I submit that this view will get you into trouble, but it is essentially what many of us are taught in that we are to control our angry behavior and even turn the other cheek. A display of anger is considered bad manners at the very least and usually is embarrassing or creates more trouble for us.
When we or others behaviorally display anger we generally think of that as having “lost control”, so we do our best to retreat into civilized behavior, but the anger remains and is then internally destructive and may eventually be overtly manifested when the pressure “blows the lid off”. The controlling of behavior is not such a bad thing, but trying to keep the lid on or ignoring the underlying anger can be.
This internal anger can not only eat away at our psychological well-being, but our physical well-being. If we do not resolve the anger, we may stay in a state of constant preparedness which can eventually have an adverse physiological affect in the form of hypertension, heart problems, ulcers, stroke, etc.
Cromie, William J. Anger Can Break Your Heart: A Hostile Heart Is a Vulnerable Heart, Harvard News Office, 2006.
In this news report, they note a study of 1305 men with an average age of 62 that indicated that angrier men had a three-fold increased risk of heart disease and another study of 1055 medical students over a period of 36 years that indicated a six-fold increased risk of having a heart attack by 55 for those with anger problems.
I will discuss more about anger in future Counselor's Corner spots where we will learn more about how to make anger work for you and how to be less vulnerable to these potential emotional, social and physiological negative consequences. It really is more than just controlling the overt behavioral reaction. Stay tuned!