Photo by clickI didn’t grow up with positive examples of how to express anger. I suspect many of us didn’t. One of my parents vacillated between unpredictable rages and crushing depression. The other, as if to overcompensate, never showed emotion at all.

For a long time now, I’ve worked to correct my own perception that anger and aggression are inextricably linked. It’s taken a lot of therapy (Can I get a witness?), journaling, and contemplation.

Despite all that work, when some dear friends of mine recently pissed me off,  I tried to rationalize their actions (or lack of action, in this case). I viewed this as somehow being evolved and an act of letting go. But the anger remained.

Anger is. Feelings are. It’s what we do with our emotions that matters.

So, in addition to communicating to my friends about why I’m angry with them, I went looking for quotes about anger to try to understand the emotion — and myself — better. And you know what? There are a lot of negative perceptions out there about anger. Some of what I read pissed me off, if that isn’t too ironic. But a few I found were helpful, which I’ve shared below.

“The world needs anger.  The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.” –Bede Jarrett

“Anger ventilated often hurries toward forgiveness; and concealed often hardens into revenge.” –Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

“Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” –Lyman Abbott

“At the core of all anger is a need that is not being fulfilled.” –Marshall B. Rosenberg