Now even though I wrote an article once on how to control your anger, I feel there’s more to anger than it meets the eye. Sometimes anger is not just good for us but also necessary to ensure a healthy and meaningful life.
The thumb rule of life to always keep in mind is that nothing in this world is good or bad, white or black; they always are good and bad, white and black. And similar is the thing with anger.
While there has been too much talk about why anger is bad, how you shouldn’t get angry, and the bazillion reasons anger can destroy you, I feel there are some bright sides to it as well that most of us overlook.
Anger Makes you Human
It’s natural to feel angry. It’s a biological mechanism that was implanted in you. So, if you are feeling angry, it only makes you human.
Some people have got this weird expectation that they’d never get angry, and when they inevitably do get angry, they get even angrier about the fact that they got angry and the loop worsens with time.
You don’t wanna fall into that trap. Know that it’s healthy if you are getting angry for the ‘right reasons’. Don’t be mad at yourself for being mad, it would only exacerbate the situation unnecessarily.
#1 Anger helps you do the right thing
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are some really bad things happening in the world that shouldn’t be happening every now and then. These kinds of things happen at all levels, from a bully thrashing someone down, to an entire country disrupting the peace and well-being of another nation.
You will find cruel, negative, and irrational people from all walks of life who may not have your best interests in their hearts. And standing up to such people is not only good for you and society, it actually becomes necessary otherwise they might uproot the entire society, shake up modernism, and bring out the worst of the worst.
Most of the time, our general tendency is to simply overlook such incidences because nobody wants that extra pressure and stress in life. We are all pretty loaded with what life has stored for us.
The other reason why we turn a blind eye to such horrific acts is that we don’t think it can ever happen to us. We still believe that all the wrong kinds of things are always gonna happen to the person next door and when something wrong does happen with us, we lose our shit because we never even tried to acknowledge the fact that shit can go sideways too.
So, in some cases, being angry about unjust situations, and using that anger to mend the situation at your level is a good thing to do. But being angry for situations that you can do nothing about is a waste of time and energy and mental peace. You have to be self-aware to understand where being angry is the way forwards and where just ignoring things is the smarter solution.
#2 Anger takes care of injustice
Extending the previous point, if you think about it, just like fear was deeply rooted in our ancestors that kept them away from potential dangers, anger too is a deeply embedded emotion that helped our ancestors to take care of injustice.
Anger prepares your body by energizing it. Your heart rate changes, your breathing pattern changes, your body posture changes, your mouth gets dry, the words you speak change. And it’s kinda necessary if you are going in a situation that is not really friendly, to be on your guard.
You are much more likely to impart your argument successfully during a heated discussion when you use that anger as fuel as opposed to when you are overly positive and are drowning in feel-good positive emotions. Sometimes you just need that aggression to make your voice heard.
Showing anger the right way at the right time will help you set the record straight, will ensure people don’t take you for granted, can help you negotiate better, and can help you protect your values and beliefs.
However, people often lose control of the situation when anger gets over them. I am repeatedly emphasizing the fact that you should be the one leveraging anger, instead of letting anger get the better of you. Because that would do more harm than good.
Also, it’s of paramount importance to pick the right battles to direct your anger better. It’s not worth it to showcase your anger at every small thing that doesn’t go your way. You’d be only extracting your useful and productive energy that could have been applied to a more meaningful cause if you chose to go the wrong way.
And when I say leverage anger, it doesn’t mean you only have to resort to hostility or violence or hatred. There are literally infinite ways to channel your anger in a more meaningful way too.
Remember, anger is just an emotion. An emotion is neither good nor bad, it’s how you use that emotion that will dictate what you are gonna get.
#3: Anger is like your child
Have you seen Mark Rufflow and Gwyenth Paltrow’s movie, “Thanks for sharing”? There was a dialogue in the film that encompassed the spirit of anger rather profoundly.
It goes like, “Anger is like your child, you don’t want it to let it drive the car, but you also don’t wanna stuff it in the trunk either.”
And my previous two points have also revolved somewhere in the same arena.
If you let your anger drive you, you are gonna screw up big time sooner than later. If you try to repress it by stuffing it in the trunk of your car, then you’d be essentially sitting over a time bomb that can explode anytime.
Research has shown that repressing your anger can be as detrimental as erupting like a volcano.
We all know losing our temper and blasting out is bad, but the reason why stuffing your anger is also equally damaging is that, when you stuff your anger, you are subconsciously choosing to not respect your boundaries and are hampering your own self-worth.
You might start tolerating things you should stand up to, let others eviscerate your self-esteem, and undermine your personal space if you keep pressing anger in situations you shouldn’t be.
It’s not ok to let others wrong you, it’s not ok to let others get the better of you, it’s not ok to let others disrespect you, it’s not ok to let others cheat you, it’s not ok to let others think that they can push you around.
You need to respond in one way or the other to let the other party know that they did something wrong. Otherwise, it would become their habit to take you for granted.
