Anger and Power

Do you enjoy the power that being and acting angry gives you?  Do you end up getting your own way most of the time because other people are afraid to ‘set you off’?  Or maybe you end up in regular conflict with your spouse, where the only way you know to not feel submissive and dominated by them, is to respond with angry outbursts.  We all know somebody who seems to have an anger problem; they explode suddenly in temper, shout and look very threatening.  Once the world is how they want it, they are happy and friendly people, but if something or someone interferes with that, they are ready to strike with a quick and sudden temper.  What’s really going on here?

As we know anger is a natural emotion.  There are many scenarios when being angry is ok, however, sometimes we can misuse it.  Angry behaviour can be used to frighten, upset and control other people and make them do what pleases us or change a situation to suit us. It can be used on purpose as a tool to advance our desires or to make sure no one dares to stop us from getting our own way.  However, it can also be used to increase our personal power when we begin to feel vulnerable and weak in some way.

On Purpose or Unconsciously?

We may not even act this way consciously, as so much of our behaviours are unconscious, or at the very least, they are so ingrained in our being that they seem normal.  Just take notice and see if you lose your temper because someone else isn’t doing what you want, or a situation isn’t to your liking, or someone says something you don’t like.  Perhaps someone is trying to get you to do something you don’t want to do…this is all part of normal daily life for everyone.  Notice how you treat those around you if any of the above takes place, and whether your behaviour makes them change something they are doing so that you calm down.   Does it make you calm down when you get your own way?   If this is the case then maybe the results of your angry behaviour, i.e. getting your own way, have reinforced them and made them seem an acceptable way for you to behave as you don’t know any other.

Be careful though, this is not true personal power.  Those around you will get tired of having to bend to your wishes and your behaviour may backfire completely someday and you will be held to account.  Maybe you have already, but you can’t seem to stop and hold your temper as it’s become so automatic.  It may be time for you to examine your issues with control.  Why do you need to control what happens so much?  Do you feel powerless when things are not happening the way you want, as if the very fact of things being out of your control makes you feel insecure?  It will be different for everyone but until you understand yourself deep down and what your own insecurities are, then you will learn no other way of dealing with situations or people in a more effective manner.  Make no mistake, you learned along the way that being angry and threatening makes people either back off, or do what you want them to do and stops them from doing what you dislike.  But an emotionally healthy and rational person does not need to control others through anger and hostility.

What can you do?

You can learn new methods of dealing with situations and people that leave you feeling like you still have your personal power but that do not involve angry eruptions.  Communication is key!  However, before you begin to communicate you really need to know what it is that you are really feeling.  What is anger replacing?  Do you feel vulnerable, shamed or diminished in some way?  What really caused you to feel that way?  Sit down and ask yourself these questions and then try to answer them honestly.  When you feel you have a good grasp of your underlying emotions begin to communicate them.  Tell the other party, in a non-accusatory way, exactly how you felt when they said or did whatever it is that hurt you.  Explain to them that you do not wish to respond with anger but that when you feel hurt or vulnerable in that way, your automatic response has been angry eruptions.  Remember though, that it is not necessarily up to the other person to make all the changes.  If they are aware that a certain way of speaking to you hurts you, then yes, they should try to communicate with you in a more respectful way. But we are all responsible for how we perceive the world and whether we allow others to make us feel insecure, offended or angry and it is up to us to find better ways of interacting and communicating.

Are you someone who uses anger to control others?  Or do you find yourself changing to accommodate an angry person?  If so, let me know what you think.


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  1. Billbilly says:

    I find that being angry stops peopel from taking advantage of me. Dont see whats wrong with that if your angry at people who deserve it

  2. Hi Billbilly, you are using anger as a tool then to control how other people act. I wonder when you get angry, is it always people who deserve it?

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