So many times, I’ve had a conversation with another human that revolves around how they were raised. One of the most common remarks are that whenever they got angry, they were told it wasn’t something they should do. Like feeling rage or disappointment or frustration is some sort of taboo emotion that is never valid. I’ve even heard parents tell their children that getting angry won’t help and that it’s not the appropriate response. Worse yet is when a person is told that they don’t have a right to be angry.
I read an article that claims that that anger can provide real psychological benefits to a person. Anger can be positive when it motivates a person to achieve a goal or to improve themselves. It can be constructive in that when you’re raging, you feel powerful, even strong, which can provide that little nudge a person might need in taking steps to achieve what they want.
What surprised me was this article claims that “angry people are more optimistic” and this taboo emotion can be beneficial in relationships. I’m not sure if I believe that the angrier you are, the more optimistic you are, but I do think that a slow burning rage is good for a relationship. I can’t count the number of times I have been infuriated with my husband or he with me, and after we discussed the issue, our relationship became stronger.
Feeling angered with someone and talking about it allows the problem to be identified, and serves as a catalyst in reaching a resolution. The key is to own your anger, simmer in your fueled emotions, recognize that these emotions are yours and you have a right to feel the way you do, and maintain control of said rage. Control is the key to leveraging those negative feelings to make a positive change.
I’ve learned over the years, when I’m angry and I’m telling my husband how I feel, it’s important to communicate my negative emotions in a healthy way. For example, when angered, most people tend to deflect those emotions with statements that begin with “You make me feel…” Instead of that, try starting your conversation with “I feel [blank] when you [blankety-blank-blank] .” This is ‘owning’ your reactions.
I can tell you from experience, if you approach your anger this way, it will always lead to something more positive in your relationship for the long term. It has for me and my husband. We both have a crystal-clear understanding of what each other likes and dislikes. We understand what makes one another angry, upset, disappointed, and enraged. Those boundaries are clearly defined, which fosters open communication between us that only strengthens our bond to one another.
If you only remember one thing from reading this, remember…You have a right to feel angry: own it, accept it, control it, and use it to make the future within your relationships better.