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Angry Emotions Lead To Better Career




By Margarita Nahapetyan

Psychiatrists at the Harvard Medical School claim that getting angry at work may actually be helpful in climbing up a career ladder. They found that staying calm and frustrated can be harmful for an individual's professional and even personal life.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development tracked the lives of more than 800 men and women for the last 44 years, and discovered that those people who were suppressing their negative emotions and feelings were at least 3 times more likely to admit that they had unrealized opportunities, disappointing careers and unsatisfying personal life.

On the contrary, men and women who were able to let their anger and frustration out in a tactful way, had far more chances to become professionally successful and well-established. In addition, they said that they enjoyed much more emotional connection with their loved ones.

Prof. George Vaillant, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, who has been a director of the Study of Adult Development since 1965, said that it has always been a common to think of anger as of some bad and dangerous emotion which had to be suppressed and replaced by a 'positive thinking.' However, this kind of approach is being considered by scientists as completely damaging for a person when encountering with hardships of reality.

According to psychiatrists, negative emotions, such as anger, fear and irritation are of a big importance and are necessary for one's survival in a challenging world full of unpleasant surprises. These emotions make it easier for a person to concentrate on specific problematic issues.

In spite of the fact that Prof. Vaillant believes that emotions, and specifically, anger that go beyond one's control are destructive, he criticizes the increasing use of anti-anger medications that are aimed to stabilize mood, as well as anger-management counseling, because in his opinion, by learning how to let anger out people could significantly improve their well-being. He says that keeping emotions inside and under control may lead to problems with health, communication, as well as cause stress and depression.

The new research comes after a similar study on this matter. In the previous findings it was revealed that more than 55 per cent of individuals had experienced positive results out of some angry episode in their lives. Almost one third of volunteers who took part in the study said that the episode helped them realize their own mistakes.

Dr. Howard Kassinove, who was leading the previous study, explained that people who suddenly become targets of someone's angry emotions, start to realize those people much better. He said: "While assertive expression is always preferable to angry expression, anger may serve as an important alerting function that leads to deeper understanding of the other person and the problem."



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