About Rage

Everyone has an understanding of “anger”; we’ve all experienced it, whether as a
fleeting irritation or as full-fledged rage.

Anger is an entirely normal, healthy, human emotion. However when it gets out
of control and turns destructive, it might lead to negative consequences- at work,
in your personal relationships, and in the total quality of your life.  Plus, it might
make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful

Anger/rage is technically not an emotion; rather it is a protective reaction to a
sensed fear or threat. Let me state that once more: rage isn’t really an emotion; it
is a protective reaction to a sensed hurt or threat.

Think about it; have you ever gotten mad about something that did not on some
level feel threatening to you? Somebody cuts you off, somebody tells you to do
something you don’t want to do, a loved one says or does something that feels
controlling or simply plain mean. All of these situations can be perceived as
threatening. And when threatened, we resort to our instinct to protect ourselves,
in order to prevent something unfavorable from happening to us. That’s where
anger, rage and aggression come in.

Trust it or not, if you use anger properly, you might find that you have happier
and healthier relationships. Positive use of anger might likewise build self-
regard. If you are able to tell somebody your feelings instead of holding
them inside (note – I stated tell, not shout), you are saying to them and to
yourself, “I’m a valuable person and I expect to be addressed as such.”

In my experience, rage is almost like an addiction for some people, and they can
become highly imaginative in concocting excuses to rationalize their rage. From
time to time, it is almost as if they are in denial. Part of the reason for their line of
thinking is that the way one’s conduct feels on the inside might be perceived very
differently by somebody on the receiving end of things!


– Matt Ross, Contributing Editor


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