We get angry when frustrated, when we experience failure. We can be angry due to ‘fairness instinct’ and ‘Robin Hood mentality’. More than ‘relative deprivation’, ‘inequity aversion’ makes us angry. Vented anger gives rise to forgiveness. Concealed anger, on the other hand, hardens into revenge. Some can remain calm amid intense and frustrating activity. They are saints. It is not possible to please everyone all the time. To deal with tough situations one needs ‘fire in the belly’.
Anger is natural emotion and it reflects power. Anger can be an important part of human ambition and motivation. Hiding anger in intimate relationships can be detrimental. Justified anger can be helpful in strengthening relationships. Anger can be self-motivating. It allows one to take a closer look at oneself. Anger has often proven to be a good negotiation strategy. Legitimate demands of angry persons are met relatively easily. Anger prepares us to fight against injustice and helps us in restoring justice. It helps in developing our unstructured thinking and out-of-the-box thinking.
We get angry because of the fluctuations, disturbances, and imbalances around us. We seldom respect an angry person, but anger can be a binding force and a motivating resource. Some anger management suggestions include: build capacity to manage protests; recognize the ‘bads’, they are usually far more influential than the ‘goods’; focus on where threats, risks, and anger are highest; use new technologies to expose contention and open new avenues to welcome protests; prepare for sustained campaigns; expose incompetence and celebrate success; be prepared to discontinue with what is not working; instead of merely lobbying, start working for a cause.
Angry persons can be reliable employees. Anger shifts priorities from apathy to action. And, as we know, anger can be destructive. It often generates high level of noise than actual impacts. We need to be extra careful when we express anger. Anger can be a constructive emotion when used cautiously. And as Aristotle said, “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” Be angry at the right moment and also be afraid of your anger, lest you be punished for your anger. Misplaced anger is like an animal without a cage. It indiscriminately uses its claws. Misplaced anger is not good. Small discussions in the family and among friends often lead to good chances of getting exaggerated. Often, the anger gets misdirected at the innocent person. Such ‘displaced aggressions’ often lead to ‘retaliatory aggressions’. Often we get angry, but don’t find outlet to express it. That makes us angrier, and the innocent ‘goat’ becomes the target of our anger.
Our communication big-wigs want us to believe that ‘enragement is engagement’. They often use this technique for bringing someone into the debate. Once the goings-on is hot, they try to put some fuel into the fire. Then they try to normalize the situation to keep both the parties happy. They try to be both good and bad at the same time. Once bias was considered bad reporting. Now it is the other way. We use anger to breed anger. Biased hammers always find biased nails for hitting. The problem is that any logic has also an opposite logic. Anger is intoxicating. It is an opportunity for some. Many don’t want to leave this ‘opportunity’ in the cut-throat world.
Healthy people experience anger, but they can suppress it before acting on it. Unhappy people, on the other hand, are more prone to anger attacks. In such people “neurological brake fails to engage.” Openly expressed intense angry emotions can leave scars in people, as our sensory systems are vulnerable to violence. Some individuals have natural tendency to behave aggressively. One becomes angry and nervous when facing competition for resources, such as food or mate. If anger is celebrated, as in some movies, the moves to counter the impact of anger must also be celebrated as effectively. Along with the soft armoury, it is always useful to have hard armoury. Anger is hard armoury. Anger is a form of power. The virtues of anger deserve to get its due recognition in the working community. Anger can be our guide. I have known a person who used to say, “We don’t come here only to exchange niceties.” He exchanged niceties, nevertheless, at an appropriate time. He was world class in every sense of the term.