Allied with Anger: Responding to Anger the Right Way

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Looking at anger along a continuum is a helpful paradigm because it allows us to see all the different flavors of anger that we experience in this process called life. Anger and fear are close cousins. Anger has often been called a secondary emotion because oftentimes it is masking a primary emotion such as fear, sadness, loss, grief, pain, etc. The emotion of fear or sadness, for example, is so uncomfortable for many people that anger oftentimes takes its place. It is more comfortable for some people to feel anger than to feel the pain of sadness or loss thereby converting the hurt and pain into a moving emotion such as anger.

Out-of-Control Anger

Anger is a commanding emotion that moves me to feel in charge and powerful. Anger can be experienced by acting out or acting in. Acting out means and external expression of anger such as:

    1. Rage
    2. Violence
    3. Addiction with a substance or activity
    4. abuse

Anger can be experienced by acted inwards which would look like:

  1. Self-sabotage
  2. Perfectionism
  3. Self-denigration
  4. Passive-Aggressive behavior

Anger as an Ally and a Tool — Without Hurting Others

Anger is a tool and your ally if you will use and respect it and learn to understand what its function is in your life. Anger is present to be helpful to you, not to hurt you or others. It exists to support you to mature yourself emotionally and spiritually. It is not a bad emotion, just feels uncomfortable and has a “bad rap.” Learn to make it your associate in that you need to understand what it is trying to teach you so that you don’t fall into the trap of resentments or stay immature and fear the emotion of anger.

In addition to the information above about managing emotions & managing anger, visit to learn more.

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The Author

About the author: I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Utah. My work in addiction treatment has taught me that everybody can overcome addiction, destructive habits, and the shame that drives those things. The most important factors for healing are honesty, responsibility, and humility. When we learn how to provide these things for ourselves and for others, we become powerful and full of joy.


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