MLK’s Constructive Anger

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day!


A few people throughout history were motivated by Constructive Anger. They were inspired to take action with the hopes of achieving positive results. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not an angry person. He was a very skillful, controlled and focused person. Throughout his work as a non-violent activist and leader, Dr. King used Constructive Anger to motivate others to take action. He encouraged everyone to focus on solutions to the problems of inequality and injustice. He always considered the greater good and the resolutions this type of anger could generate.

Constructive Anger is one type of anger that can motivate people to take positive actions that can produce positive results. This type of anger can solve a problem. It can be a positive response to a negative stressor. It can help focus anger on a problem, not a person. Constructive Anger requires skill and control based on thoughtfulness and selflessness. It differs from the destructive, self-focused and emotionally-reactive retaliatory anger, judgmental anger, and other similar types of anger rooted in personal frustrations.

Anger is one of the components in the 6-A Model. There are several types of anger based on negativity. Some anger stems from social, political, environmental, or other events that affect a community, culture, nation or the world. Typically, I choose not to discuss politics. Politics can cause some people to develop negative attitudes, feel anxiety and express anger. There has been hurtful, hateful, and destructive anger surrounding politics and this anger might linger for a while. I will remain optimistic and hope that people know it is easier to control anger when it is not fueled by alcohol or hate. Anger can destroy individuals, families, communities, and more when it is out of control. Anger can be beneficial if it is controlled and utilized for positive purposes.

If anyone is feeling negative and destructive anger, try to think positive and consider using your anger constructively. Also, note that the mental clarity of a sober mind is more likely to think of positive and constructive solutions. Anger is a natural emotion that we all experience at some point. The 6-A Model of Alcohol Abuse in Offenders contains interesting and practical information about various types of anger.

Questions & Thoughts to Ponder:

  1. Do you know how to control your anger in a positive and appropriate manner?
  2. Have you used Constructive Anger to take action that would benefit the greater good of others?







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