Friday, October 14, 2011
The Dark Versus the Light Side of Anger
Anger is an emotion. Let's start there. It is fine to angry, but it can either wreck havoc or bring peace. Anger can be used as a poison for the person who is angry, or for the victim on the receiving end. Or it can be used constructively to make peace in a situation. One of them is terribly unhealthy, the other is just simply more logical. I am talking about emotions a lot lately, because they all have good and bad ways of being used. It is important to distinguish between both sides. In this case I will talk about the dark side of anger first. Toxic anger is used in a lot of ways, and it does serve a purpose. There is explosive anger, violent anger, vengeful anger, and anger turned inward. Anger turned inward results in depression because the anger remains inside. Toxic anger also causes various illnesses. Strokes and cardiovascular disease are two examples. I know that I get depressed when I turn the anger inward. Toxic anger ruins friendships and relationships. Explosions of anger leave permanent damage on the recepient even though they might say that the outburst is forgiven and forgotten. Our dog was beaten before my sister adopted him. He is happy now, but I see that the damage is still there. Toxic anger releases endorphins, but why not release them doing something like working out? Toxic anger repels people and animals away like the wind of a hurricane. It also makes people sick. If people engage in the toxic form of anger, there is a price ti be paid. I had Lyme Disease in 2009. I still have symptoms from time to time in that I feel fatigue, aches, and minor arthritis when I am angry in a toxic way. When I get my chill back on, the symptoms go away. How do you think that works? Well, I either relax or if another person did something I did not like, I have the option of using the healthy or constructive way of expressing anger. It is all about choices. Easier said then done of course. The light side of anger is keeping the emotion under control. Yes, I do like Star Wars analogies. Anyway, I call the light side of anger, constructive anger. This is because, constructive anger is helpful way of expressing anger just like constructive criticism is helpful. Helpful is the key word for constructive anything. Constructive anger is about talking to the person that upset you versus exploding at them. Talking the situation out often has some good results such as creating a deeper relationship with the other person. Plus, it is helpful to myself and the other person because that person can get a better understanding of what the deal is. Of course how the other party reacts is out of my control, and none of my business. Usually relationships can improve by talking versus exploding. That can even apply to myself, if I am angry at myself over something I can improve my relationship with myself. Anger is most certainly a toxic emotion, but it can be expressed constructively, and then it cools down. At least that is my stance on it. Usually it starts out with the intensity of the anger turned all the way up to overdrive. At least that tends to bs my experience. But if I restrain myself when the intensity is high, I can pause and wait for the intensity to go down, then the result is anger used the right way. When the initial temperature on my anger intensity scale is hot, my thinking is irrational. When I calm down, I must deal with whatever is bothering me and then forgive the other person and move on.