Anger is a universal emotion. We all feel upset, frustrated, or outraged from time to time. However, there is a common misconception about anger that it usually manifests itself as screaming or violent behavior. Anger is much more complex and nuanced than that. Anger is a feeling that can be channeled in useful ways or expressed in ways that exacerbate negative consequences. We often learn to express anger at how we grew up or at the lesson of "what not to do".
According to the psychological research of Professor Ephrem Fernández, anger can be classified according to six spectrums or dimensions of expression. These include:
The direction of anger (internal vs external)
The anger reaction (retaliation vs resistance)
The Anger Mode (Physical vs Verbal)
Anger impulsivity (controlled vs uncontrolled)
Anger target (corrective vs punitive)
Anger is not inherently good or bad, it is simply an emotion. Emotions are an integral part of being human, acting as built-in guides to alert us to our environment and how we should react within it.
Anger is a healthy emotion to feel; everyone is entitled to anger, depending on their circumstances. Feeling angry can be particularly relevant and justified in the times we live in: threatening situations (acute and chronic threats), civil and human rights violations, health pandemics, obstructed freedom of movement, loneliness, financial and routine changes, many of which we may experience anger as a result of disrespect, confusion, uncertainty, or frustration.
Anger is a useful emotion for action and motivation: if something isn't right, feeling angry can prompt us to do something to change circumstances. Anger, however,it's different and not the samesuch as aggression or violence. Anger is a natural emotion, while aggression and violence are chosen external behaviors that serve to intimidate, belittle, and harm another person.
How we manage our anger reactions and behaviors can be the difference between creating positive change or having to perpetually deal with the unintended consequences of an angry outburst.
Here are 10 common types of anger.
Below are 10 common types of angry expressions. See if you can identify the ways you most commonly choose to react with anger and what core beliefs might support your view of emotions. Clarifying your beliefs about emotions and your type of anger pattern and learning simple strategies for dealing with this type of expression is the key to expressing your emotions in healthy ways to help you meet your needs without violating others.
Type 1: Assertive anger
Assertive anger is a very constructive type of expression of anger. If this is your type of anger, use the feelings of frustration or anger as a catalyst for positive change. Rather than avoiding confrontation, internalizing anger, or resorting to verbal insults and physical outbursts, express your anger in ways that create change and bring you closer to fulfilling your wants and needs, without causing pain or destruction.
Expressing anger assertively helps you address what you want without violating other people's rights and boundaries.
Administrative strategy:Assertive anger is a powerful motivator. Use assertive anger to overcome fear, face injustice, and achieve desired outcomes in life.
Type 2: behavioral anger
Behavioral aggression is a choice to physically react to the feeling of anger. This form of expression of anger is physical and often aggressive or, at the extreme end of the spectrum, violent. Aggression is behavior intended to cause harm to another person who does not intend it. This might look like breaking or throwing things, or physically intimidating or attacking someone.
Expressing anger through the use of aggressive behaviors often has negative legal and interpersonal consequences, as this highly unpredictable and impulsive behavior erodes your ability to build trusting and respectful relationships.
Administrative strategy:It is worth noting that emotions such as anger do not automatically generate aggression or violence; Take some time to reflect on what might be the real motivation for choosing aggression after experiencing anger. As you feel your anger building, remove yourself from the situation if possible and use calming self-talk (“take it easy, stay calm”) to regain control of your emotions, or trya deep breathing techniqueuntil you feel physically calm enough to reconsider what is going on and what options you have for reacting differently.
If you are someone who needs to physically release frustration, consider going for a walk or run.
Type 3: Chronic Anger
chronic angerit feels like an ongoing, general feeling of resentment towards other people, a general feeling of frustration with certain circumstances, or often, anger at oneself. It is personified by a feeling of perpetual annoyance and irritation: the prolonged nature of this type of anger can have negative effects.adverse effects on health and well-being.
Administrative strategy:Spend some time reflecting on the underlying causes of your anger. Her outrage may well be justified, though it probably doesn't help if it's chronic and ongoing. If you can identify the source of your resentment, you can resolve the inner conflict you are experiencing by forgiving yourself and others for past transgressions. The process of forgiveness is powerful and empowering and can help resolve lingering pain and frustration. Learning to express emotionsallegedlycan help a lot.
Type 4: Critical Wrath
critical angeris justifiably indignant: This type of anger is usually a reaction to a perceived injustice or fault in another person. What is often behind this is the core belief that you are better or less than others. While critical anger takes on the morally superior posture of justified anger, it can alienate potential allies by invalidating their differences of opinion.
Administrative strategy:Commit to exploring light and dark in different situations, as circumstances are rarely as simple as they appear on the surface. It's healthy to gently challenge your own deeply held assumptions by opening yourself up to other people's perspectives. You can disagree and still gain valuable insight into possible solutions and perspectives to life's challenges, without belittling the experience of others or damaging your own reputation with condescension.
