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Ways You Can Make Anger Work for You

source Flickr

source Flickr

Why People Get Angry

Anger is considered a negative emotion, but if you change your perspective slightly you can make anger work for you.

We typically become angry for two reasons:

  • First, we must experience some sort of pain.
  • We must blame someone or something for our pain.

You will not feel anger without both of these components.

Becoming angry may cause a rush to judgment, which is particularly harmful in a business relationship. However, jumping to conclusions will be harmful in any relationship.

The Complex Emotion of Anger

Anger is a complex emotion most people feel on some occasions and it can be difficult to understand, let alone manage. Sometimes it can erupt like David Bannner turning into the Incredible Hulk, and other times it lurks below the surface. It can seem to come out of nowhere or build slowly like a storm, and we aren’t always aware of the true cause of our feelings.

However, it is up to you to choose the way you handle anger because it will definitely affect your relationships and your life. Typically, when people express their anger it is primarily to make them feel more powerful and in control rather than vulnerable. Of course, it is unpleasant to be on the receiving end of someone else’s outburst.

Pain without blame does not cause anger but results in feeling hurt, not victimized. Blame without pain means we have made a judgment about someone or something being unjust, but we are not hurt. Lashing out in anger causes tension and fear in a relationship.

So, we need to recognize any anger we feel and understand the true cause if we want to move away from that negative feeling. It isn’t productive to wallow in self-pity or to let your anger fester.

Green Hulk in Commons Wikipedia

Green Hulk in Commons Wikipedia

Anger Management in the Office Place

Fight or Flight Mechanism

What is the upside of anger? Actually, anger, frustration, and stress can be used to our advantage according to some experts. It can help us strive harder, be more productive and sometimes gain self-confidence. Since relationships have their ups and downs, anger will happen occasionally to everyone. Since anger tells us there is an issue we need to address, anger can be looked at in a positive way.

Anger is the “fight or flight” mechanism that keeps us safe. The key to managing your anger is in the understanding of the underlying emotions, then you are better equipped to handle those feelings.

There are historical figures that used anger in a productive way to make the world a better place, such as George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jesus or Gandhi, as they fought for social justice, against racial injustice, poverty and foreign nations attempting to take over our nation. Anger can be a catalyst for new behavior, like a job change, a new relationship or maybe a move to a new city.


Take a Deep Breath

When you are dealing with a tough situation or difficult people, try to take a step back, take a deep breath or two, and figure out exactly where your anger is coming from.

Allowing yourself a few minutes to calm down will help you think more clearly before you choose to respond to any situation. Research has shown that when your stress level rises above the moderate level your performance deteriorates rapidly.

I am not confrontational by nature, and I don’t think an angry exchange of words is particularly productive. We all need borders, but it is possible to state your view without expressing anger.

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Of course, it is not always easy, and I particularly don’t like it when someone acts in a condescending manner toward me. I try to treat people with the same respect as I want to be treated, but obviously, that does not always work. When I get angry I attempt to diffuse the situation and try to understand why I’m really angry.

If another person is angry at me, I apologize if I am in the wrong, or I might say, “I’m sorry you feel that way”, but I usually get away from the person, at least for a while. I refuse to stand around and argue about something that we are not going to agree upon. I have found as I get older there are fewer big deals that are worth getting upset over. I pick and choose my battles carefully. Maybe I have mellowed with age, but life is too short to spend it being mad all the time.

Anger Management Techniques

Make Anger Work for You

Sometimes you might find anger is the impetus to work harder at something. You might be angry at yourself for eating chocolate cake when you are trying to diet, but taking a brisk walk will burn off those calories also, which is much more productive than feeling like a failure, being angry at yourself and judging yourself harshly.

If you are not able to control your angry outbursts, try an anger management class as many people have had great results for what they learn in these classes.

In Conclusion

It is imperative to understand the underlying cause of your anger, to resolve the problem. If anger is a big problem for you, anger management classes or groups are a good investment of your time.

