One of Seth’s more recent post – Just because he’s angry – makes a great point. We often react to anger as if it’s proof of being right, or having the high ground; in reality the opposite tends to be true more often.
For years, my bride has told me “anger is a cover emotion”. That is, it’s a self and/or socially acceptable emotion that we use to hide an emotion that we don’t feel good expressing. Of course I used to get mad at her for saying this when it was my anger she was talking about (not anger at her, BTW). However, I have learned over time that she is right – anger is usually not the real emotion that is at play. Anger is used to cover fear, pride, selfishness, guilt, and other things we don’t want to admit to or show.
Why do we feel so safe showing anger? Does anger make us feel righteous? Does it make us feel manly? Anger is not inherently sinful, but it can easily lead to sin. Anger also pushes people away from us. Anger is not a good thing for a marriage.
Next time you feel angry, ask yourself if there is something more to it. Do you feel fear? Are you covering for pride or selfishness? Is your anger coming from a guilty conscience? Is your anger justified? Is the level of anger you feel realistic for the situation?