The Pros and Cons of Your Angry Behaviors

Everyone out there has experienced anger at one time. Quite often getting angry is a negative experience, but that doesn’t mean it always is.  Just like most things in life, anger isn’t all negative or all positive.  It occupies the gray area between each extreme.

The negative effects of anger are well known.  To rehash, some of the main problems with getting angry are:

It can actually make you sick

Getting angry sets off many of the same effects as stress. When you are angry your “stress hormone” cortisol is activated, and some experts claim this hormone is linked to all sorts of negative outcomes.

Duke University researcher Redford Williams has found that anger can even negatively affect your cardiovascular system.

It can ruin your relationships

No one wants to spend time with someone who is angry too often. If you have an anger issue, it will become an issue in your social life.  Friends will be less willing to spend time with you.  If your anger problem isn’t dealt with, your friends/family could even come to fear you.

It can impair your judgment

When you are angry you may not make good decisions. A high level of emotion might lead to you making wrong and potentially dangerous choices.

The positive effects of anger aren’t quite as apparent.  We don’t often associate anger with good outcomes.  That said, there are a couple of benefits of anger that stand out:

Anger can mobilize you

Sometimes a little bit of anger is all we need to get off our butt and do something. Many important events in history were ignited by anger.

A more personal example; Have you ever worked extra hard at something just to prove your doubters wrong?  That is anger in action.  You are angry they would doubt you, so you are motivated to prove them wrong.

Anger is a clear expression

When you are angry, then people know it. This is a good thing! It can actually lead to you finding a solution to the problem that angered you in the first place.  When you direct your anger towards someone, they now know there is an issue (and quite likely what that issue is).  You can then work on dealing with it.  There is research showing that hiding anger in relationships can actually be detrimental.  If people are making you angry and they don’t know if – they will likely continue the behavior.

Don’t get it twisted – the negative effects of anger probably outweigh the positive ones. That doesn’t mean there is no place for anger in our lives.  The key is to make sure that your anger isn’t negatively affecting you or your social circle.