Is Anger Really The Problem?

Acharya Prashant
9 min readSep 25, 2019

Listener: “How to overcome impulsive feelings, like anger, and how to increase tolerance?”

Acharya Prashant: Why do you want to overcome anger? Why do you want to overcome anger?

L: Because you are insufficient and you feel incomplete.

AP: That looks like an academic explanation. When you say you don’t want anger, why don’t you want it?

L: That is not my nature.

AP: Is that so? After, a bout of anger, after an upsurge of anger, after a violent episode of anger, you say, “I shouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t have been angry.” Why exactly do you say that? Go into it. Go into such moments when this might have happened. Why do you regret being angry?

L: Because it caused me a certain loss.

AP: Right. You did something in that moment which caused you loss. Right? So, there are the twenty-four hours of the day, and in half an hour of anger, you did something that impacted the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. Correct? Your reputation got spoiled, or a relationship got hurt, or you broke something, or you took a bad decision. All of which impacts the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. Right?

So, is it really anger that we want to do away with? We want to eliminate the adverse effects of anger on the remainder of our life. If we could have anger without any side effects, how about that? Exciting? If we could have anger without any consequences, any payoffs, how would that be? So, you are then entitled to feel heroic. You shouted at someone or you slapped someone, and there are no repercussions. Great.

It is the repercussions that wean us away from anger, don’t they? What if the results of anger are beneficial to you? Would you still want to do away with anger? It is the results that compel us to think about anger. Right? So, see what we are doing. It is not that half an hour episode of anger that we are so worried about. We are worried about maintaining the continuity of the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. They should not be impacted.

When anger starts impacting those twenty-three and a half hours, then we say anger is undesirable. Right? So, we want to protect our lives in general. We want to let our life remain as it is. Anger…

Acharya Prashant