Anger itself is a healthy emotion that fits with Buddhist practice. It is the feeling of displeasure we experience at a perceived injustice, against ourselves or others. It is a way of communicating what we feel is unfair.
In this Part 1, Dave Richo distinguishes between healthy anger and abuse: Healthy anger gets your attention; Abuse makes you feel afraid.
Find his handouts here: Healthy-Anger-by-Dave-Richo.pdf
Rather than hold our anger in, it can be healthy to express the feeling. We do not lose our temper but maintain the boundaries that prevent us from becoming aggressive.
When that expression becomes hurtful to others, it contradicts our commitment to loving-kindness. It becomes abuse when it is marked by threats, violence, and retaliation – a type of theatrical display meant to intimidate.
Then he explores practices that allow us to present our feelings of anger safely and still maintain the bond we have with another person.
Finally, we learn how to become friendly toward our own anger rather than seeing it as a failing.
David Richo, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, writer, and workshop leader. He shares his time between Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California. Dave combines psychological and spiritual perspectives in his work. His latest book is “Ready: How to Know When to Go and When to Stay.” (Shambhala, 2022). The website for books, talks, and events is https://davericho.com/.