Act in anger and repent at your leisure. Not an exact quote but near enough to illustrate a point. The reason for this blog is not actually to show the downside of anger. It’s actually to open up the discussion that anger is not all bad.
Because a core part of the work we do is delivering Anger Management Courses and because people are inevitably drawn to our work as a result of the negative consequences conflict is having in their lives it is easy for anger to get a bad press. As a result of that I often find myself saying to people no one gets up one days and thinks “I know, I go and get some really good personal development that will enrich my life from those Calm People.” The thing about anger though is it’s not all bad.
Anger is about warning you that something is wrong
Anger is about warning you that something is wrong. That there is something going on now or that has happened in the past that needs dealing with. It can help you avoid needless pain or it can help you deal with challenging issues. It helps you set healthy boundaries and have healthy, fulfilling and enriched relationships. The only thing with anger is just like with stress, you need to develop a healthy relationship with it.
The only thing with anger is just like with stress, you need to develop a healthy relationship with it.
Here’s just a few of the things that people attending our courses have done in the name of anger
Started a multimillion pound company and making himself rich. One of my clients would have remained employed if he had not been overlooked for promotion. Instead he left and is now very, very wealthy. His whole business drive has come from a point of view of “I’ll show you!”
“Why did he come to Calm People?” you may ask. His anger did not just manifest itself in his business drive. He was deeply unhappy.
Leaving an abusive marriage. Unfortunately the abused became and angry abusive female who needed our help.
Throwing a lap top out of a 3rd floor window because it would not connect to the internet. It’s a novel way of refreshing the screen. Needless to say the lap top did not survive.
A set of bathroom scales went the same way. Doubtless a case of “shooting” the messenger.
Pushed his motorbike over because it would not start.
The Downright Stupid
Moving to America with no job and no money. “I only calmed down and realised how stupid I had been when I stood in an airport in the Midwest with no idea of what I was going to do next.”
Chasing another car at 120 miles per hour and “nudging” their bumper from behind. All because they undertook him. How could they…
Standing in a gent’s toilet asking people to hit him. There may have been drink involved in this one as well.
These are fairly extreme cases and one off situations. When we read them we can laugh or empathise and judge the behaviours. We may even have some stories of our own outrageous behaviour driven by anger. What about the situations we do not judged to be funny, interesting or outrageous? What about the sarcastic responses that form so many of our passive aggressive relationships? What about the raised voices and slammed doors that scare partners and children? These are often the “one off, acceptable because the situation demanded it” that became a habit.
So I’ll end this blog with two requests.
Firstly, please share the interesting things you have done in anger and what you have learned.
Secondly, it would be great for someone to prove me wrong and call us up purely because they would like some “really good personal development that will enrich my life from those Calm People.”
Julian Hall & Paul Backen deliver Anger Management, Stress Management and Emotional Resilience courses from their regional offices in Derby and in Birmingham and all over the country.