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    You've Been Thinking About Anger All Wrong

    Not only can anger be helpful, but acknowledging and expressing it is good.

    Anger is one of the most complex emotions, and yet it often gets boiled down to a simple frown and yelling.

    It's a "bad" emotion, we're told, one that's better to shut down than let creep through in any way. It's mean, it's destructive, it's fiery red. But it doesn't have to be that way. I spoke with four anger experts, and they all agreed: not only can anger be helpful, but acknowledging and expressing it is good. Since there are so many misconceptions about anger, I asked them to break down the basics so we all can understand and handle our uncomfortable feelings a little more productively:

    1. For starters, anger is better understood as a signal, rather than an emotion.

    2. Which means it's not the big bad monster it's been made out to be by * gestures hand broadly toward everything *.

    3. But it's also not good. It just kind of...is, you know?

    4. You might be angry and not even realize it.

    5. And FYI, being a withholder is almost as bad as, if not worse than, walking around like the angry guy from Inside Out.

    6. There is a happy medium between holding it all in and unleashing it with fury...

    7. ...and your coping technique might change, depending on whether you're a dumper or a withholder.

    8. If you're really mad with someone, there are some steps for gently bringing it up with them in a constructive way.

    9. But above all else, be kind to yourself about your anger.