Anger, like all of our emotions, serves a purpose. It alerts us to the injustice of a situation (be it real or perceived) and fuels us with the energy needed to address the problem. Anger, undeniably, has its place – but what we do with that anger and how we express it can often be our downfall. A raised voice, scathing tone or hostile comment can certainly provide a momentary release from the discomfort of anger, but invariably it provokes a counter-response from the person on the receiving end. They get defensive, bite back, we rise to the bait and all the while each side gets further and further entrenched in their own positions, each feeling righteously aggrieved by the other.
Essentially, anger alerts us to the problem – but ‘giving in’ to that anger rarely solves it.
So what are we meant to do? Swallowing the anger down is no good – that just leads to resentment and potentially, over time, psychological or even physical complaints from all that unprocessed rage.
Instead, this article considers a mindful response; one in which we acknowledge the anger, reflect on what lies beneath it and give ourselves the space to decide how best to respond. An approach worth considering in these highly charged times.