I know it’s generally held (at least when you’re a child) that anger is a bad thing, but I really believe there are two types of anger, a sort of positive anger and negative anger. The negative anger prevents you from doing things whilst the positive anger enables you to do things. It’s not a clear cut situation, however, because there are situations in which anger provokes you to do bad things like hurt people. Still, I think there are ramifications of negative anger that are ultimately disabling. Where’s the line? I don’t know.
Wikipedia says: Anger is an automatic response to ill treatment. It is the way a person indicates he or she will not tolerate certain types of behaviour.
I’ve never thought of it like that, anger as showing your tolerances. And generally, I’m with Homer’s Iliad in suggesting that rage can be the source of more problems than solutions. In A Room of One’s Own,Virgina Woolf wrote about women’s anger as somehow halting the potential of female writers, that because men don’t have to deal with that particular history they aren’t faced with the anger challenge, as it were.
Self-justified anger on multiple occasions stops me from being able to forgive, which at first sight is bad, but if I’m unable to forgive certain things, it’s more likely to make me fight as hard as I can to fix them until they are slightly more forgivable. The problem comes when that anger is rooted in an inability to consider that other people have their own self-justified beliefs too. Pathetically, this is historically mostly the case with me and boyfriends — when we break up, anger is the first emotion that overwhelms, not sadness or confusion.
Typing this is making me feel that maybe I’m just an angry person. I reacted to aspects of Dad’s death with a great deal of anger, and still regularly do (I know that’s not unsual). But… I don’t think I am an angry person. I’d like to think I’m not. So how can I say there are good types of anger if I’m so quick to distance myself from that? Non rhetorical!?