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Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Anger’s Upside Downside
Are there any “bad” emotions?
Anyone can get angry, especially when facing big frustrations
Anger, resentment, hatred, sadness, frustration… They’re an unavoidable part of life. I think it’s important to allow ourselves a genuine reaction to the wide range of trials life throws our way.
Emotions are valuable feedback. And trying to repress feelings only means they’ll come back sooner or later, perhaps much stronger. Keeping emotions from our conscious mind still affects us.
Experiencing our emotions can be very helpful. But what we do with these feelings is another story. There’s a major upside and downside here.
Anger needs special attention
I think I’ve gained some very helpful insights on how to handle anger, but not without much trial and error, often choosing less than productive ways to express this difficult emotion.
I’ve found relating to people with anger is counterproductive, even if they’re doing something wrong – perhaps especially if they’re doing something wrong. It may make us feel better, but usually not for long.
In the past, after telling people off, I was often surprised, almost shocked, to see how defensive they were and how unwilling they were to listen to what I had to say. It didn’t seem to matter how logical or right I seemed to me. As if they just couldn’t understand how justified I felt. Funny thing about that.
Grasping the obvious
Yeah, anger begets anger and, similarly, violence begets violence. The more carefully I’ve observed life, the more obvious it seems.
Some of you naturally emotionally intelligent people knew this all along, but this idea only came gradually to me.
When something is finally obvious that should have been obvious years before, we call it common sense,” says Steve Walton, Hearts & Minds volunteer and a professional programmer.
When people feel attacked
Truth is, when people feel attacked, they get defensive – and sometimes quite eager to put all the blame on you.
This doesn’t just apply to individual disagreements. It also happens between whole nations.
So it’s often far better to remain calm, tactful, even friendly – perhaps especially when we believe someone else is so clearly, totally in the wrong.
Inspiring Quotes on Anger