Learning new anger management techniques is very helpful, so this emotion works for you instead of against you. Learning to understand your anger and use it as a guide will assist you to take care of yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and in relationships. You will be able to heal pains of the past and learn to be assertive rather than anger in those difficult situations. Then, you are making anger work for you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 17, 2013:

Jackie, I think that is surely an important part of this issue. I know I am a lot happier now than I was when I was younger. I don't let things bother me like I used to in the past. Thanks for your comments.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 16, 2013:

Good advice. I got my anger under control years ago thankfully. It is a suicide really if we don't, whatever it takes. I think for me it was realizing everyone is who they are for a reason.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 14, 2013:

Patricia, I think we all deal with the anger demon sometimes. I have found as I gotten older there are not as many things that make me angry, and that is a good thing. I avoid situations like you describe also. I appreciate your comments. Angels on the way to you also.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 14, 2013:

You are so right, Pamela ...fewer and fewer reasons to lose our tempers over. Now, I do have times when I feel like the anger monster is lurking close by and I do try to stop myself and control my feelings. Most of the time I am successful because in the scheme of things most things just aren't worth getting my pressure up for.

When I can, I avoid situations where a person who is present and knows what buttons to push will be. .

Thanks for sharing this as it reminds me to let go of whatever it was that may make me angry.

Angels are on the way ps

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 13, 2013:

Kelly, It's good to see you back. Thanks for your comments and I hope all is well with you.

kellymom1970 on March 13, 2013:

Pamela99, you always have such great hubs, amazing!! Great job.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 31, 2011:

Support Med, I think that is so true. I appreciate your comments.

Support Med. from Michigan on January 31, 2011:

Anger is definitely a catalyst to improve ourselves and make us aware and accept that changes are necessary and some people, we just don't need to be around. Voted and rated.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 07, 2011:

Andertoons, I appreciate your comment and I'm sure you've got many more cartoons in your brain just waiting to pop out.

Andertoons on January 07, 2011:

I think what makes me angriest is that I didn't think up that cartoon. Great!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 21, 2010:

orioleorange, Thank you for your comment.

orioleorange on December 21, 2010:

Thanks Pam. Good info!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 17, 2010:

prairieprincess, I am glad you enjoyed the hub and thank you so much for your comments. Merry Christmas to you.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on December 16, 2010:

Pamela, what a great topic, and what an inspiring hub! These are very good suggestions for turning around what seems like a negative emotion. I really liked your suggestions and I learned from this hub! thank you so much, and have a great holiday.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 23, 2010:

Prasetio, There is a movie by that name which is a comedy. Thank you for your comments.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on November 23, 2010:

I thought there's a movie related with this topic, "Anger management". Of course, sometimes we can deny about this. Better to maintain wisely and didn't made this as a ritual or daily habit. I thought we know various disease caused by anger like you said above. Nice hub and good topic selection. I must Vote up this hub. Take care!


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 23, 2010:

Mickey Dee, That;s true. I appreciate your comments.

topdentistfinder, Thanks for your comment.

topdentistfinder on November 22, 2010:

Great hub! Thanks.

Micky Dee on November 22, 2010:

Anger does no good unless the adrenalin is used for good. We all get in a dither about something. Great write!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 21, 2010:

Peggy, Thanks so much for your comment.

Marie, I hear what you are saying but you will have to learn to forgive the past at some point and forgive yourself when you think you have failed in some way, and that is the path to peace. It is good to turn anger into a positive action, but you can't carry all the pain of the past around forever. It is like carrying a heavy weight when if you can find it in your heart to forgive you will find some peace I hope. Thank you so much for your comments.

saddlerider, It is so hard to pick the right mate when we come from dysfunctional or abusive homes. I am glad you are on a better path now. I heard an old saying that sticks with me which is, "He who angers me controls me". I didn't like hearing that at the time but it is so true. I don't want to be controlled by anger at another person, so I do try to forgive and move on. You really don't forget, or at least I don't, but I am able to look back without the pain and anger associated with the event. Thanks for the comments.

saddlerider1 on November 21, 2010:

Fantastic videos and hub. Due to my last marriage failing miserably with 4 children involved and torn from me. Anger has been my sidekick for the past 15 years, before that I was always happy and friendly and a character at times.

The anger instilled in me from my very early days as a boy in an abused household resurfaced when this failed marriage took over, my ex was bent on destroying me. It took the past few years to come to grips with my losses and steadily find my worth back as a human being.

