Anger is a unique emotion. Unlike many other emotions, it's not always as it appears to be on the outside. Anger often covers up our pain. Sometimes, we don't know how to deal with all the pain we've experienced properly so we repress our emotions. Eventually, our emotions become too much to handle and burst into a fit of anger.
When we're angry, we feel powerful. When we're sad, we feel vulnerable. Anger allows us to re-imagine situations and our roles in them. When someone takes advantage of us, we can re-imagine the same situation, where we didn't "allow" that to happen. On the other hand, sadness forces us to confront what happened to us and deal with the Hurt.
When we're hurt, we feel ashamed. Whether we realize it or not, we may blame ourselves for things that happened to us. We ask ourselves: Why did I trust him? Why wasn't I more assertive? Some of our anger towards ourselves may be inadvertently directed outwards. We might say: "Men are jerks/women are untrustworthy."
When we're angry, we feel protected. This is because we've placed all these barriers around us, keeping the bad men/women out. Of course, this also keeps the good men/women out but we don't trust them either. Keeping our heart guarded is way easier than opening it up. When it's guarded, we aren't taking the risk of getting hurt again.
While facing our pain involves looking inwards, anger causes us to deflect from the real issue. To heal we must face our pain. We must break down the barriers of our hearts and feel. That is, validate our own feelings and stop criticizing ourselves for how we feel. At the same time, we must learn to accept our past. When we allow ourselves to feel and put our past behind us, we're ready to let go.
We may not even realize that we're deeply hurt, as what we sense is anger. Yet, anger is superficial, while pain runs deep. That is, it's easier to be angry than hurt, as the latter requires us to be vulnerable, while the former makes us feel powerful. The choice is ours: do we move on or do we stay stuck in the past? Moving on is more difficult but so much better in the long run. Making the decision to move on is a gift we ought to give ourselves.