• Ray St-Amour

Isn't Anger Bad?

This is a commonly asked question. And the answer may surprise some of you. Anger is an emotion. It is not bad. It’s actually a good emotion. It tells you when something is wrong, it helps you speak up, to put boundaries around certain behaviour or dialogues. It makes sure that you don’t get taken advantage of and keeps you safe. Anger is an emotion but it’s what behaviour you exhibit when you are angry that can be good or bad. For example if you say assertively that something is not okay versus yelling and kicking the chair.

And why do people get angry? Anger is the first emotion to come up to the surface; it is the easiest emotion to access. The trick is to go deeper. What is the REAL emotion hiding behind the anger? Is it because the person feels hurt because they did they not make the team? Is it because they are disappointed that you had to cancel your plans for the evening? Is it it because they are worrried because you didn’t call to say you were going to be late and they thought you were in an accident? Is it being insecure because you are with new friends and you think they are making fun of you? Is it hurt because you feel emotionally wounded? And the list goes on. It is so much easier to access anger than to do the emotional work of unpacking all those other feelings.

So the next time you, your child or your partner gets angry, think a bit deeper. What is the anger really about? What is the real underlying feeling. You may be surprised and this can open a new discussion and show a deeper understanding of yourself and your family.