When things are not as we expect and when we fear the consequences, the result might be anger. Depending on how you may have learned to express it, anger may cause hurt, confusion and more anger on the part of the recipients.
Einstein said “Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools
“If you get angry you’ve already lost the argument” is another popular refrain. Is that right? So is anger always a bad thing?
In most action movies, anger is certainly a prerequisite for action. The hero rarely sallies forth without the, fortitude that anger, due to the audacious hurt delivered by the villain. Anger creates interest, energy and great speeches.
Ron Huxley’s article, ”Anger isn’t always bad – 5 ways that anger is GOOD!” gives the following good aspects of anger:
1. Anger protects. If your child is in danger you won’t hesitate to snatch it out of harms way.
Anger short cuts our thinking brain to allow us to act quickly.
2. Anger signals. The purpose of anger is to destroy problems in our lives, not our relationships. It can be useful in changing a situation by communicating it’s importance. For example, if your ISV won’t listen to your concerns, getting angry can stir things up and get a problem diagnosed and solved. I’m assuming this must be the case for other people. It hasn’t helped me yet.
3. Anger rules. Your child left his toys all over the house again! Tired of yelling at your child to get his cooperation. That only reinforces the annoying behavior. Your anger may be telling you that expectations are too high, the rule is not clear enough, or that you are not following through on consequences consistently. Use the energy of your anger to communicate the rule (again) and then follow it up with consistent, age appropriate discipline.
4. Anger talks. What we say to ourselves affects our emotional state. If we tell ourselves we are bad parents then we may act like bad parents. If we tell ourselves we are doing the best we can under stressful circumstances we will react with less hostility and frustration. Practice listening to that little “anger voice” and challenge some of the misperceptions you hold of yourself and your child. Ask some honest friends to help you be objective in your inner inventory. If what you are saying to yourself is true, use this information to make changes in your parent/child relationship.
5. Anger teaches. Our anger management styles are learned from our own parents. If Mum was a yeller, we may follow her example, even if we vowed never to yell at our
kids. Fortunately, if you learned one anger expression style you can learn another. Separate the idea that feeling anger is bad. That is natural and unavoidable but what you do
with those hot emotions is completely under your control — with some practice. Allow yourself permission to find new ways to cope with daily parenting hassles by taking a class or reading a book on anger management.
Anger always seems to precede action. Channeled appropriately anger can be a powerful motivator.