Angry emotions tend to be perceived in a negative light, especially when compared to feelings of happiness or excitement. This is understandable since when we feel angry, the actions that follow can be rather unsettling or violent.
However, this blog is here to show you that while anger does cause negative repercussions in our lives, it can also be something beneficial. Anger is an emotional response to something that we feel is not right. Thus, it can provide us with the information we need to become aware of when we are not happy with something. In fact, when people talk about their angry feelings, it tends to be related to feelings of unjust or betrayal. For example, if in a family a son is always favourited over his sister; he is never told to do chores, always bought better gifts than his sister, given more attention. Then, the daughter will feel that her situation is unfair as she should be treated as an equal to her brother. This unfairness will lead her to feel angry throughout her life when something unfair happens to her. This feeling of anger is a sign that she needs help rather than a problematic emotion. Thus, by becoming aware of this, we can better change our position and our response to certain situations.
The following are 3 points on why anger is beneficial:
- At times, feeling angry allows us to solve our problems more effectively. If we feel that a change is needed, and we become angry due to this, then we are more motivated to act. Anger propels us forward to try and solve our problems rather than leave them as is. Furthermore, when we do not manage to achieve what we want, then we also become angry. This anger triggers us to become aware that we need to work harder to achieve our goals. Thus, in this way, anger can instil a sense of optimism within us which encourages us to focus on what we want to achieve, rather than on all the difficulties along the way.
- Anger helps lead us to self-improvement and for us to work on our deep-rooted issues. When we become angry, we can learn to investigate ourselves and question what brought this anger on. Did we feel a sense of rejection? Loneliness? Unloved? It is important for us to dig deep within ourselves to give light to our deeper issues. It is only after we become aware of what has caused this anger that we can work on ourselves and free ourselves from the problems it brings. In the end, it would make us better people who are open to change. For example, if a person knows that when someone tells them ‘No’ they become angry, then looking within themselves can help them realize that feelings of rejection are the root of the problem. Thus, working on these feelings of rejection will bring about a positive change for when someone tells them ‘No’ again.
- All the emotions we experience have evolved to serve us one main purpose: survival. The fight response which emerges when we need to defend ourselves, stems from feelings of anger. Anger allows us to sharpen our focus and fight back against any predator to be able to protect ourselves. In this way, we do not allow others to hurt us. Thus, in daily situations, when we become angry, it is our way to stand up for ourselves and then, find a solution to our situation.
Feelings of anger are unavoidable. It is your right to feel angry just as it is your right to feel happiness or sadness. Hence, rather than always perceiving anger in a negative manner, it is better to start seeing its use.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Mandy Brincat is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues, such as general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with children with anxiety and day to day stressful problems.
- Bratt, W. (2014). The Value of Anger — Will Bratt Counselling. Will Bratt Counselling. Retrieved from https://www.willbrattcounselling.com/blog-creating-difference/2014/11/9/the-value-of-anger.
- Ratson, M. (2017). The Value of Anger: 16 Reasons It’s Good to Get Angry – GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog. GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog. Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/value-of-anger-16-reasons-its-good-to-get-angry-0313175.