Imagine you live in a castle. One day, when you let down your drawbridge, you’re overrun by a horde of hungry hooligans. The rascals rummage through your halls, plunder your pantry, and consume all your food and booze, leaving a trail of mayhem. As you enter the scene, you feel your temper rising.
However, you hold your tongue, because you’ve been schooled in the evils of expressing anger and recognize your intruders were starving.
Seeing your lack of reaction, some of the hooligans begin looting your belongings, rifling through drawers and toppling tables; others lounge around your parlor room, mucking up your furniture with their filthy hands and feet. You would have helped them if they had asked, but this is crossing a line.
So you clear your throat, “Err . . . um, excuse me, hooligans, would you please leave?” They ignore you; a few laugh. You square your shoulders, pump up your chest, take a deep breath, and bellow, “Get out of here, or I’ll call in the knight’s watch.” Stunned to attention, and fearing a night in the dungeon, they make haste.
Despite its bad rap, your anger knows your worth.