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Using Anger to Your Advantage

Michael Rayel

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"You must be kidding Mike! There's no advantage in being angry. It only brings trouble, " an acquaintance argued one summer evening. I kept quiet as I watched his children run around uncontrollably as they screamed unprintable words.

It's obvious; he's too nice towards his children. Had he used anger more appropriately, they could have been more behave and could have shown more respect.

It's a misconception and shortsighted to think that anger is all that bad. Like any emotions, anger has its advantages and disadvantages. If you use it properly, then it will benefit you and people around you.

Anger is necessary and that's why it's free. It serves a profound purpose. No one is spared. Everyone gets angry.

But if your anger is out of control, then you don't deserve to make use of it. Your summer vacation might turn deadly and end as a lifelong vacation behind bars. As shown below, there are four ways to make anger beneficial.

Use anger to change inappropriate behavior
Have you allowed others to mistreat you? Have you encouraged people to control and manipulate you? Have people bad-mouthed you? Does your spouse or partner ignore you?

Use anger to stop unfortunate behavior. Use anger to say No or Stop if necessary. You deserve to be contented and happy. You deserve attention and respect. Train others to respect you even if they have no intention and desire to do so.

Use anger to fight the wrongs
Do you see injustices around? Do you witness illegal acts happening in your neighborhood? What are you going to do with them? Are you just going to watch and keep quiet?

If it takes only one candle to brighten up darkness, it requires one voice to stop evil. By influencing at least one more voice, your voices collectively can easily be heard . . . and change the world for the better.

Use anger to advocate
Some people can't help themselves because of worsening emotional or physical health or simply because they just don't know how to proceed. Be prepared to advocate for them. You can provide advice or guidance. With their consent, you can write letters, prepare complaints, make phone calls, cook hot meals, or deliver job applications and resumes on their behalf.

By advocating, you're not necessarily promoting dependency. You're just being supportive during difficult times.

Use anger to improve the situation
Are you tired of being abused, of being jobless, of earning pitiful wages? Do you feel desperate? Do you feel that you have to change your life's direction before it gets worse? Are you ready to make a move?

Use anger to create a life you deserve. Sometimes, anger is needed to trigger the necessary action. Without it, complacency sets in, perpetuating your current forgettable situation.

By using anger, don't be destructive. Avoid animosity and aggression. Maintain diplomacy as frequent and as long as you can. Control your tongue and your behavior. Make sure that you deliver the message to the right person at the right time and place. Be assertive.

But don't feel guilty if you need to speak louder or to be abrupt in delivering a point. Sometimes, such actions are necessary. As you know, others simply don't get it.

If you want to advocate for change, make yourself a model of change. If you want to stop inappropriate behavior, you have to show what's proper through your actions. If you want to right the wrongs, be firm and consistent in showing what's right. Truth is truth no matter what.  Truth is not flexible and doesn't depend on convenience or politics. Truth can't hide; it exposes itself in its own sweet time.

Correctly showing anger is your passport to freedom. Yes, anger can set you free from people who don't show respect, from bullies and manipulators, from intolerable circumstances, from ignorance and poverty, and from complacency.

Use anger properly . . . and attain the peace of mind you richly deserve.

About the Author:

Copyright © 2007. Dr. Michael G. Rayel - author (A 31-Day Series and First Aid to Mental Illness) psychiatrist, and inventor of emotional and social skills games - The Oikos Game Series and The CEO. Since 2005, he has published Oikos’ Insights! as an online resource for personal development. For more information, visit


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