“Anger is a no-no.”
“Anger is bad.”
“If you get angry, it means you’re not a nice person.”
“Anger always gets me in trouble.”
Any of these lines sound familiar? Well, let’s put it this way, no emotion is “bad”, but all emotions fall on a spectrum of positive or negative. Anger is usually found on the negative side of the spectrum because it’s not a comfortable or desirable feeling for most people.
To break it down, there are three sides to anger. The emotion: anger; the attitude: hostility; the behavior: aggression.
Anger is an emotion, nothing more. It’s quite human to feel anger at times in our lives. I would even go as far as to say it’s normal for humans. Just as with any emotion, anger serves to inform logic. Then logic uses the emotion as one piece of the puzzle to develop a plan for how to respond to the situation.
Aggression is a behavior that, if left unchecked and unrestrained, can follow the emotion of anger. Aggressive behavior can take many forms, including, but not limited to: verbal, physical, and psychological aggression. Basically, any behavior that causes the other party to feel intimidation would fall under “aggressive”.
Hostility is an attitude, or the approach one takes to a problem or situation. For example, having the mindset that others are just out to make one’s life miserable. Or, having a chip on the shoulder. Coming into a situation with a hostile attitude is just asking for an interaction to start off on the wrong foot.
Feeling angry isn’t what will get one into trouble, but behaving aggressively almost always will. Behaving aggressively has been known to damage or end relationships, land people in the hospital or jail, result in feelings of shame, guilt, and regret, loss of employment, fines, criminal records, road rage, court cases, loss of children to DCFS, and in some cases even death.
This doesn’t have to be you. Remember the Charles R. Swindoll quote, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. You can learn to manage the emotion of anger so that it doesn’t take you down the destructive path of aggression. With the right tools, support, and practice, you can regain self-control.
Please contact us! We can help you learn these tools and give you the support you need.