Using anger as an example of the difference between constructive and destructive emotions, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that, under some circumstances, expressed in certain ways, anger can be constructive for relationships. Acknowledging anger can be very helpful and important for one’s well-being.
When we confirm that the beliefs that are causing our anger are well-founded, anger can be a response that alerts us to the fact that something wrong is happening. When we express our anger honestly, respectfully, and not with a primary intent to hurt the person we’re communicating with, such expressions can help set boundaries and expectations, and in the long run, improve the relationship.
Conversely, anger can be destructive when it arises from unreasonable expectations, a sense of entitlement or inappropriate beliefs, or an incomplete or inaccurate understanding of the situation. Or when it leads to actions that are primarily focused on hurting someone else rather than communicating an understanding of what is happening.
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