Does anger have power? Are you being powerful when you are angry? The answers to these questions depend on what you mean by power.
Certainly you can intimidate many people with your anger – especially children or others who are physically weaker than you, or people who are terrified of disapproval and rejection. Anger – other than the outrage from the loving adult that leads to taking action against injustice – is a form of control. When you succeed in making others afraid of you, it often it works to get them to do what you want. But it will never work to get them to feel what you want them to feel, and it will never lead to the sharing of love.
POWER OVER OR POWER WITHIN
There is a huge difference between “power over” and “power within.”
Anger at others is about power over, while taking responsibility for your own feelings is about power within.
People who use anger as a form of power and control believe that the means justifies the end. They believe that intimidating others into doing what they want them to do will work for them to make them happy. This is a huge false belief.
While you may be able to achieve financial success through various forms of manipulation, people who do achieve success in this way are not happy people. Have you ever seen an angry person be truly joyful?
Happiness and joy come from personal power, not from power over. Happiness and joy come from taking responsibility for your own feelings and behavior, and from caring about others rather than using or discounting others. Truly happy people are cooperative with others rather than controlling.
HOW DO YOU END UP FEELING WHEN YOU GET ANGRY?
If you tend to get angry at others, take a look inside. How do you feel when you get angry? You might feel good for the moment, as all addictions feel good for the moment. But does getting angry at others lead you to feeling fulfilled, joyful and peaceful inside? Does it lead to connected, fun and fulfilling relationships with others? When you manage to get your way or get someone to do what you want them to do, do you end up feeling worthy, lovable, and filled up inside?
If you are honest with yourself, you will discover that anger or other forms of intimidation lead to feeling empty inside. The fullness of inner peace and joy come from being loving to yourself and to others – not from getting what you think you want.
ANGER MEANT TO INTIMIDATE MAY BE ABUSIVE
Anger meant to intimidate can take many forms. It can be loud or it can be silent. It can come through a look that says, “If you don’t do what I say, I will punish you with shutting down and withdrawing my love.” It can be a quiet threat, a menacing look, or overt rage. It can be physically violent or emotionally violent. But when it completely disrespects the other person, it is abusive. It is about getting what you want while disregarding what the other person wants and feels.
When your intent is to protect/control, anger may be one of the forms this takes. When it is habitual and addictive, it will change only when your intent changes from controlling to loving yourself and others.
While the wounded self believes that anger power works for you, what it is really doing is creating your aloneness and emptiness.
So what do you really want? Do you want to get your way, or do you want to be a happy, fulfilled person, able to share your love with others? You get to choose.