What is Anger?

The Monster Within

There's no escaping the reality of anger. It affects everybody at one time or another. Over the many years I've been in talk radio, I've become convinced at least half of those who have called me are in some way angry or have suffered as a result of someone else's rage. There are literally millions of people whose lives have all but been destroyed because of the monster within, anger.

And yet, there are so many people who don't recognize how angry they really are, or even how they are expressing it. Much less, how it is affecting every aspect of their lives, including all their relationships.

So, what is anger?

Anger is an emotion that can be very powerful and all-consuming. It's a deep feeling of displeasure, hostility or antagonism towards someone or something we think has hurt us. Anger usually has with it a desire to get even or hurt back.

Anger can be so powerful that it can even affect us physically. For example, anger increases heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline. Its effect on the body's nervous system can lead to a weakened heart and stiffened arteries. There's also the potential for liver and kidney damage, as well as high cholesterol. Anger may bring along other issues like depression or anxiety. Some scientists think that chronic anger may be more dangerous than smoking and obesity as a factor that will contribute to an early death.

Ultimately, anger is a reaction to feeling hurt, weak, vulnerable, or belittled in some way by someone or something. We use anger to help us feel strong and in control, and to help mask our feelings of hurt and weakness. When you see an angry person, you see a hurt person using anger to try and make up for all the pain.

Jenny wrote: One of the things that makes me angry a lot is not knowing a single thing about my birth father. And how much not having him in my life affected my life growing up and how I am with guys since I have never had a father figure to show me how it is to be loved by a man the right way.

Jenny is obviously hurt. She feels abandoned by her birth father who she has never met. Not only that, but she has never had a father figure in her life. Jenny's anger helps her make up the difference between her desire to feel loved and accepted, and her feeling so weak and neglected.

If you are struggling with anger and bitterness from being hurt, you may want to consider How to Forgive or listen to this podcast on How to Deal with Anger.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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4 comments on “What is Anger?”

  1. I am 55 years old, I have worked through a lot of my anger issues now. When I was 7-9 years old, I was molested by an uncle, I had an alcoholic father and depressed mother. I never told her what happened, I felt like it was my fault too. what happened to me caused me to think I was different and less than others; I had little self worth and probably the root of my anger. Anger destroyed my relationships with my 2 spouses. Of course my lack of self worth problems caused me to choose men that were not good for me, then their betrayal was what 'caused' my anger. If I had been able to talk with someone at that time, to be able to acknowledge that what happened to me was wrong but did not define who I was, I may have been spared from the wreckage of my youth. Now I know, I am created in the image of my mighty and powerful Creator, my worth is not defined by what has been done to me or even what I have done to myself or others. I accept His forgiveness for the things that I have done and I know that those who have hurt me deserve the same forgiveness if they want it from our Creator. I hope that those reading this will not let 40 years go by before they deal with their sense of worthlessness and anger. You are defined by God, our Creator, not anyone else's actions against you or your past actions; nothing can change how special and wonderful we are in His sight. Please talk to someone who can help you deal with your feelings. Even though we know these truths, it just helps us to have someone who cares and says those things out loud to us. When I told my mother years later, when I was about 35, she only said, 'I thought something like that may have happened to you.' I had wished I hadn't even said anything at all. I needed to be told that what happened was wrong, evil, terrible and should have never happened, that I didn't deserve it, even when I was a grown adult I needed to hear it. So find someone who can understand the hurt that you are going through, someone neutral, even, who won't be crushed by guilt for not protecting you, so that they can be there for you.
    So, betrayal was hard for me when I was younger. I needed someone who wasn't going to betray me, because I felt used and worthless when I was betrayed. I turned into a monster of verbal abuse when I was betrayed. I could rip a man apart with my words, so healing could never begin in my relationships. Later, my FAITH in God, and who He says that I am is what held me together and made me stronger. Faith in God through Jesus continues to hold me together, when I start feeling weak again it is because I have not spent time with Him; I know He wants me to spend time with me because He loves me and will never betray me.

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