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Do You Hold On to Your Anger?

By 30/09/2011blog

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Gautam Buddha


Hold on to Your Anger

Hold on to Your Anger

Anger is a negative emotion. All the saints and all the scriptures, and of course, all the anger management gurus say so.

To an extent, I agree.

But if you hold on to anger not because you want to punch someone in the face, but because you want to remember never to be a victim again, is it such a bad thing?

If you hold on to anger against injustice, and express it in song, in art, in writing is it such a bad thing?

Do you hold on to anger, or do you let it go? Or does it depend on the circumstance?



Bite-sized Stories of Life and Death

Bite-sized Stories of Life and Death

Today, Kelley at Writtled is hosting my interview about the process of writing and about A to Z Stories of Life and Death. My thanks to Kelley, and hope some of you will come chat with me there!

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Anger is the emotion i dislike the most. *shudders*
    You know what I like? Joy! And i love spreading joy. Come drop by my blog and claim your blog award!

  • My first time here. Awesome blog and super post. Well done.

  • moondustwriter says:

    enjoyed the post – a good writer gets his reader thinking
    you did just that!!!

  • Karina says:

    Well said, John! I agree.

  • John Ling says:

    Writing, at its core, can be self-psychoanalysis. A way of coming to terms with past traumas and highlighting what’s vital. So, yes, searing anger can be a good channel for creativity — just look at Charles Dickens. His anger defines his work, and more than any writer before him, he shocked his readers and raised awareness about the exploitation of women and children.

    Dickens’ anger is real, so his work is real. I dare say it’s not really fiction at all. It’s ‘faction’.

  • Dorothy says:

    I tend to control my anger. I have written a few songs to relieve some. Got some great ones. Getting them out well that’s another story…. lol. Very good post.

  • Karina says:

    Excellent post! I make an effort never to hold onto anger, clearing it as soon as I notice it. I try to acknowledge it and then try to meditate on this: Anger tends to be the surface emotion which usually has fear as its underlying emotion. When I focus on that and try to access the fear, it’s easy to not only explain my hurt but the other person’s actions in light of my expectations. Then it’s easier to let go regardless of whether the other person remains in my life or not, asks for forgiveness or not. I release it for me, but in releasing it, i try not to lose the lesson either.
    Great post, I love the quote as well. 🙂

  • I think letting it go is always best. Though that’s easier said that done! And letting go of anger doesn’t have to mean that your forget an injustice. You’re just released from it’s further damage.

  • MPax says:

    I’ve learned to let it go. It’s so self-destructive in many ways. Bad for your health, too. 🙂 Passion is good to have.

  • Oh I release it all right. I walk, I run, I paint, I write music. Heck sometimes I even scrub the house :O) It’s not something I let stay inside of me. I don’t like the way it feels and I want to make sure I don’t take it out on whoever is near.

  • Allison says:

    I just saw your post about anger and thought I’d share something that we did at church concerning anger last Sunday. It was so cool. Each person was given a rock. They had to hold it in their hand and this rock represented their anger, justified or unjustified anger. Next, we were given the option to either lay the rock down on the stage (alter) or hold on to it. But, if you kept the rock (anger) you had to hold it in your hand. Which required you to shake hands with the rock in your hand or fist pump with the rock in your hand or chap to the music with the rock in your hand. So you see, it would be difficult to go on with life holding on to that rock (anger). Then you had the choice to lay your rock (anger) down or keep it. Your choice. Once the minister was done talking and the music starting playing, people literally ran or walked fast as they could and laid their rocks down all over the stage. Some people prayed at the stage and others went back to their seats. Once things calmed down, a little blonde haired girl about 4-5yrs. old, walked up to the stage/alter and placed her rock up there while on her tiptoes. It was so moving. Priceless. Lastly, the minister placed for God’s healing, whether instant or over a period of time for everyone. I know I have felt different this week. What freedom.
    Allison Reece

  • gssnews says:

    The worst thing is holding on to it and the object of your anger is oblivious to the fact that you’re mad with them. Let it go, I say. It does no good to hang on to it.

  • Anger can be used for positive! It’s a strong motivator.

  • Interesting that you’re writing about this today Damyanti. I have been dealing with a situation that was so beyond acceptable and left me in a tough spot recently and quite angry. It is not in my nature to retain the feelings of anger, I usually let it go but don’t let the person off the hook without talking about how what happened and how I felt. I am a believer in letting all the negative things out because holding them in will make you sick. Sometimes that means yelling, sometimes writing, sometimes singing a song at the top of my lungs in the car with the radio on full blast and the windows open. *sigh*

  • Arlee Bird says:

    I like the saying “Keep your temper, nobody else wants it”.

    I tend to control my anger. In most cases it subsides quickly and is soon forgotten. I usually forgive pretty quickly. When anger is justified it’s good to find a creative or constructive way of dealing with it and doing something about what has inspired the anger. Holding grudges usually only hurts the grudge holder–waste of time and energy the way I see it.

    Tossing It Out

  • I try to let it go. My mother is Queen of the Grudges, and I marvel at how angry she can get over things from 60+ years ago like it just happened. It’s not healthy. At times, I hold onto anger longer than I should, I know it. I still have a bit of a burning anger towards my exwife, even thought it’s years since. Certain things…

  • I tend to hold on the anger and in my case until recently I never realized it was a sword of death… I agree with you now…. Once I found an outlet for my anger and a way to express– I now feel the anger can be an asset… Anger/bitterness has defiantly influenced what I am today.
    Take care,

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