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Positive and Negative Anger: How to Use Anger for Good

Updated on February 8, 2017
Anti-Valentine profile image

Anti-Valentine is a writer living in South Africa. He enjoys writing about music, video games, and online marketing.

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Angry Again…

Do you ever wake up angry? It might be because you didn't sleep well, or because you're stressed out about having to go to work or school. All day long, everything and everyone gets on your nerves, and you just want to lunge out and punch someone.

The situation isn't made any better by the fact that different people react to anger differently. They can either avoid you completely, not to speak to you or speak only when spoken too, or they can go the opposite route and go all out to try to psyche you up and get a rise out of you, almost daring you to do something. Another situation is when they laugh at you, and actually just look at you as some sort of joke, not taking you seriously.

There's a lot of anger in the world today. In fact, in South Africa, where I live, people now refer to our country as the "Rambo Nation" instead of the rainbow nation. Everyone has a beef with someone or something, even inanimate objects. It's like a contagious disease in that wherever it goes, it spreads its germs and it grows.

There are different types of anger, though. When channeled properly, anger can sometimes be used for good, and it doesn't necessarily mean you have to take anger management sessions.

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Positive anger

When you read the paper, and you see something sickening, like when I read the front page, and saw that Bob Mugabe had fought his way (literally) into getting another term in office. We all saw it coming, and despite the fact that the opposition had more votes the first time round, there weren't enough votes to get them in. Now, after another vote, and after the MDC withdrew because of the violence taken against MDC supporters, he's there again.

I felt angry. This situation in Zimbabwe has been going on for years, and nobody has done a thing; and I agree that apathy or dispair is worse than anger. People claim that nobody has bothered to do anything because there's nothing of value in that country, unlike Iraq.

Positive anger can be channeled by doing something, like when I got the urge to write this post. It's helping me vent and it's therapeutic. After a couple of hours of pouring my heart out and putting all my emotional effort in to the article, I feel better, because I've used the emotion, and my time, constructively. Anger can be a very forceful motivator, and it can make people do good things, not always bad. When you use it, it's like fuel that's been used well, and not wasted.

"There's a lot of anger in the world today. In fact, in South Africa, where I live, they now refer to it as the ‘Rambo Nation' instead of the rainbow nation."

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Negative anger

This is when you take out your anger on other people or things, when they are not to blame, either for making you feel that way, or for what happened in the first place.

It's really your choice to get angry. Have you ever heard the saying, "We choose to let people hurt us"? When you think about it, other people do things that might peeve us off, but we can choose how to react.

This is usually when people start to avoid or either just treat you like a joke. Like I've heard before, "Angry people are funny people." Not always the case, as we go to the next case.

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Out of control anger

This is when we are fuming with rage. This has gone beyond irritation, and afterwards we may even have forgotten what really got us there in the first place. Your blood starts to boil, your thinking becomes blurred, your heart rate goes through the roof and you heat up so much that someone, if they even dared that is, could fry an egg on your head.

We can do stupid things at this point that we usually regret later on. This is where you hear stories of people getting killed, like road rage, and crimes of passion, where the anger was unleashed and ran rampant, or it could be the point where you hit or fully assault someone.

After the session, there's usually some guilt because of what you did, embarrassment because you drew attention to yourself, confusion and usually at the end, sadness.

I bet now you can see that in any of the cases above, you need to get rid of the anger, or use it. You can get rid of it in many ways, like keep a punching bag (I do.) or even do something you love doing, like a hobby, provided your mind's not too clouded. I like to write. There's nobody else around, nobody's going to laugh at me, or try to rile me up, and after a while, it passes, and in that space of time, like now, I've written an article.

Anger can have many negative effects, not only on you, but on others. Even if they are not physically or verbally targeted, it can make them disrespect and hate you. I've been in situations where I've lost friends because I acted inappropriately. And once people get that negative image of you, it's hard to change it in to a positive one.

"Anger makes a rich man hated, and a poor man scorned."

— Thomas Fuller

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© 2008 Anti-Valentine

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      AVI PRABHAKAR 4 years ago

      good information