If you let these scenarios keep on happening without doing something, you are only gonna fall down in your own eyes. Remember, you are choosing how you let others treat you.
#4 Use anger in your Work
When people get angry, they usually either spurt it all out on a person, or on an object, or even on themselves. This generally ends up hurting themselves more than anyone else in the long run.
You are putting your relationship in jeopardy when you burst out on someone, you literally put your body in danger when you try to hit an inanimate object, and you definitely put your life in danger when you are proactively showcasing your anger on your own self.
But what would happen, if instead of dripping away your anger in all the wrong places, you instead used it to focus on your work? It’d be crazy.
You control so little when it comes to the outside people and external situations, but you can do so much if your sole focus is on concentrating on what you control.
As discussed before, anger is a neutral emotion, it can be both constructive and destructive depending upon how we use it. And only those who are mindful and aware of what they are going through can actually exploit this untapped potential.
Anger can help you accelerate the process of analyzing what you are doing wrong and what you need to be doing to get your desired results. Patience, coupled with anger when directed towards the right cause, then that’s what I would call fireworks about to happen.
So, the takeaway is to be patiently angry, to bottle that anger and release it in a controlled and smart manner, in order to get the best returns.
#5 Anger facilitates the best revenge
Now, I don’t mean revenge in a petty way, but it’s just that sometimes people from all realms of life come at you and talk total nonsense in front of your face.
You know the kind of people whose favorite pastime activity is to poke their finger in business that doesn’t concern them. They’d come at you and meaninglessly pull your leg or ridicule you for your actions or just make fun of your last fiasco.
And then the people who aren’t mindful enough and let anger get the better of them would start throwing shit back at people and that would mark the beginning of one of many verbal pissing contests that never leads to anywhere.
So, why not you channel that anger into improving your decisions, doing better work
This will kill two birds from one stone. It won’t make you regress to their standards and you’d also be able to take your revenge. Because make no mistake, the best revenge is you not actively trying to demean them but still shoving them in their face.
It’s like pissing at them, without pissing at them. You know what I am talking about? You lose your class and your swag if you try too hard to pull them down. If you have to tell them that you won and they lost, then you already lost. You just don’t realize it yet.
That’s why I said to use your anger to become better at your work and let your results do the talking for you. In fact, don’t even call it anger, start calling it energy instead. That might make you more mindful about how you chose to spend it.
If you decide to spend this energy on the people, either in front of them or even behind their back by simply thinking negatively about it, you are just missing out on potential energy that might have been put to use in a good and constructive manner.
And don’t underestimate this energy, it’s bloody powerful and intense. Would be a shame if you let it go to waste. So, just stay calm, conserve your energy, and get out of the place where you are being provoked. The calmer you remain, the more control you have over where you wanna direct your energies.
That’s the best deal you can get.
#6 Anger makes you Distraction-Free
Notice this the next time, but whenever you are angry, the energy that emerges out of it is really sharp, pointed, and one-directional. There is no room for distractions when you are angry.
And the cherry on top is if you could shift the direction of this energy to a more friendly and productive cause, then that’d be really amazing.
The reason behind this is that there suddenly is no fear left. Whether it is a right thing or a wrong thing that you are about to do, when you get angry, you do it more aggressively because there are no barriers or chains between you and the task you are doing. And this is where a person does things that would normally be out of his capacity.
Now, it can either be some really good shit or some really pathetic and stupid shit depending upon how he used this energy. But one thing is for sure, it won’t be something normal.
Observe nature. Whenever a baby animal is under any imminent threat, his mother would literally become a superwoman and might even kill the prey 10 times its size. If not exactly ‘kill’, then she’d at least bring some substantial harm to the attacker.
Where do you think this energy came from? That’s right, your friendly neighborhood Anger. She knew what was on the line and she went all in to either die or kill the prey, something she wouldn’t have done in a normal situation.
Some more interesting takes on Anger
According to many types of research carried out worldwide, it was concluded that anger:
- Make your more creative
- May increase your life expectancy
- Can make you more creative
Beethoven, who we all know as the musical genius, was a total hothead who would get into fistfights and throw books on his servant.
Aristotle also 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.” Of course, this ain’t easy but it certainly has its value.
Steve Jobs is pretty infamous for his short temper and his name-calling habits.
I was pretty angry too to see how long it took to edit this piece of article.
While anger may have garnered a bad reputation, it doesn’t necessarily have to be bad, like I tried to show you just that in the last 2000 words.
Anger is a tool. It depends on you how you wanna use the tool. Anger in itself is neither bad nor good, it’s what we do after we get angry that decides what’s gonna happen with us.
Not every situation demands you to be angry, but you also cannot afford to not be angry in every situation.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you should be the one who’s in control of anger and not the other way around.
Some people let anger overpower them, while some take pause, breathe, and then use this competent ally to their advantage.