelings.
However, it is up to you to choose the way you handle anger because it will definitely affect your relationships and your life. Typically, when people express their anger it is primarily to make them feel more powerful and in control rather than vulnerable. Of course, it is unpleasant to be on the receiving end of someone else’s outburst.
Pain without blame does not cause anger but results in feeling hurt, not victimized. Blame without pain means we have made a judgment about someone or something being unjust, but we are not hurt. Lashing out in anger causes tension and fear in a relationship.
So, we need to recognize any anger we feel and understand the true cause if we want to move away from that negative feeling. It isn’t productive to wallow in self-pity or to let your anger fester.
Anger Management in the Office Place
Fight or Flight Mechanism
What is the upside of anger? Actually, anger, frustration, and stress can be used to our advantage according to some experts. It can help us strive harder, be more productive and sometimes gain self-confidence. Since relationships have their ups and downs anger will happen occasionally to everyone. Since anger tells us there is an issue we need to address, anger can be looked at in a positive way.
Anger is the “fight or flight” mechanism that keeps us safe. The key to managing your anger is in the understanding of the underlying emotions, then you are better equipped to handle those feelings.
There are historical figures that used anger in a productive way to make the world a better place, such as George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jesus or Gandhi, as they fought for social justice, against racial injustice, poverty and foreign nations attempting to take over our nation. Anger can be a catalyst for new behavior, like a job change, a new relationship or maybe a move to a new city.
Talking It Out
Take a Deep Breath
When you are dealing with a tough situation or difficult people, try to take a step back, take a deep breath or two, and figure out exactly where your anger is coming from.
Allowing yourself a few minutes to calm down will help you think more clearly before you choose to respond to any situation. Research has shown that when your stress level rises above the moderate level your performance deteriorates at a rapidly.
I am not confrontational by nature, and I don’t think an angry exchange of words is particularly productive. We all need borders, but it is possible to state your view without expressing anger.
Of course, it is not always easy, and I particularly don’t like it when someone acts in a condescending manner toward me. I try to treat people with the same respect as I want to be treated, but obviously, that does not always work. When I get angry I attempt to diffuse the situation and try to understand why I’m really angry.
If another person is angry at me, I apologize if am in the wrong, or I might say, “I’m sorry you feel that way”, but I usually get away from the person, at least for a while. I refuse to stand around and argue about something that we are not going to agree upon. I have found as I get older there are fewer big deals that are worth getting upset over. I pick and choose my battles carefully. Maybe I have mellowed with age, but life is too short to spend it being mad all the time.
“When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.”
Anger Management Techniques
Make Anger Work for You
Sometimes you might find anger is the impetus to work harder at something. You might be angry at yourself for eating chocolate cake when you are trying to diet, but taking a brisk walk will burn off those calories also, which is much more productive than feeling like a failure, being angry at yourself and judging yourself harshly.
If you are not able to control your angry outbursts, try an anger management class as many people have had great results for what they learn in these classes.
“Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”
It is imperative to understand the underlying cause of your anger, to resolve the problem. If anger is a big problem for you, anger management classes or groups are a good investment of your time.
Learning new anger management techniques is very helpful, so this emotion works for you instead of against you. Learning to understand your anger and use it as a guide will assist you to take care of yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and in relationships. You will be able to heal pains of the past and learn to be assertive rather than anger in those difficult situations. Then, you are making anger work for you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.