Often, I think of anger as a negative emotion, something to never express because it is taboo. And, yes, it is true a person can do horribly destructive things out of anger. When I suppress and internalize my anger, that is when it turns into hostility and destructive behavior. I know that if I act in a fit of rage, I will likely regret anything comes from that action. I have to express my anger somehow, or else it burns a hole in my heart, and I snap and become hostile.
But, I am learning that anger has the potential to be a healthy emotion if expressed correctly.
Anger is an alerting emotion, one that catalyzes further action. Being mad is evidence that I care deeply about something, which I need to communicate, but something hinders that communication.
I want to explore how anger can spur positive change. Often change comes on the heels of being so ticked off that I can’t stand it anymore. All of that adrenaline and energy can produce such dramatic results if I channel them correctly. It is my responsibility to not hold onto my anger but to acknowledge it and move it in a positive direction.
In the coming days, I’ll talk about positive/productive ways of expressing anger, responding to triggers to avoid hostility.
But for now, I want to leave you with one of my favorite movie clips that demonstrates, for me, how anger can affect change. It comes from the 1976 Oscar-winning film, Network.