“Anger is a complex emotion. One of the major reasons why the emotion of anger has gained a primarily negative reputation is that there is so much misinformation about what anger is and can be, and we only tend to hear and read about unhealthy expressions of anger. It’s tragic that the mostly incorrect and inaccurate misinformation far outweighs the true and accurate facts regarding this powerful and potentially positive emotion.” –Dr. Gary Oliver, author of Mad About Us
Consider these common myths and the facts about anger.
Myth: If you don’t look or sound angry, you don’t have an anger problem.
Fact: Just because you don’t look or feel angry, or because your spouse wouldn’t describe you as an angry person, does not mean you don’t have a problem with anger. Anyone who does not understand and appreciate the potential value of anger may have a problem with anger.
Myth: Anger always leads to some form of violence, so it is never good to be angry.
Fact: Anger does not always lead to violence and it is not always a bad thing to be angry. The key is that we must understand and control this emotion rather than letting it control us.
Myth: If I express anger to someone I love, it will destroy our relationship. Anger and love just don’t mix.
Fact: If I am aware of my experience of anger and choose to express it to someone I love in healthy ways, it can actually increase mutual understanding and help strengthen and enrich our relationship.
Myth: Spiritual people don’t get angry.
Fact: Anger is a fact of life. Everyone experiences anger. Smart people choose to understand their experience of anger. Healthy people choose to express anger in constructive ways.
Myth: The best way to deal with anger is to stuff it. Expressing anger breeds even more anger and leads to loss of control.
Fact: When in doubt about what to do with your experience of anger, don’t stuff it. Healthy expressions of anger allow you to deal with the root issues and decrease anger. They are constructive and lead to greater control.
Myth: The best way to deal with anger is to dump it. Just get all of that anger out of your system. You and everyone else will be better for it.
Fact: When you are angry, take the time to understand your experience of anger and you will be better able to choose a healthy and constructive way to express it.