How Your Anger Benefits Me

Your anger can actually benefit me. That sounds a bit ludicrous, wouldn’t you agree? Anger hurts the one experiencing it but how can it possibly work to my advantage? If you become angry with me, I might feel upset, disrespected, scared, or angry in return. On a deeper level those emotions can prove to be insightful and so to that extent yes, I can benefit. But is there something more that can be gained by witnessing or being the target of another person’s ire?

1. Loss of Control:
We make decision in one of two ways: either emotionally or intellectually. Emotions cloud rational judgment. When we become angry, we don’t necessarily think things through clearly and sometimes say or do things that could potentially be counterproductive. Intellect allows us to rationally collect data, process it, and draw a logical conclusion. Much like medical personnel in a hospital, one must keep a clear head in order to effectively address the task at hand. To become emotional could prove catastrophic. Regarding anger: when the other party becomes highly emotional, I can more easily gain control over the situation simply by displaying composure and a clear mind. To those observing us, I appear to be more mature and coherent thereby garnering their respect and giving me greater authority. Should their anger become physical, legally I again have the upper hand as well and may chose to press charges.

One who is highly emotional is also more easily manipulated. Fear of not being heard or getting their way can easily result in their talking over the other party and/or not paying attention to the actions being taken and decisions being made until long after they have calmed down. By not listening to, understanding, or taking part in the decision-making process they relinquished their power and are at the mercy of the other party. Anger negates logic giving those who maintain their composure the upper hand. When you lose control I can easily capture it.

2. Anger and the Innocent:
The way in which you express your anger can reflect poorly on you. If you are bashing me, gossiping behind my back, making false accusations, criticizing, embarrassing, or humiliating me in front of others, there is a high probability that others will leap to my defense. I could easily be perceived as an innocent victim (regardless of any preceding circumstances or inappropriate behaviors on my part) evoking compassion or sympathy from others while relegating you to the unfavorable position of bully. I need only to sit quietly and maintain my image of innocence while allowing you to ruin your own reputation.

3. Anger, Self-esteem, and Health:
Frustration (aka stress) is an underlying root cause of anger and a leading cause of health issues. Knowing that her husband has high blood pressure and is considered high risk for a heart attack, Karen broaches a highly controversial issue (remodeling the kitchen), knowing full well that when her husband becomes angry and upset, all she need do is remind him that should he become overly stressed he could easily suffer a heart attack. Therefore, it would be in his best interest if he simply conceded to her demands.

How easy is it to manipulate someone into being submissive using such statements as “You’re out of control; there’s something wrong with you; no one is taking you seriously; if anyone sees you acting like that they’re going to think you’re crazy.” For one with a poor self-image, their anger can be their downfall, enabling the other person to manipulate them into full compliance. Add to that any potential health issues and the one at risk may easily back down.

4. Anger – Purveyor of Truth
People often say things when they’re angry that they would not normally say under agreeable conditions. They may reveal how they really feel about you or inform you as to what others are saying about you. As hurtful as this can be, it can be a blessing in disguise for it enables the receiving party to more deeply understand the nature of their relationship as well as give them some possible insights into themselves that they may not otherwise be aware of. This affords them the opportunity to work at improving their relationship with the other party and/or correct any (possible) unflattering behaviors.

5. Covert Anger
Not all anger is obvious. Sometimes it presents itself under the guise of sarcasm, rejection, constructive criticism, silence and more. Repressed anger may reveal a dormant issue between both parties now coming to the forefront for discussion. Or perhaps the issue lies strictly within you, thus providing a window of opportunity with which to acknowledge, express, and potentially resolve it. Covert anger invites the individual to become acutely aware of passive or passive/aggressive anger within themselves or the party. In either case, one can now address the behavior and underlying issue, get it resolved, or if necessary set clear and firm boundaries.

Anger is one of the most powerful of all human emotions. If you choose to entertain it into your heart, at the very least, be your own beneficiary of your ire. Use it to motivate you to make positive changes that benefit you as well as those around you. In that way, your anger can be a gift to all who are present. And that’s exactly what it’s meant to do.

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