THE POSITIVES OF ANGER
Anger can often be viewed in a negative way rather than for the positive support it provides us. It can be associated with aggression, shouting, violence and negative behaviour. Surprising to many clients in counselling, is that the initial recognition of feeling anger can be a helpful communication to oneself. It is not necessarily the anger we feel which is a problem but how we respond to it, or how we express it, when we experience it. Also, it is helpful to differentiate whether it is anger we are experiencing or rage. When we are aware of feeling anger, we can normally think with it; when it is rage we lose the ability to think and can act out. Feeling angry is often a sign that something needs attention or needs to change. It provides valuable information and has many useful purposes.
THE USEFUL PURPOSES OF ANGER
– indicates something is not okay/unacceptable
– supports us in experiences of injustice and unfair/unacceptable behaviour
– provides protection from feeling hurt/pain
– supports and motivates us to address issues
– enables us to honour our difference and be true to ourselves
– maintains healthy boundaries and self care, eg saying no.
– enables us to address our issues assertively and with respect.
DENIAL OF ANGER
Sometimes we do not have awareness of anger, or we may deny it, this can be due to conscious and unconscious processes because:
– we have not learnt how to know our anger;
– have experienced negative responses to our anger;
– have experienced others negative expressions of anger eg aggressive/violent behaviour
ANGER A SUPPORT RATHER THAN A PROBLEM
If we are unable to let anger inform us, this also means we lack the positive support it provides us which can impact negatively on our happiness and wellbeing. Working with anger issues in counselling helps us to see the positives of anger, and for it to become a support rather than a problem.