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Is Your Anger a Sign of Power or Weakness?

is anger a sign of weakness

So let’ see… Where can this beast be possibly be perceived as your power?  Right this very moment I’m having a very hard time envisioning a powerful and angry man that brought a lot of positive change to this world.  Maybe George Bush who got angry at Bin Laden and flattened entire villages in revenge by blowing everyone up but Bin Laden?  Maybe not.  Oooh, what about that TV/Radio host Glen Beck who exploded with fire after some innocent lady challenged his views about the health-care reform on the air?  He sure showed her what’s right from wrong! Hmm… Maybe not.  Almost entire country felt he was being a fool and his ratings plummeted into abyss faster than he could run to the nearest shrink’s office.  So is there a good example?

Oh yes, how about Gandhi!?  Some people refer to Gandhi as to the perfect example of anger being portrayed as “strength”.   They say, “Look what happened when Gandhi got angry with the Brits.  If it wasn’t for him getting really angry, India would still be British.” 

“I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.” – Gandhi

Well, one part of this reasoning is correct but not the one about his anger.   If you read or watch documentaries about this noble man you’ll notice one dominant quality – mega sized determination.  His determination and love for Indian people allowed him to tranform his initial anger to raw energy that drove his campaign that would eventually liberate India from British occupation.

Think about it, anger itself is a destructive emotion and it can not possibly contain enough fuel to accomplish great things.  Yes its true anger can be energizing but only for a very short while as a part of a human fight or flight response.  This energy can not be sustained long term because it is too consuming.  It is like fire that burns everything from within
and suffocates one’s mind.  People that carry anger for a long time age quickly and die miserable deaths.  It’s a scientific fact.

So perhaps we can finally rule out one option – anger is not a strength.  So where does this leave us?  Only one option left – anger is a weakness.  Hard to imagine, isn’t?  So many of us carry it around, use it all day long, share it with others, and now it’s a “weakness”?

In words of Dalai Lama: “When reason ends, then anger begins. Therefore, anger is a sign of weakness.”

In fact, ancient wisdom traditions call anger pure madness.  And it’s true.  Just look at what happens when we get seriously ticked off:

  • Ego gets hurt, it acts up and floods our system with hormones that send a signal to the brain to either run or punch someone in a nose as soon as humanly possible.
  • We lose clarity of the situation; our vision narrows and we can only see one thing – the object of our anger.
  • If we can’t get physical and punch someone, then insecurity sets in making us feel deflated, looking like a birthday balloon from a party two weeks before.
  • We struggle with the moment, resisting it, helplessly looking for someone to blame for this misery.

And why?  Because we lost control, we had no anger management technique to subdue the beast.  We allowed anger to visit us and we never slammed the door in its face banishing it from ever coming again.  You see, we’ve been habituated to react in this way for years; we even saw it on our parents.  We’ve accepted anger as a tool to communicate something very firmly or scare someone into submission.  We subconsciously believe that “It’s worked a few times in the past so it must be effective.”

Let’s face it – this is truly a dis-empowering and clumsy emotion.  The kind of emotion that makes us look weak, helpless and down the road when all dust settles – just plain stupid.

My own teacher has a saying: “Big dogs’s don’t bark.”

Big dogs don’t bark.

They don’t need to – they know they are big, strong, and can do whatever the heck they want.  Only small dogs bark – for them it’s their way of expressing significance.

Anger is a sign of weakness.  So why bother getting angry?  Let’s just be like the big dogs and do what we want without anger. We start living our lives with power when we adopt a conviction that we’re always in control with what happens within.  Events will take place, things will change, people will try to upset us, our dogs will die, our boss will get ticked off – we can’t control any of that.  These are facts of life.  The only thing we can learn to control is what happens within.  When we do, we become solid like a rock.  If we manage anger and never allow it to rule our minds, we will never be sorry for our actions.  People will feel good being around us.  They will feel safe and supported.  Our life will undoubtedly acquire a deeper meaning.  What can be cooler than that?

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Bella December 20, 2013, 8:57 pm

    I love you articles. I am currently taking DBT classes and anytime I need a boost or reminder, I visit your website. You’re also saved on my tabs.

    • AM Tadas December 21, 2013, 5:43 am

      Hi Bella, thank you for kind words. I have some more time now and will write more. Be well.

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