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  • Tony Georgiadis

Embracing and attuning to anger for positive change and growth

Updated: Jan 30

Our psyche is an intricate structure. Day by day, we navigate a spectrum of emotions, from serene tranquillity to intense anger.


This article delves into the emotion of anger and its potential to enrich our aliveness and foster positive change when harnessed constructively.

Is anger a bad feeling?

Often, there might be a tendency to categorise our emotions into positive ones and negative ones. Anger is often deemed a negative emotion, a ‘bad feeling’ to be severed from our emotional spectrum.

Indeed, when unchecked and unaddressed, anger may manifest in aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviour, verbal outbursts, and even physical harm towards others or ourselves in the form of self-sabotage. It is crucial, therefore, to learn how to manage our anger and not allow it to fester unattended. Unmanaged anger can result in a loss of perspective that impacts both ourselves and those around us.


Due to its societal stigma and the frequently learned notion that anger is a negative feeling that must not be honored, feelings of anger may not always enter our consciousness. This difficulty in attuning to irritation, annoyance, frustration, and an inability to reflect on the factors that contribute to our dissatisfaction in certain life situations can lead to the suppression of angry feelings. This suppression poses a risk of turning anger inwards or displacing it onto other aspects of life or people close to us, as it might seem easier or less risky.

For instance, one may feel frustrated with their manager due to mistreatment, but suppress this frustration, only to release it at home on their partner or family members. This example highlights how we may unconsciously act in ways that suggest negative consequences to even allowing our anger to be felt.

The Therapy Gateway: Embracing and Addressing Anger

An interesting shift can occur when we allow feelings of anger to permeate our consciousness and gradually learn to manage and channel them constructively. This shift takes us from a belief that ‘all anger is bad’ to an understanding that ‘anger is just a feeling to be better understood, and does not have to be blindly acted out.’ The realms of therapy and counselling provide a gateway to explore and comprehend the underlying causes contributing to difficulties in managing anger or a strong inclination to suppress it. Over time, therapy helps us reconcile with the experience of anger as an emotion, normalising its existence, and comprehend its impact on others and ourselves—whether expressed or suppressed. We can then start to become more attuned to our angry feelings, identifying triggers and events that contribute to dislikes, displeasure, and frustrations. This process can enable us to build resilience, enabling reflection on and comprehension of the origins of anger, and facilitates the exploration of constructive action to address it. Ultimately, this shift leads to a change in our perspective, where emotions, including anger, are seen as opportunities for growth and learning, enabling us to making wiser life choices and gain a stronger overall sense of aliveness.



Tony Georgiadis Psychotherapist and Counsellor

Author:

Tony Georgiadis - Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and Counsellor (MBACP)



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