Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


What Does Anger Do For You?

posted by Linda Mintle

whyOne of the reasons we hold on to anger even when it troubles our relationships is because we think it works for us. We don’t’ like to give up things that serve a purpose.

So ask, what does anger do for me? Is it motivated by some deficiency or a reflexive response to unfair treatment?  If so, will anger bring me the purposes I desire—reconciliation, growth, better relationships and fulfillment in life?

Anger is often used to falsely think we are correcting wrongs. We hold on to the belief that life must be fair in order to cope with the fact that it is not. When we continue to believe and act like life must be fair, we collect a rich supply of injustices that only fuel anger.

Sometimes anger serves the purpose of self-pity. Anger is a strategy to manipulate others to feel sorry for us. So we complain and hassle people. This backfires in that people don’t want to be around complainers or someone who feels sorry for him/herself.

Anger also serves the purpose of covering vulnerability. Rather than showing the “weaker” side of our emotional lives, people use anger to appear strong. Letting go means being vulnerable.

Anger is also a simple solution to more complex relationship issues. It is a very narrow and rigid way to respond to issues that take time and thought to process and work through.

Whatever function anger serves for you,  be willing to give it up and do things differently. For example, if anger covers your vulnerability, be willing to be vulnerable.

The less dependent you are on anger doing something for you, the better your relationships will be.



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