4 Ways to Get the Most From a Dangerous Emotion

Anger is fascinating, not because it’s good, because it’s useful.

“Managing anger effectively motivates individuals to adopt effective assertive skills and leads to an increase in life expectancy.”*

You can’t deal with something you deny.

Denying anger is a frustrating attempt at self-deception through redefinition. It’s not politically correct to say, “I’m angry.” You’re allowed to feel irritation, agitation, or frustration. But not anger.

Anger isn’t the issue. How you deal with anger is the issue.

Remarkable leaders learn how to navigate anger.

Explosive anger:

In my younger days I threw tantrums. I guess that makes me like Steve Jobs. (Sarcasm intended.)

Some expressions of anger are evil. Hitting your spouse in anger is evil. Throwing things in anger is out of the question. Self-control is a necessary virtue.

Warning: Persistent anger damages health, relationships, and potential.

Get the most from anger:

#1. Identify things within your control.

You’re often angry at things outside your control. But successful leaders focus their attention and energy on things within their control.

Anger is an opportunity to define constructive action.

#2. Develop problem-solving skills.

Persistent anger points to poor problem-solving skills. What nagging problem do you need to address?

Warning: You’re more likely to have a heart attack if you don’t learn to manage anger.

#3. Find courage to act.

Use anger as motivation to act. In extreme cases, an abused spouse finds courage to get out of the relationship.

When you feel angry ask, “What do I need to do?”

Don’t stew – do.

Tip: Wait an hour before you act.

#4. Turn anger into compassion.

You might feel angry about company layoffs.

Use anger to see the world through the lens of others.

During layoffs people feel anxious. How might you turn toward others with kindness?

What are the dangers of anger?

How might anger be useful?

*Added resource: The Effects of Anger on the Brain and Body