Better Mad Than Sad: 5 Points To Ponder About Your Anger
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By Mark Banschick, Featured DM Blogger - March 12, 2014 - Updated July 26, 2016

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Are You Too Angry or, Not Angry Enough? Anger is a human experience and is not, by itself, a problem. You need to be angry to change things that are wrong. Anger is powerful in mobilizing people to change things for the better. And, anger can get you out of a funk.


Anger has a power, like money and sex. When used well, it’s a good  thing. When used poorly, like in a painful divorce, it’s destructive. If you are never angry, there is a price to pay. If you are angry too often and too intensely, you can hurt the people you love.

Here are some points to ponder about the degree of anger in your life.

One: “Better Mad Than Sad!”  Don’t stuff your anger; it’s a good way to get depressed.

People do hurt you and a passive response can make things worse. Often, healthy anger helps you to mobilize and get out of harm’s way. Anger gets you going, and may lead you to better things to come. And, if you feel victimized, anger can give you the power to change things.

Two: Anger Comes From Hurt or Disappointment.  Anger is often a response to pain, like the involuntary way you lash out if someone pokes an open wound by accident. It’s usually about self protection. So, anger is not primary; hurt or fear is primary. Your hurt or fear can be from what’s happened with the person in front of you right now, or it can have its origins in your past.

If you’re triggered into anger, stop a moment, and ask yourself if you’re hurt or feel in danger.

• Has this person disappointed you before?

• Has this person scared you before?

• Does this disappointment come from your past?

• Does this fear come from your past?

Three: Anger is to be Expressed – and not Indulged.  There are people with emotional dysregulation who easily fly off the handle. They are emotionally reactive. It has its origins in childhood, but also may be in one’s brain. Depressed people, Bi-polar patients, and others can be reactive as well. Anger can slip past frontal lobe functioning, and this is rarely constructive.

Four: Remember that you’re Dealing with others when Angry.  Depression and anxiety are often personal experiences. Anger, on the other hand, is usually a public experience. John Gottman studies marriage and divorce and coined the term The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; which are four ways that couples handle anger poorly. For instance, some people hold onto anger and withdraw; it’s called Stonewalling. But, contempt may be the worst.

Contempt can damage all relationships. It can infect parenting too.

Five: If you are in a Relationship, Prepare Your Partner for Anger.  Sometimes you must let her know that you are pissed off. Give her a chance to hear what you said without blowing her away. It’s narcissistic to think only of yourself. If she takes steps to make things better be appreciative that your anger served some good purpose. She will hear you out more in the future as well. Anger can cement a better bond with a partner or be a source of separation.

Are You Too Angry or, Not Angry Enough? Anger is a human experience and is not, by itself, a problem. You need to be angry to change things that are wrong. Anger is powerful in mobilizing people to change things for the better. And, anger can get you out of a funk.

But, understand the power of anger. If you are easily angered, ask yourself why? You may have been hurt by your partner or your parent in the past. Perhaps you’re still upset at an old lover? Be careful not to impose withering anger on undeserving people just because it feels right.

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