Some psychologists who study anger say anger does have a positive side. For example:
• Anger helps clarify relationship problems;
• Anger helps finalize business deals;
• Anger fuels political agendas;
• Anger can give people a sense of control during an uncertain situation;
• Anger can cause an entire culture to change for the better as with the women’s suffrage movement.
In certain situations anger can be defined as being constructive rather than destructive and helpful in solving problems.
When using the Bible definition of anger we see that the Bible teaches us anger is an emotion we all feel at some point in time and that anger itself is not the villain, but what we do when we become angry is what defines whether or not anger is constructive or destructive. Bible scripture says: Be ye angry, but sin not. I believe this to mean if we become angry at our neighbor, our spouse, friend, enemy or stranger and “shoot to kill” and do murder that person, we have responded in a destructive manner as according to our earthly knowledge and also committed a sin in the eyes of the God of Heaven and Jesus Christ his son. To handle this same type of anger in a constructive manner both in accordance to the laws of man and the laws of God we would end up helping to clarify a relationship problem, or finalize a business deal, or change something in our neighborhood or family for the better. An example also might be forming a neighborhood watch against the neighborhood population that insists on breaking into homes and robbing.
Psychologist continues to study and examine how anger can aid intimate relationships, work interactions and political expressions, but agree there is no one definition of what “constructive anger” actually is.
Anger has a bad reputation partly because of the violence that is associated with episodes of anger. However, it has been noted that aggression is not always followed by anger, and that lots of aggression occurs without any anger.
A number of studies show anger is often beneficial in domestic life. In fact it has been found that angry episodes helped strengthen relationships about half the time. I would suppose all relationships strengthen by episodes of anger were those in which members became angry, but sinned not. There probably were no black eyes or broken bones as a result of the anger expressions and episodes!
Who is more likely to use anger destructively?
Children who witness their parents using violence against each other and who regularly receive excessive punishment may be more at risk of being involved in an abusive relationship as an adult and using anger destructively rather than constructively. Research also shows that this type of misuse of anger toward a romantic partner is difficult to change and that more needs to be done to develop prevention programs to identify major risk factors for partner violence before adult relationships develop.
Studies also find that a history of physical abuse by a caretaker may increase the chances of using similar techniques of conflict solving in adult close relationships.
Of these two above situations, however, some researchers feel that exposure to violence between parents poses the greatest independent risk for being the victim of any act of partner violence. So that the greater of these two evils would be a child exposed to violence between parents from a very young age rather than being the actual one abused by one or both of the caretakers.
Prevention Programs May Be the Key for At Risk Individuals
There has been no sex differences found in predictors of partner violence. Both males and females who were abused as children and/or displayed conduct disorders as adolescents were found to be at risk for partner violence. Therefore, prevention programs should not just target the boys.
Prevention Programs could be created by individuals who were at risk as children and are still angry as adults. This would be another example of using that anger in a constructive manner rather than continuing the cycle of violence as a respond to anger.
Below is a list of some further resources you may want to explore regarding handling anger constructively and Anger Prevention Programs:
• Dr. John Rifkin- Emotional Success- The Healing Power Of Anger Dr. Rifkin explores the childhood roots of anger, the spectrum of angry behavior, how anger can be a gift to a relationship, and ice-cold passive-aggressive anger. He also discusses anger’s links to addictions, anxiety, mood disorders, and difficulties with emotional intimacy. Readers will come away with new insights into their emotions and behavior and new skills for using their anger in a healthy, functional manner.
• PREP® Prevention & Relationship Enhancement Program Web Site – This site contains workshops and great information about the principles of handling conflict in relationships. It’s where I learned wonderful lessons on the simplicity of just following the structure of some well researched methods that the authors have laid out in their book ‘Fighting for Your Marriage’.
• Family Dynamicsô Training Family Dynamics helps churches take proactive steps to prevent marriages from reaching a state of distress and to revive those that are already in distress.
• Welcome to Marriage Builders – Covers some of the best ways to overcome marital conflicts and some of the quickest ways to restore love.
• RETROUVAILLE International Home Page – A Catholic group that helps troubled marriages. They have a wonderful self help approach that involves sponsor couples and periodic workshops.
• Nationwide Marriage Counseling & Family Therapy Directory The internet’s largest directory of marriage counselors and family therapists with answers to common questions about counseling, articles related to marriage counseling & family therapy as well as recent news.
• AngerMgmt.com – Anger Management skills and products.
• Growth Central – Anger management and addiction resources. This is a great site containing a wealth of self help resources!
• Focus On Your Child- Help for angry moms.
• CompleteMarriages.com- provides access to online marriage advice and phone marriage counseling to help couples build marriage and save marriage. We offer the following services: marriage seminars, online free marriage club, telephone marriage counseling and professional marriage workshops.
• MarriageMatters.com Online marriage counseling or phone counseling. I have no experience with this group and would appreciate any feedback or information.
• CouplesCoaching Interactive – The Fitness Program to Strengthen Your Relationship Muscles. Developed by David Wilchfort MD especially for the internet, COUPLE COACHING is a program designed to help couples resolve relationship conflicts. This is the English adaptation of the successful German version.
• Dr. Debra Mandel – Los Angeles Therapist – She speaks about how our old wounds keep resurfacing in our love relationships using her book’s theme: Healing the Sensitive Heart.
• Free Relationship Advice- This site has a ton of free advice about relationships.
• Anger Coach ANGER AND STRESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS: Anger and Stress Management resources and classes (Southern California) for Workplace, Adults, and Couples. Fast-Track Classes for busy people. Book and Home-study course. Free newsletter.
• Family & Marriage Counseling Directory – National directory of family and marriage counseling therapists. View profiles of family and marriage counselors nationwide. Articles & resources to help couples and families locate and evaluate a couple’s therapist.
As Jesus would say: be ye angry, but sin not. And according to earthly knowledge many people have dedicated their lives to helping others learn ways to cope with anger constructively.
For some wise advice I received from my dear deceased father who was somewhat violent toward my mother: Where there is a will there is always a way. I don’t hold anything against them for their violence toward each other. My mother’s tongue was violent. My father was violent physically. However, I do know firsthand my childhood experiences with them were not always pleasant. I still cope with the wounds and try to heal from it all. So…..I suppose my entire website of Self Improvement Book is one way I am handling some of my childhood anger constructively. I hope the website is helpful to others.