If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk,
if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.
Martin Luther King Jr.
During my last post, I spoke about the raw power in the emotion of anger. Anger can be both hurtful and aggressive, but also incredibly protective and motivating.
Consider a woman who has been assaulted. She experiences deep feelings sadness, anxiety and anger. But this woman is able to sort through her feelings, labeling each emotion and understanding their source and meaning. Once she understands her anger, she is able to transform its raw energy to a refined, targeted power source. She harnesses the strength it gives her. This woman turns around and uses this energy to form a non-profit agency that educates women on self-defense techniques and assertive communication training, in the aim of protecting other women from assault. Another prime example are the women of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). These women processed their separate emotions and used the energy of their anger to work to campaign against the atrocities of driving while intoxicated.
Once we understand the source and triggers of our anger, it can be such a formidable force. If that force is properly harnessed, the energy of anger can create great positive change for ourselves, others, and society at large. Today I want to spend some time thinking through five ways that anger can be expressed in a healthy and constructive manner.
1. Anger should be properly directed outward toward the perpetrator rather than inward toward the self. The verbalized concerns must be actual, immediate and specific harms and transgressions, rather than consequences to a second or third degree.
2. When anger is differentiated from our other emotions, such as sadness, fear or guilt, it allows the person to fully and honestly access its motivational power.
3. Using assertive communication to express your experience, rather than using passive, aggressive or indirect language and behaviors. An example may be using “I statements,” as well as being careful not to insult, attack, or complain about the other. Using negative communication never sends an edifying message, but tends to express disrespect and usually further alienates the two parties.
4. Gauging and controlling the intensity of response to properly match the situation. Express the proper level of anger that will send a clear message of assertion. Examples of inappropriate anger intensity include rage that is overwhelming or disimpassioned anger that lacks conviction or energy.
5. Continue to search for the meaning of the anger. Consider the emotion as a signal that something deeper is going on – dig in, explore it, know it, and use it to change your world!
Below you will find a video that portrays how a person (or cartoon owl in this case) can harness the power of his anger (with the help of a loved one) to protect himself and his friend.
Hi! I'm Dr. Linda Abdelsayed. These are just some articles I've created on various life topics. Hope you find them helpful! Check me out on the About and Contact tabs above!