Saturday, January 28, 2012

The positive side of anger

I've never thought of anger as a positive emotion. Angry behaviour evokes fear in most people, including me. Road rage, violent outbursts, yelling matches, NO THANK YOU. I try hard to suppress my anger. But now I am reading that anger is a positive emotion. Apparently getting angry is what prompts us to change, to seek justice, to stand up for ourselves. In fact anger can help you focus on what's important to you and make decisions that will meet your needs. Unbelievable.

The other thing I've read is that venting does not relieve anger. It makes you angrier. Unless, there is a empathetic listener at the other end who cares to know about what is making you angry and has your best interest at heart. In other words, my Mom ♥. It's not easy to be empathetic when anger is directed at you though. Which is why my partner simply gives me space when I am really upset. Do I express my anger in a non-violent and non-threatening way? This is a akin to complaining without criticizing. So difficult.

I'm not sure where I stand on anger. When my partner gets angry, I turtle. I do not in any way show empathy and in fact I lose a little respect for him . But if I try to be that empathetic listener perhaps it will diffuse his anger? It will help him realize what he needs to do to get his expectations met. I want to be able to do this for him.

Wow, how great is it when you start to shift your perceptions a little. I'm really grateful for learning about the positive side of anger. It can be a catalyst for change.

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