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Is Anger sometimes a GOOD thing?

I recently received an email from one of our readers who asks:

“isn’t anger sometimes a good thing?”
“Doesnt it motivate people to act righteously and to stand up against abuse?”
“Would the American Revolution ever have happened without anger?”

These are excellent questions. In our anger management program we teach that, yes indeed, anger can sometimes be a good thing if it is channeled into socially appropriate actions that benefit the person or world in some way. Used correctly, anger can indeed turn into righteous indignation which can translate to real action that makes a difference.

But, would the American Revolution have taken place had the Leaders just yelled. shouted, threatened, or just plain lost control?  Does abuse stop when victims spend their whole lives in angry resentment with no action?

it seems to us that to use the feeling of anger properly, it must be under your control and part of a rational plan of action to deal with the injustice. Explosive anger used just as a catharsis without this control usually just turns people off and often makes things worse. Ranting by itself may feel good for a short while, but then we have to deal with the “costs” of the rant. These costs often include loss of relationship, workplace tension, loss of love or respect of your children, and loss of your own self-esteem.

So, if you can harness that anger into positive action that is effective and good for the world, by all means do it! But, remember not to get “stuck” in the anger which is of little benefit to anyone.

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