Anger is a natural, normal emotion

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.


Aristotle was a man of great wisdom, recognized for his understanding that anger is a natural and normal emotion, yet it can be challenging to manage. It can feel like an impossible task to handle anger correctly, but what does that even mean? I don’t intend to suggest that there is only one correct way to manage anger. Instead, I believe that we should treat anger as a tool, rather than a weapon. Anger can be used to build strong connections or bring destruction, depending on how we choose to handle it.

There are various forms of anger, but I won’t be discussing them all. Instead, I want to focus on two of the most common and opposing sides of anger: aggressive and protective. Although many people perceive anger in a negative light, it can be used to protect ourselves or others from harm. For example, if your child was running towards a busy road, you would undoubtedly shout loudly to prevent them from getting hurt. At that moment, you might appear angry, but it’s protective anger, and it can be very effective.

Aggressive anger is more apparent and overt. We can all recognize it when we see it. While most people have never punched someone in anger, many have yelled or called names in an aggressive outburst. However, there are other forms of anger that we might not recognize as such. For instance, the silent treatment is an often-overlooked form of anger that can be manipulative, violent, and controlling.

In conclusion, Aristotle’s wisdom regarding anger remains relevant today. Anger is a complex emotion that can be difficult to handle. However, if we view it as a tool, we can manage it effectively and use it to build relationships, rather than tear them down. While aggressive anger is damaging, protective anger can be a powerful force for good. We must recognize and acknowledge all forms of anger, including the silent treatment, to manage it effectively.

Published by Matthew Plotner

Matthew has been studying emotions and emotional intelligence since 2010. It was about this time he started to question his own ideas of self, beliefs, and “truth”. During this “search” he came across a book by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh. That was the insight that was needed. The ideas and philosophy that were shared in that book led to a need to know more.

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