Anger is a demon and once it gets control of your soul it takes over your mind. I am so happy to be back on track with my life, but it's certainly been a struggle. Ugly divorces and war of the roses does not do any good for either party. Thanks you for this wonderful share. Bravo and peace.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on November 21, 2010:

A perfect article about anger. My anger is always rooted in wounds obtained in the past. Those wounds are all covered with self~condemnation, because I was so stupid to allow the affliction. But anger rooted in fear for physical and emotional pain/poverty/et cetera is also my main drive in life. Anger is one of the emotions that distinguish humans from animals. Great hub, Pamela, bookmarked and voted UP.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 21, 2010:

Excellent article Pamela about turning anger into a postive response. Rating this useful and up!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 21, 2010:

Lorne, I absolutely agree and appreciate your comment.

segol yoda, I would hope that first video is an exaggeration yet I know some people can't control their anger. Thanks for your comment.

segol yoda on November 21, 2010:

LOL.... first video :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 21, 2010:

Darlene, I am sorry to hear you had a rough week. Maybe your stress level is just to high considering everything and then anger rears its head but not over what is really bothering you. I hope you are doing better now. I appreciate your comments.

Audry, I don't think you are alone in using anger that way. Some years ago I would write things that I was upset or worried about and put them in a paper bag. Then, if I pulled those things out of the bag and read them a week or two latter 99% of them never happened and I was worried for no reason. It helped me to stop worrying about every little thing. Thanks for your comment.

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on November 21, 2010:

My father always remind me to control my anger by counting numbers in my mind. Then it will depreciate as you exhale or inhale slowly and will help you think clearly about the situation.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on November 20, 2010:

Pamela - great points - I hate to admit it too but I use anger to fight off things that depress me. That may sound weird but I figure being mad is better any day than being sad. I don't know if any psychologist would agree with me or not - but it beats descending into being upset and I find that being angry makes me fight back.

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on November 20, 2010:

Oh boy Pam, are you hiding out in my house reading my mind again. This week has been an anger week for me and I am telling people how mad at them for what they did to me back in 1602...I have NO idea what has come over me but this hub was right on time my lovely friend. Rate up up up up up and up even more...your greatest fan

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 20, 2010:

Brandrocker, I think that is a good example because you were not really mad at a person, but at having too much work to do, so you got it done faster. Thanks for your comment.

brandrocker on November 20, 2010:

I absolutely agree with you. But I have never thought of it that way before reading your page. Just a few hours ago I was loaded with tasks. I was really angry, agitated, and continued murmuring while completing the tasks. And by now, it is almost finished. This time anger really helped me to speed up!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 20, 2010:

Sheri, I think Dr.Phil's statement is 100% true and I have seen this in my life. I have a lot of respect for teachers that deal with teenagers as I know that is a tough job. I try hard to treat people with respect and I don't have been confrontations, but I'm not going to be run over either. Thanks for your comments.

JY, I will accept that lovely compliment and I am glad you stopped by

John Young from Florence, South Carolina on November 20, 2010:

Well, Pam! Almost as good as my writing. :-) Really good job.

SheriSapp from West Virginia on November 19, 2010:

This is a very useful and timely hub. Like you, I really dislike confrontation, but I will not allow others to run me over so sometimes, confrontation is a necessity. I always remember Dr Phil saying that "people treat you the way you allow them to treat you". I keep that in mind always, and let folks know if they are treating me in a fashion I find distasteful. Of course, being a teacher of teenagers, effective anger management is a MUST in my career!!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 19, 2010:

Claptona, I think that is a terrific outlook because it is all small stuff really. Things that seem a big deal at the moment often isn't even remembered a few weeks down the road. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 19, 2010:

Katiem, I am so glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate the the comments.

Katie McMurray from Ohio on November 19, 2010:

Now this is an awesome concept. Rated up, sharing and bookmarking as I will def be back to reference anger make it work for you. Well Done Pamela, WELL DONE INDEED!

John D Wilson from Earth on November 19, 2010:

Nice hub, Pamela

I heard a man talk, and he stated "Do not worry about the small stuff. And remember, it is ALL small stuff!"

The key for me is to not get angry in the first place.

It harms only me, and never is a good thing for anyone.

First things first - learn how NOT to become angry.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 19, 2010:

Hello, It sounds like you are quite happy not getting angry, so you don't have the problem with anger that some people do. Thanks for your comment.

xixi1, Being creative sounds like a great way to deal with anger. Thanks for your comment.

Rev Lady, Your solution is what God would have you to do I think, and it works so well for you. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Thank you for your comments. God Bless you Rev Lady.

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on November 19, 2010:

Great thoughts on anger Pam.

Whenever I feel an anger coming on, which is rare, I pray. God calms my spirit and reveals my pride and lack of understanding. Suddenly perspective awakens and all in well in Saundra-ville.

