I think this is an important classic on anger and assertiveness.  Many people tell me: “I can’t figure out the line of when I need to be assertive or just let it go”.  In fact, I get asked the question many times a month, if not a week!  Where is that line exactly and how does anyone figure it out? What are the good books on assertiveness?  Well, here is one for women on using their anger.  Anger is a friend and a tool, not the enemy it’s portrayed to be with the invalidating self-talk, “I just need to change my perception rather than get angry.”  Anger actually means, “I need to protect my boundaries/integrity/property/loved one/loved one’s integrity/boundaries”.  Anger is the signal, the clue, the valuable “tweak” that lets us know something else needs tweaked.

But what if that something is just my perception of the situation?

Sometimes that’s exactly all it is, yes.  For example, if a small child is throwing a tantrum you remember, “Hey, that’s what kids do”.  Let it go.  Be the parent.  Anger in that situation is a signal to change your mind about the situation.  Other times though, it’s a clue that something needs to BE DONE about a situation. For example, if someone came into my office and tried to take my rug, I would get angry and say, “Hey, what are you doing?”  If someone talked to your child in a disrespectful way right in front of you, it should make you angry so that you can either a. stay away from that person or b. say something about it or c. both.  Those examples have nothing to do with merely changing your perception – that would be ignoring the problem and allowing something negative to continue.