Getting angry allows you to act on the things that offend you—the things that simply to sit well with you. Therefore, it brings you to stand up against abuse and oppression. Anger, when handled properly, gleans positive results. This is why when people allow themselves to be angry, the whole group benefits from it, not just the individual.
For example, when a person gets into a heated online debate about social issues. The kind of passion and patience to educate the other person could come from a place of frustration. They might be frustrated that the other person supports a different worldview, and they are angry because it is the kind of thinking that could bring harm.
Because of this anger, they start a conversation. They have sparked interest in the other people who could come across the debate. The information presented in the argument can transform new opinions that can increase support in various communities.
Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Anger
Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. writes in her article in Psychology Today: “Anger is too important and can reveal too much to us for us to dismiss it.” Because anger shows people what needs to be changed, it creates discomfort. Most of all, it begs a resolution to the conflict. By fully letting yourself be enraged, you can elicit change.
Brandt also points out that anger reminds people of their boundaries. When someone crosses the line, disrespects you in front of everyone, or disregards your input in decisions, anger tells you where the line must be drawn. For example, your research partner gives you all the difficult tasks while they lounge around and go MIA.
As a person and student, there are only so many things you can accomplish, so them slacking off irritates you. As a result, you communicate your issues and come up with how you can manage the situation. Through this conflict resolution, your relationships can grow, strive, and flourish.
What to Avoid
While recognizing your anger is important, it is also helpful to not inflict collateral damage along the way. Here are some ways to deal with your rage while avoiding permanent damage:
- Give it time. Time gives you some room to think. It welcomes rationality, which might be thrown out the window while you are at your angriest. Try going for a walk or processing your emotions before acting on it.
- While you are processing your emotions, think of the many ways to solve the problem. Perhaps there are ways to make amends without resulting in extremes. Remember, negative emotions should not be used to excuse bad behavior.
- Use relaxation techniques. Yes, respecting your anger is good, but so is respecting other people. There are instances where you simply have to maintain a poker face and wait until the next hour to let off steam. In these moments, breathing patterns or thinking of your ‘happy place’ could be put to good use.
All emotions are valid. Whether it is positive or negative, giving yourself room to acknowledge your feelings is integral to mental health and well-being. Even then, limitations still exist and hurting other people should not be the product of emotions.