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“Anyone can be angry—that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not easy.” -Aristotle

Though anger is a basic part of the emotional spectrum, it has gotten a bad name, as though it were some bastard child we either ignore, dismiss, or lament.

It’s not the anger we feel, but how and when we express it that matters.

But, if anger is indeed a smokescreen for fear, then it can also serve us to pay attention to our flashes of anger, as they can inform and illuminate difficult situations and conversations.

And it is often in angry moments that we say what we really mean; hence its bad reputation.

That is unfortunate and indicative of not having paid enough attention to previous flashes of anger.

Communicating while upset is a beginners’ dilemma. It’s like wanting to get into the boxing ring without the training necessary to have a “fair fight.”

That’s the kind of anger to which Aristotle points; it’s a developed skill.

Best to practice against a punching bag and work out why you feel angry, before putting gloves on in order to face your perceived opponent.

Remember: your anger is always a reflection of you, not the person or situation.

And it’s always a safer and easier choice to get angry and go for the knock-out punch than it is to examine the hand inside the glove that propelled it.

Does this mean you’ll never feel angry again?

Maybe.

But only after years of brutal self-honesty.

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