Principle 3
Anger is a response to injustice
I define genuine anger as an emotional response to overcome the threat of perceived injustice.

Emotional. Anger is not behavior--it is a physiological arousal that begins in the brain.

Response. Anger is an arousal in response to some event. We are not born angry.

Overcome. We believe we have the obligation and capacity to respond to fix the problem. This makes anger different from fear because with anger we are moving toward, not away, from what we view is a manageable threat. "Manageable" does not mean that we can actually resolve the threat, just that we believe we can take a stand against it. Anger gives us the energy for action.

Threat. Anger is always a response to something or someone that takes or tries to take something tangible or intangible of importance to us. We feel angry because we feel threatened. This threat may or may not be true. If we believe it to be true, then we react as though it were in fact a real threat. If we are not threatened, we don't feel angry.

Perceived injustice. At the moment of experiencing anger, we believe the threat is unfair. We believe the circumstance is not the way things are supposed to be. At the moment of anger, what we experience as unjust is experienced as real and immediate.

The more angry we become, the greater our risk for distorting the nature of what we view as an unjust threat.

Next: Reexamining your definition