Anger Can Be Your Friend
Anger is an uncomfortable emotion that sometimes we wish we could skip. Instead, I teach my clients to find the wisdom in their anger.
1. Anger lets you know when your boundaries have been violated.
Karla McLaren, in her book, "Emotional Genius," describes anger as an "honorable sentry." Anger is a fantastic "red flag" warning system that alerts you when someone crosses the line — by making inappropriate requests or by invading your personal space, for example. It is also an announcement that you may have violated your own boundaries, perhaps by saying yes to things that you don't really want to do. Usually this shows up as one of anger's companions — resentfulness, crabbiness, crankiness, or frustration. Then you'll know you've gone too far.
2. Anger is the energy of personal power.
The energy of anger and the energy of personal power are similar. In the Enneagram, a personality system that I admire, the Eight is the type that's in touch with their anger. Eights will tell you that anger is their fuel -- it's what spurs them to accomplish their goals. It is their energy of determination. You can learn to harness this power by using it appropriately to stand up for yourself, to reestablish your boundaries, and to say no. Anger can be the energy of self-respect when you use it this way.
3. Anger is a catalyst for change.
So when you experience anger, look for ways to tap into its energy rather than repressing it. Allow it to guide you, teach you, and inspire you.
As sentry and as power, anger urges you to make necessary and sometimes difficult changes in your life. It gives you the fortitude to effect change and to weather it. It gives you the strength to say no, to put your foot down, and to gather your inner resources in a burst of empowered action and determination that creates a new experience.