In case you’re short on time, I’ll cut to the chase….Yes, anger is a worthwhile emotion. Now if you have the time, and I hope you do, I encourage you to read on to learn why.
Have you ever had something come up unexpectedly and suddenly that made your heart drop and blood boil? You can’t help but find yourself completely blindsided and instantly angry.
Of course you have; everyone has. You don’t have be Switzerland; it’s okay to have opinions and experience anger, whether it’s being angry at the situations you’ve been put in, angry at your life circumstances or angry with the people who have hurt you. We’ve all dealt with it.
Anger can creep up on even the most self-reflective and self-aware individuals. It favors no person, culture, race, education or social status because it’s an emotion just like every other. It’s part of the human experience just like happiness, joy, sadness, love, etc. It’s something we’ve experienced in the past, may currently be experiencing and will experience in the future.
But what exactly is anger?
Anger is often described as a secondary emotion, rather than a primary, because we tend to use it to protect raw, vulnerable and overwhelming feelings. “Think of anger like an iceberg, a large piece of ice found floating in the open ocean. Most of the iceberg is hidden below the surface of the water. Similarly, when we are angry, there are usually other emotions hidden beneath the surface. It’s easy to see a person’s anger but can be difficult to see the underlying feelings the anger is protecting” (Kelly Benson, Thought Catalog). In other words, anger essentially protects our raw feelings that we may not be ready to face. We throw up the shield of anger because it’s often easier than having to face the underling feelings such as hurt, betrayal, fear, worry, disappointment, guilt, sadness and embarrassment.
However, the value of anger lies in the power of being able to recognize it as a protector of our raw feelings. When we are able to discover the root cause of our anger, it can become a positive energy and powerful motivating force for change. The expression of anger, if justifiable and aimed at finding a solution, can actually benefit and strengthen relationships. It can provide insight into ourselves, if we allow it, and it can motivate self-change. If we can recognize when we get angry and why, then we can learn what to do to improve our lives and strive for more.
Bottom line: Anger is a worthwhile emotion. It’s not parasite. It’s OK to get angry, but don’t waste away staying angry. Don’t let your anger over stay its welcome. It’s all about how you use it. Dare to dive in and explore the root cause. So the next time you feel angry, stop and think about why you’re angry. Is it because you feel betrayed? Hurt? Disappointed? Worried? Embarrassed?