Voted up and beatiful.

Love, peace and joy in Him!

Forever His,

xixi12 from Everywhere but here. In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. You can never be truly free till you have the discipline to manage it. on November 19, 2010:

Great hub on anger, when I am angry, i would either reflect on my life or complete sewing a dress or patch work I happen to have left for a long time. It really does bring out some creativity, sometimes. lol

Hello, hello, from London, UK on November 19, 2010:

I think I am the most phlegmatic person in the world. My ex-husband used to get mad because he couldn't pick a fight with me. For the life of me I can't see the point. I think that either do something about it and if you can't what is the use of getting angry. Wonderfully written hub but I can't relate to it because I just can't get angry. I know I am strange. honest. I'll go back to Mars. hahaha

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 19, 2010:

K9keystrokes, I think your friend might be on to something. I'm glad you liked the cartoon. Thanks for your comments.

India Arnold from Northern, California on November 18, 2010:

Pam I found the computer cartoon really funny.

Anger is a wonderful motivator, don't ya think? One of my good friends specializes in anger management and domestic violence therapy. She always says that if humans would learn to harness the energy present in anger and use it for good, the human race could climb to new and far more blessed heights. I tend to agree...nice hub!


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2010:

drbj, I'm glad you enjoyed the videos and article. I appreciate your comments.

anginwu, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thank you for your comments.

anglnwu on November 18, 2010:

I love the cartoon--my daughter does that a lot to her computer when she is angry with the speed. Enjoyed the read.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 18, 2010:

Thank you, pamela, for this wise and literate exposition regarding anger and how to manage it. The anger management videos are top-notch. Thanks for including them.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2010:

Dawn, I do the same thing as I also don't anger easily but when I am angry I want to know why and remedy the situation. I appreciate your comments.

Eovery, Thanks for the comment.

eovery from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa on November 18, 2010:

Interesting title.

Keep on hubbing!

Dawn Michael from THOUSAND OAKS on November 18, 2010:

Hi Pamela, great topic and explanation on anger, which can be a complex emotion in many ways, but a very human emotion and if suppressed can cause physical conditions, and if expressed on to another, can land a person in jail. Healthy anger and knowing how to work through it like you said is the best solution!

For me when I get angry, really angry, which takes a lot, I always take a walk and try to understand what emotion I am feeling upset from being let down, my buttons pushed, rejected, not understood, and judged and so on!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2010:

cwarden,I have found it your solution is helpful for me too. Thanks so much for your comment.

cwarden from USA on November 18, 2010:

Great information and very helpful tips. I've also found that as I get older I do my best to avoid arguments. I will exercise or just take a long walk alone when I am angry, listening to some music while I walk usually takes my anger down a few levels.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2010:

Samson, I imagine we are all a work in progress. Thanks so much for your comments.

rpalulis, That is a perfect Proveb for this hub. I appreciate your comments.

tnderhrt, I like that definition of depression. It is a journey to change ourselves even with professional help. Thanks so much for sharing that experience.

Patriot, That is certainly a constructive way to use your anger. I appreciate your comment.

partisan patriot on November 18, 2010:


I use my anger everytime I write a hub; my best work comes when I am the angriest about what this regime has done to us.

tnderhrt23 on November 18, 2010:

Great hub! To take it one step further, I was told in Co-Dependency treatment that "Depression was anger coming through a small hole"...learning to constructively deal with anger, without lashing out or turning it inward is the path to emotional health and wholeness...and its certainly been a journey! Again, great hub!

rpalulis from NY on November 18, 2010:

I can often recall witnessing embarrassing moments of adults reacting in anger, has made me take a closer look in the mirror. Love the proverb, be slow to speak and quick to listen.

Sam from Tennessee on November 18, 2010:

voted up & beautiful! Well written, informative and concise. Good job Pam, this is something we all need and God is so gracious to transform our stony hearts and attitude into one like Christ. "He's still working on me..."

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 18, 2010:

oceansnsunsets, Thanks so much for your comment.

Tom, I'm glad you are making progress and the help of God makes it much easier. Thanks for your comment.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on November 18, 2010:


Anger is a great topic and I have spent most of my adult life trying to control my temper. It has caused many troubles in my life but I have began to overcome it. With the help of God I may transition in a calm servant of the Lord some day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paula from The Midwest, USA on November 18, 2010:

Pamela, great hub on turning the anger around to be used for the positive. Thanks for sharing!

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