Most of us think that Anger is just a second hand emotion that we would be better off without. However, believe it or not, once you will understand the positive power of Anger you will never say again that you want to get rid of it for good. Actually you will start being grateful that you can feel Anger and maybe realise that you need a bit more of it in your life.
But before discussing Anger, maybe ask yourself, why do you need any emotion?
Why do we need emotions?
Without emotions we would not be able to relate to the world around us, we would not be able to say what is good and what is bad (Anger or Sadness). We would not be able to enjoy our lives (Joy) and also we would not be able to understand when we are in danger in order to escape in time (Fear).
Like everything else in the world, emotions are neither good nor bad, they serve a purpose. When we are connected to the messages emotions send to us they become our compass in life. They guide us away from things that hurt us and towards things that we enjoy.
Most of the suffering in the world is caused by the fact that we are disconnected from our internal compass and we try to follow some external guidance about what to do and what not to do, what brings joy and what brings suffering. Given the fact we are all unique beings with our own wiring and our own preferences, external guidance that applies to everyone, most of the time ends up by applying to no one.
In her book, The Power Of Feelings: A Practical Guide To Emotional Intelligence, Vivien Dittmar gives a thorough overview of the positive power of emotions.
Anger is fire, anger is passion and the most importantly anger is action. We feel angry when we interpret something in our world as being wrong. This gives us the energy to change it. A gesture as simple as picking up a paper from the floor would not be possible without us feeling first that it is wrong that the paper is laying on the floor. Cleaning our house, taking a bath, focusing on a difficult task, anger fuels all these activities.
Paradoxically in our society we value clarity while considering anger an undesirable emotion. However, it is anger that gives us clarity and determination, it is that feeling that something is wrong that gives us the energy to fight back, to be convincing and to initiate change.
Anger helps us to set and defend our boundaries, to stand up for our needs and what we believe in.
Consequently, a person lacking the feeling of anger would be a person totally unable to take decisions and adopt any position in life. Such a person would lack clarity and the capacity to advance in life as it would not be able to decide in which direction to go and s/he would lack the energy to take action.
So next time you feel the fire of anger rising in you wonder what is wrong in your life and most importantly if you can influence it in any way. If the answer is no, know that anger is not the appropriate response for that particular situation.