Anger is energizing

Now that’s what I call good news. A piece in yesterday’s New York Times says that, popular wisdom to the contrary notwithstanding, pessimism and anger are not necessarily always unhealthy and their opposites not necessarily always therapeutic. Just exactly what I’ve always thought! I’m a basically cheerful sort, I think, but it’s an irritated sort of cheerfulness–the two go together. I get a lot of energy and motivation from my generalised anger. It means there are things to do, mistakes that need pointing out, stupidities that need correcting. One likes to feel useful. Julie K. Norem, a psychologist and author of the book The Power of Negative Thinking, says that anger is an energizing emotion. I feel vindicated, and joyously indignant.

‘Barbara S. Held, a psychologist and professor at Bowdoin College, argues that it’s time to end what she calls the “tyranny of the positive attitude in America.”‘ I couldn’t possibly agree more.

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