The infamous line, “You won’t like me when I’m angry,” can be found in any spin-off of the Incredible Hulk. In almost all of these movies, the Hulk starts out as a innocent lab worker who’s DNA is accidentally combined with a new compound that can turn him into a great big green monster. But this transformation can only take place when his heart beat elevates beyond a certain point, or if he gets angry. This is a very typical view of anger that most people have in today’s society. Many people perceive any form of anger as a wild, negative emotion. They take the “Hulk” mentality of anger and think it turns them into a big green monster that is hell bent on destruction. Often times, this is exactly what happens. There are a number of sensible reasons why we should avoid anger. Anger can make you feel emotionally and physically unwell. It makes us impulsive, and can be self-destructive. But is this always the case? Can anger be beneficial?
Dr. Randall Feller, Psychology Department Head at Oral Robert’s University, states, “Feelings are neither good nor bad, they just are and are given to us by God to serve a purpose.” The feeling of anger is no exception. Jeremy Dean, author of PsyBlog, purposes 6 psychological benefits of getting mad.
Anger is a Motivating Force
Anyone who has watched a cheesy sports film has heard the idea of channeling your anger. You hear people channeling their anger into a motivating force by turning it into positive energy. Anger actually is a very powerful motivating force and can help push us through obstacles to reach our goals in the face of any problems.
Angry People Are More Optimistic
This may sound really odd but angry people have something in common with happy people: they tend to be very optimistic. A study done in 2003 asked people if they worried about future terrorist attacks, like 9/11, happening again. The study found that people who were angry expected fewer attacks; whereas those who were afraid expected more attacks.
Anger Can Benefit Relationships
When someone is wronged, anger is a natural reaction. We are told by numerous medias that we should suppress this anger and yet at the same time we are told to communicate our feelings to people. This offers a very frustrating dichotomy. Suppressing feelings can be very detrimental to relationships. Expressing anger that is justified and is aimed at resolving the problem can actually help strengthen a relationship.
Anger Provides Self-Insight
If we allow it, anger opens us to introspection. If we can notice the triggers that cause us to get angry, then we can work to change what makes us angry.
Anger Reduces Violence
Many people associate anger with physical confrontation. But showing anger can actually reduce physical violence. The presence of anger is a clear sign that an issue needs to be resolved.
Anger as Negotiation Strategy
A study done in 2002 showed that negotiation participants made larger concessions and fewer demands of angry people in comparison to happy people. But it’s more complicated than that. The anger must be (or at least seem) justified to make you seem powerful.
Deadly Sin or Constructive Emotional
It is important to note that anger can fulfill these six areas, but it can also be easily destructive. Happy is not always good and angry is not always bad. Even hazardous and scary emotions have their upsides, as long as they are used for the right purpose.
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