Anger not a healthy motivator

October 28, 2009 | 6 comments

Have you ever resorted to anger to get your point across to another person? Perhaps significantly raised the volume of your voice and edginess of your tone to emphasize a message to a child? Ever gotten into an ugly argument with a teenager, spouse or co-worker?

Heated anger can feel so justified to the mind that is embroiled in hate, ill-will, resentment, and self-righteousness. It can feel so “right” to the mind that feels it has to “get it all out.” It even feels normal to people who are used to being angry on a regular basis. But it is not normal, definitely not natural, and rarely justified.

There’s one kind of anger that is not out of place at times—fury at the evils of mortal mind such as at dishonesty, deception, destructive sin, and their kin. But this is not the kind of anger I’m writing about.

I’m thinking about the anger that gets directed at people, rather than at vice.

Talk show hosts targeting specific individuals, leaders, and politicians with venom is one example. Workers at the office seeking vengeance, assassinating the character of a co-worker, or yelling at an underling or peer are others.

It’s important that we defend our thinking from exposure to outbreaks of anger viewed and seen in society. It’s not representative behavior to emulate or model.

God created us beings of love. It’s our God-given nature to see the good in another, honor that goodness, voice acknowledgment of it and show our respect for it with appreciation, care and gratitude.

Anger is not a healthy motivator of good deeds.

I’ve noticed this in raising teenagers.

More than once I’ve been tempted to get mad about something our teens have done, or not done, but in every case, I’ve learned that getting angry does not help. It might kick-jump the errant into rectifying the immediate mistake, but it doesn’t inspire them into long-run reformation. It makes them mad. And when they’re mad, they don’t think in terms of how they can be better individuals, do the right thing next time and avoid the mistake to begin with. They ruminate over how unjustly they’ve been treated,–at least from their point of view,–how their parents are not fair to them, don’t understand them, and are hard to get along with. And so, I long ago came to the conclusion that anger is not a positive motivator of long term good behavior. It’s destructive to happy and healthy relationships between two people, especially between parent and child.

Love and understanding is the motivator of good behavior.

Love inspires people to think better, acknowledge their mistakes, want to rectify them, and do a better job next time. Love opens mental doors to new possibilities, the very doors that anger would close. Love finds ways to get along with people. Anger burns bridges. Love looks for the good in another and capitalizes on it. Anger sees only evil and becomes a victim to it. Love figures out a solution agreeable to both sides. Blinded by its own self-righteousness and pride, anger doesn’t see another side to consider, even when it should. Love is the lubricant that keeps discussion going in a constructive direction. Anger is the brick wall that halts progress. Love finds a way. Love inspires a better way. Love works it out.

It’s totally doable to love without anger. It’s our God-given nature, and it bodes us well when actively indulged.

6 thoughts on “Anger not a healthy motivator”

  1. Thanks Evan, for another great post. Any thoughts on dealing with someone who seems to be only able to operate through anger? These kind of people keep popping up in my experience. I figure there must be something here I need to learn. Thanks again.

  2. Thank you for this, Evan. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I have succumbed to the belief in anger too many times. Even more ashamed that I seem to find justification for anger each time it rears its ugly head. But there is no justification, as you have said, unless directed at vice versus person.

    This belief of anger is something I have been addressing specifically in recent treatments for myself. The timing of your topics always seem so spot on. Gee, do you think divine Mind has something to do with that? : )

    Thanks for your receptivity to divine Mind, AND willingness to share these messages with us!! You are dearly loved and appreciated!

  3. I spent many long unhappy years with one of my teenagers with lots of harsh words on both sides and lots of anger. A practitioner of C.S. told me to follow Christ and my child will follow also. I thought how can I better do that – and I realized I could learn to love more like Jesus said, to obey the 10 Commandments more and to live the Beatitudes and her life changed dramatically and today we have a great relationship.

  4. To above,

    On dealing with people who seem only able to operate on anger… see through that lie. It’s not true about them. It’s not the real individual God made them to be. It’s like a halloween mask covering up their true identity. Treat them according to their true identity–as an individual who can understand, be patient, be understanding, thoughtful, kind, generous…

  5. One of the many things I love about your blog, Evan, is how complete your thoughts are. As I read any topic, I may be thinking “Yes, but what about when….”. Invariably you address that concern as I continue to read. Thank you so much for freely sharing your encouraging inspiration, and for the love with which you do that.

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.