What is anger?

Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure or antagonism aroused by insult or injury (real or imagined). You are likely to feel angry when you are hurt, ignored, insulted, en-dangered, frustrated or don’t get your way.

You may also respond in anger to actions you see as unjust, unfair, negligent or plain foolish. You will definitely be angry if you realize that other person’s action – was done "on purpose"?

Is anger the same as aggression?

No. Anger is an emotion and aggression is an act. You can feel angry and not act on that feeling in aggressive way. On the other hand, you may act aggressively, for instance in business or sports, without feeling angry.

Is anger a "bad" emotion?

Not necessarily. There’s also justified anger, as you will know by now. Don't we all feel that our anger is always justified?

Must I stifle anger in personal relationships?

Keeping quiet is not always a good idea. When you speak up, you give the other person a chance to correct the troubling situation. It’s rare intimate, business or professional relationship that doesn’t arouse some anger. Do speak up when appropriate, but Be tactful.

So "getting it off my chest" is really a good idea?

Not always. "Ventilating anger is like ventilating a fire, The environment will only become more heated and smokey."

Also at times expressing anger makes you angrier. Whereas if you distract yourself and keep quiet about momentary irritations, you’ll often feel better, faster.

So what are you to do?

In a study where women were insulted and allowed one of two ways of responding:

  1. Tell the insulter what they were feeling ("that really makes me mad"). Or
  2. Strike back.

The women who were allowed to describe their feelings felt more hostile than the women who lashed back. Being assertive lets us express our strong feelings as well as gives the other person a chance to respond without being defensive.

Then it is okay to express anger?

Experts in human behaviour say there are times when you ought to express anger and you should never allow yourself to become doormats.

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