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Why anger is a functional emotion, that shouldn’t be suppressed

Why anger is a functional emotion, that shouldn’t be suppressed

Anger is ugly – Susan knows all about it. One day, she bit an ex boyfriend – out of sheer rage. However, she thinks we should make room for our anger and feel it, because it’s there for a reason. 

In this day and age, spiritual enlightenment is regarded as the highest and most important thing there is, and anger has become a taboo. We think we have to tolerate and bear everything that happens to us. ‘Accept the things you cannot change,’ we tell each other. Anger is for people who haven’t grown as much as we have, spiritually. For the losers who haven’t managed to deal with this inferior emotion, yet.

Anger is inevitable

Everyone who’s  feeling powerless, treated unjustly, rejected, ignored, lied upon or even cheated on, will probably get angry at some point. They may even get hysterically, uncontrollably angry. Or they don’t get angry at all, which is far worse. Then the anger turns inside, transforming into depression, passivity or cynicism.

Anger is ugly. When I was at my angriest, I once bit my ex in his arm (there wasn’t any blood, I want to add, but it caused a visible dental impression). Anger is the opposite of serene and wise. You might think you have to banish it, if you ever want to be enlightened and happy. Don’t.

Anger needs to be expressed

Anger is a pure and normal emotion that needs to be felt and expressed. If you take away my three-year-old’s toy car, he will yell. And he’s right to do so. By accepting your anger, you take yourself seriously and release vital energy. If you don’t see it as a bad thing, and don’t judge yourself for it, you will express it to the very person who caused it, in a (hopefully) constructive way. And not years after, with an innocent new lover or counter assistant. You deliver the mail in the right place.

Besides, anger is functional. It’s the fuel you need to guard your boundaries, it helps you to take care of the things you need and distinguishes what’s right and what’s wrong. It nourishes you with a glowing energy that’s bigger than your shyness, your fear and your modesty combined, it makes you clarify to people that enough is enough, and revolt.

It’s a phase that can’t be skipped

Being angry at something you’re not able to change, is regarded as a spiritual sin (so is being sad about it). Whatever. Sometimes, things are f***ing unfair, and you’re allowed to swear at them. When the anger falls off, you realize that it comes from an illusion: the assumption that you have a right to things (happiness, health, success, another person’s love) and that everyone needs to help you get that. If you think of it that way, anger is the transitional phase between expectations to reality. That phase cannot be skipped, no matter how much we want to.

Text: Susan Smit – Photo: Aral Tasher

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