We give it different names. Whether you call it rage, frustration, fury or indignation, it was the subliminal force that drove people to extremes of violence that bathed our island in blood. It is the force you deal with every day, whether you feel outraged after a passing car decorates your immaculate white shirt with splotches of mud or when a colleague yells at you for no reason at all.
Anger: Is it useless, needed to some extent, or essential?
Let me ask that question in another way. Is fever useless, needed to some extent, or essential? Do I hear you saying “Oh! Fever? Feeling uncomfortable for days on end? You call that “necessary”?” Yet scientifically, fever is a symptom which can help us to detect life-threatening diseases early on. It is a defense mechanism of the body. Therefore fever is essential.
Similarly, anger is essential. When we feel angry, it indicates that either we or others are not meeting the standards we have in our minds. If you don’t feel angry, other people would walk all over you and you would never be the best you can be.
To put it in brief, feelingangry is completely all right; it is our reaction that we should look out for.
Whenever you sense this feeling creeping up on you, first of all, accept that you are feeling angry. Then ask yourself why you feel so. Fine, your sister grabbed that last piece of cake from your hands. Is it reasonable enough to yell and make a scene? For every situation, ask yourself whether you can tolerate it. Is it just the way your sister is? Perhaps it is just because your standards and the other person’s standards differ. What may be outrageous to you would be completely acceptable to another.
If you feel that you cannot tolerate the other, then it is time for an open discussion. By that I mean a conversation where both parties get to have their say and not a tearing-your-hair-out-name-calling-stomping-around session. In an open discussion, both parties should strive to reach a middle ground. If it was a debate, you would lose whether you win or not. When you win, you do not learn anything and your relationship is damaged, sometimes forever. When you lose, you learn something; yet once again your bond maybe ruined beyond repair.
In the next article, we would be looking at the ill effects of anger and how we can control it.