Cage the Rage

When is it okay to be angry? by Phil Slade


There is an old Japanese proverb which describes anger as a sharp clawed tiger, raging and destroying everything inside of you if left untamed. I think this is a very apt analogy. Often we see people who on the outside appear relatively calm, but this is just a mask for the internal fury and resentment that is raging within. This type of fury leaks out as impatience for anything considered frustrating or ignorant, a need to be right more than influential, a desire for control and retaliation over compassion and mercy. If you desire more peace in your external world, you must first tame the internal tiger within. The problem is that in the short term anger can be seen to deliver results. Anger at being rejected can drive performance to prove the doubter wrong. Anger at an injustice can motivate people to mount political

causes to right the wrong. Anger at people who get in the way of your goals and propel you to overcome the challenges they present. Ultimately, this is a fools game, and there are many, many cautionary tales of ‘high performers’ who have ended up in desolation and loneliness due to the eventual destructive impact of untamed anger.

Yes, anger is appropriate at times, but relying on it for success is fraught with danger. It may bring you short term fame, but in the end it will destroy you. Know when to dial it up and quickly dial it down again. Know the appropriate intensity needed for the situation (don’t simply flip in and out of fury). Understand how to use other, more peaceful emotions to motivate and inspire. This is the key to healthy and successful relationships and meaningful lives.