“Anger: Good or Bad?”

August 30, 2010

Over the course of my 60-plus years on this earth, I have been on the receiving end of a great deal of anger.  Some of it was deserved, but a great deal of it was not.  As a result, I have an intense dislike for anger in all its various forms and levels of intensity.

That much I have recognized for most of my life.  What I did not realize was that, due to that great distaste for anger, I personally was internalizing and “stuffing down” quite a bit of it myself.

Now, it’s not that other people did not notice my anger from time to time.  Even though I hardly ever have “gotten mad” in the typical sense of the word, when certain painful situations from the past came up, my intensity level would heat up like burners on a stove.

Of course, I couldn’t see it—excuse me, I wouldn’t see it—for the longest time.  Since I lost a tremendous amount of respect for those angry people in my life who, over the years, had made my life miserable, surely I would not be guilty of that awful emotional “sin” (that’s certainly how I saw it!) of anger!  Right?  Wrong!

Well, in a classic “better late than never” change, I have finally come to grips with all that anger that I had been carrying around.  It is still very embarrassing to admit, but, now that I have finally admitted it to myself and begun to deal with it, I am trying to learn from my denial and gain a healthy, balanced view of anger.

In my following articles, I’m going to consider the so-called “upside” and “downside” of anger.  Is it a good thing (i.e., “righteous indignation”), a bad thing, or both?

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