Anger is the emotion that seems to get people into the most trouble with teachers, parents, family, friends and police.
Too much anger fuels huge problems. Ever see someone having "road rage?" It's scary to watch or experience and it's very dangerous. Someone who gets that angry is out of control, is showing terrible judgment and is placing his own and other's lives in great jeopardy.
Anger occurs when frustration is high. In moderation it is fine. It warns us that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. It often arises from a sense of injustice, a feeling that something is very unfair. It is a great motivator: sometimes for the good, as when a person uses anger to take constructive action and does not lose control; and sometimes it's bad, as when a driver loses control and acts with reckless hostility.
We all live in a frustrating world. We all need to learn how to control or direct the frustration, which can quickly turn into anger. Temper tantrums are only for very young children. When you feel yourself becoming too angry, or on the brink of acting on your anger, you might:
- Try the old "count to ten" technique: it often works by delaying action.
- Think about the fear or frustration that caused the other person to act in a way that upset you.
- Try to feel empathy for the person rather than anger. Sometimes compassion calms hostility.
- If you or someone (or something) you care about is being treated unfairly, try to offer a solution that makes the situation more fair.
- Sometimes simply walking away is a great alternative to acting out your anger. That takes a lot of poise and maturity---and it shows a lot of poise and maturity, too.
Anger doesn’t have to be a bad emotion. When kept in check, anger can inspire great writing, great athletic performance or great social progress. But restraint and good sense are the keys to having anger be constructive rather than destructive. It can be either.
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