Is all anger modifiable?

Anger clearly has clear evolutionary value. That is, it is there to protect us so we can survive. If this is so, can we change it? Do we even want to change it? The answer to the first question is that it probably depends on the depth of the problem. There are many ways to define “depth” but one way to measure it is the extent that anger is powerful for the person- like if someone truly believes others in general are out to get him. Anger has less power when anger is specific to a person in your life (like your boss or your ex-wife). The evidence so far seems to indicate that anger is much more modifiable for people who’s anger has low power for them.

As for the second question, the answer again is “it depends.” We teach in our anger management classes that the ultimate criterion for this is the answer to the question, “How well is it working for you?” Anger expression is a behavior, and like all behavior, has a purpose or goal. What is your goal when you get angry? Get others to do something? Express yourself? Get your own way?  if you are not achieving your goals (or the cost if too high, even if you do achieve it), why continue that angry behavior?

Try something else and you will be a more effective- and happier-  person.