Now, I know many of you are puzzled reading the title of this blog post. But, I want to explain how embracing your emotions, like anger, can lead to a better handling of situations. Today, we live in a society where being angry is avoided. ‘Just get over it already,’ or ‘good vibes only’ are the answers to everything. No one wants to deal with the reality of emotions. My theory is that suppressing emotions such as anger and/or sadness can actually make things a lot worse.
The ‘positive-thinking’ approach
The positive-thinking approach is the ‘good vibes only’ mentality that shuns away any emotion that is contrary to happiness. I’m not saying that you should accept negativity within yourself or others, or be around a person who is constantly sending toxic energy your way. I’m talking about the positive-thinking approach that is used to block out any not-so-good feelings that maybe deeply troubling you because you don’t want to deal with it. This is also true when you want to avoid an emotional response from someone that you may have hurt or offended. This approach may be good at masking anger or pain; But, doing this can eventually lead to further resentment, sudden outbursts, wrath and rage.
As human beings, we naturally feel all types of emotions, depending on the circumstance; therefore, being angry isn’t such a bad thing. As you process your anger, you’re acknowledging not only your emotions, but also any triggers that may have led you to feel angry.
Recently, I’ve come across the term emotional intelligence, as it relates to how one can better manage emotions to maintain healthy relationships with others. I believe that when we hide anger or sadness, we blur the line that connects that emotion to certain events. This later causes random emotions to spill out unexpectedly at unsuspecting targets.
For example, have you ever been angry over something small, like someone spilling a cup of your favorite coffee? But, your anger was really about that huge argument you had with your friend or family member? Or, have you ever felt that someone was anger with you for something unrelated to you? This happens often when we fail to deal with our emotions head on.
The Bible is filled with many scriptures that point out the importance of emotional intelligence, and that anger is something that should be managed with wisdom. Matthew 18:15 KJV states “… if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go tell him his fault between thee and him alone…” If we are angry with someone, the wise thing to do is to admit that you are angry to the person that caused it. Holding back your emotions, only to spew them out on innocent bystanders later is rather toxic and only increases the intensity of your emotions beyond reason.
With this in mind, having emotional intelligence can help you to:
- Better manage your emotions in problem-solving
- Express emotions at the right time, for the right reason
- Maintain healthier boundaries with others; and
- Become aware of how your emotional response affects others
Generally, being angry is a natural human response to something that bothers you. It’s okay to embrace that emotion; However, it is important to deal with the anger as it arises so that can be released. Having emotional intelligence will allow you to identify the events or persons that have caused you to become angry, so that you can understand how to overcome it, and build healthier boundaries with others. Without wisdom and being proactive in managing your emotions, your anger can be directed towards others who have no connection to the event that originally caused it. When you are suppressing your emotions, you are only brewing underlining actions of rage or outbursts that are damaging to others and displeasing to God.