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The Positives of Anger

Emotionally sensitive people often struggle with anger. They don’t want to hurt the feelings of others. But not expressing anger even in constructive ways can cause problems.

True, anger can be destructive. But even the fiery hot anger that leads some to violent behavior can also motivate people to make a difference. Many of the positive changes in the world have developed from anger and upset about injustices. In addition, anger is often a signal that something needs to change and the energy that comes from anger can help you make those changes.

When you’re angry about something that’s unfair and work toward a solution, that’s constructive anger. It’s about how you use the anger that results in making your life better or worse.

Anger can motivate you to make changes in your life and in the world. Anger can lead to assertive expression so you are heard by someone who might not have been listening before or perhaps you didn’t speak up until motivated to do so by anger. When anger is justified and it motivates you to solve a problem then it is constructive.

Anger as a motivator is often positive. The question is not “Should you or should you not express anger?” but “How can I solve this problem or make changes about what I don’t like?”

The key is to be mindful of feeling the emotion of anger, and then to use that emotion to consider in your wise mind what action to take.

Today, be mindful of how you act on anger. Do you use it to think about changes you need to make and solutions to problems?

The Positives of Anger

Karyn Hall, PhD

Karyn Hall, Ph.D. is the owner/director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center in Houston, a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician, a RO DBT Approved Supervisor and Trainer and owner of, an online educational program. She is a trainer/consultant as well as a therapist and certified coach, author of The Emotionally Sensitive Person, SAVVY, Mindfulness Exercises for DBT Therapists, and co-author of The Power of Validation. Her podcast, The Emotionally Sensitive Person, is available on iTunes.

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APA Reference
Hall, K. (2017). The Positives of Anger. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Sep 2017
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