Friday, July 20, 2007

The Two-Headed God of Anger

The most destructive force we have is anger or it's close cousin hatred. In a moment of angry resolve we can tear down things and relationships that we have spent years building.

We have all seen it when someone gets so angry that they quit their job, quit their marriage or cut off a life-long friend. All in a moment and once done rarely can it be fixed. Especially when it comes to relationships.

Anger however can also be a constructive force to get us moving to do something we need to do. Tony Robbins; a well known self-help guru, got started when he got angry with himself and determined that he was no longer going to just coast through life. He just wasn't going to live as he had any longer.

The same intense emotion in both cases but with very different results.

What makes the difference?

It appears that destructive anger focuses on things and relationships outside of ourselves and constructive anger focuses on ourselves. So when we are angry with things, events, and relationships is the time we need to closely look at our perspective on what is causing our anger. We need to double check our actions to make sure we don't shoot ourselves in the foot.

Your thoughts?

5 conversations:

Random Magus said...

Anger causes such massive destruction in life and the effects reverberates to the people connected to you as well. So it's not the matter of just harming yourself, the people connected to you all get affected and sometimes the things that took a lifetime to build just smash into smithereens in a matter of an hour. Putting it back all together then becomes so difficult if not impossible

-Jeane Michelle Culp said...

I don’t think “destructive anger focuses on things and relationships outside of ourselves and constructive anger focuses on ourselves.” Destructive anger can be easily inflicted upon oneself, hence causing irrefutable damage as well; such as alcoholism, suicide,… In my opinion, anger is a powerful emotion that needs to be tamed (managed). Once we learn to control our anger instead of letting it control us, then we can be constructive person. Just because a person has an insatiable appetite doesn’t mean they need to eat themselves to death. Emotions are not our compasses, rather they are internal mechanisms that encompass us as human beings. But again, that’s just my opinion!

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you Random Magus and Jeane Michelle Culp for your well thought out and perceptive additions to the conversation

Comedy + said...

We all get angry, but as Jeane Michelle Culp said, anger must be tamed (managed). I think you have it nailed very nicely. There are two types of anger. One is vengeful and the other is constructive if you take action in correcting whatever is making you angry about yourself. Another excellent look at something we often don't see. :)

Peter Haslam said...

Yes Sandee anger should be a short flash in the pan that we catch and turn it towards constructive purposes