Type 5: Oppressed Rage
oppressed rageit's a kind of uncontrolled rage. It usually occurs when we feel that a situation or circumstances are out of our control, leading to feelings of hopelessness and frustration. This type of anger is common when we take on too many responsibilities or unexpected life events overwhelm our normal ability to handle stress. Anger here is an emotion that is trying to alert us that we don't feel like there's enough in the tank to deal with the stressors piling up in front of us, even if we're not yet finding the right words to express it.
Administrative strategy:It is critical to seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed anger. Work on expressing to others (family, friends, and co-workers) that you feel overwhelmed and need support. Try asking for what you need that might help you, whether it's help with the kids, taking a family member to doctor appointments, taking a few hours off for professional support, a quiet night without a to-do list, pending tasks, or an extension on a work project. By alleviating potential sources of stress, you will regain a sense of emotional and behavioral control.
Type 6: Passive-Aggressive Rage
passive-aggressive angerit is a type of expression of avoidant anger. If this is your usual way of expressing anger, you are likely to try to avoid all forms of confrontation and may deny or repress any feelings of frustration or anger you are experiencing. Passive-aggressive anger can be expressed verbally, such as sarcasm, direct silence, or thinly-veiled mockery, or physically in behavior, such as chronic procrastination at work. Sometimes people who passively express their anger are not even aware that their actions are perceived as aggressive; This can have dire personal and professional consequences.
Administrative strategy:Learn assertive communication techniques and explore your fear of confrontation using 'Yes it is?scenarios. By developing your ability to articulate your frustrations and confidently face a variety of fears, you are more likely to meet your needs in personal and professional relationships.
Type 7: Retaliatory Rage
retaliatory angerit is usually an instinctive response to being confronted or attacked by another person. It is one of the most common types of anger and is motivated by revenge for a perceived wrong. Vengeful anger can also be deliberate and purposeful. It is often intended to intimidate others by asserting control over a situation or outcome, but it can only serve to heighten tensions.
Administrative strategy:Whether your vindictive anger impulse is impulsive or intentional, it's important to pause and think before you act. Will your angry retaliation improve the situation or only worsen relations? Retaliation is an option, and cyclical rage is rarely extinguished in an eye-for-an-eye scenario. By choosing to diffuse the immediate conflict, you can avoid the unintended long-term consequences of revenge.
Type 8: Self-abusive rage
self-abusive rageit's a kind of shame-based anger. If you felt hopeless, unworthy, humiliated or ashamed, you can internalize these feelings and express your anger through negative self-talk, self-harm, substance use or eating disorders. Alternatively, you may lash out at those around you to mask feelings of low self-esteem, increasing your sense of alienation.
Administrative strategy:learn aboutcognitive reframing techniquesand use them to challenge and transform any self-defeating and distorted thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. Mindfulness meditation can also help you focus on the present moment and deal with any urges to engage in self-defeating behavior.
Type 9: Verbal anger
ira verbalIt is often considered less dangerous than behavioral anger, but it can be a form of emotional and psychological abuse that deeply hurts the target of the anger. It is aggressive or even violent in the sense that there is a motivation to release it causing harm to someone else who doesn't want it. Verbal abuse can take the form of angry yelling, threats, insults, sarcasm, intense accusations or criticism. If you've ever verbally attacked someone, it's common to feel ashamed, apologize, and regret it later.
Administrative strategy:Even if the words are on the tip of your tongue, take a breath before you speak. Then another. As tempting as it may be to blurt out the first angry response that pops into your mind when you're upset, the key to effectively managing this type of anger is simply to delay the impulse to lash out. With practice, you can control any tendency toward verbal abuse and replace it with an assertive expression of anger (see Type 1).
Type 10: Volatile Rage
Ira call himIt seems to come out of nowhere: If this is your type of anger, you are very quickly angered by perceived annoyances, big and small. After impulsively venting your anger, you often calm down just as quickly. Unfortunately, volatile anger can be incredibly destructive, as those around you may feel like they have to walk on eggshells for fear of releasing their anger. Volatile anger affects your ability to form and maintain long-term relationships, as others require stability and trust in order to form meaningful connections with you. If left unchecked, volatile anger can eventually lead to violent outbursts.
Administrative strategy:Identify the physical signs and symptoms that precede a volatile outburst, and use relaxation techniques (such as deep breathing) to keep your anger from escalating.
There are many other forms that anger can take, but these are the types that most people tend to use when they are feeling upset and frustrated. Anger management is a fascinating area of research: there is astrong body of evidencethat the above and other practical strategies are effective tools for expressing anger and other emotions in healthy ways, without causing harm to self or others, and for regulating behavior so that it is constructive.
If you would like targeted and intensive support to help you express your anger in more constructive ways, we invite you to consult ourspecialized anger management counseling services.
Types of Anger Research Resources:
Deffenbacher, J.L. e McKay, M. (2000).Overcoming situational and general anger: an anger management protocol based on relaxation, cognitive restructuring, and coping skills training🇧🇷 New Harbinger Publications.
Elison, J., Garofalo, C. and Velotti, P. (2014). Shame and aggression: Theoretical considerations.Aggression and Violent Behavior,19(4), 447-453.
Fernandez, E. (2008). The angry personality: a six-dimensional representation of the expression of anger.International Handbook of Personality Theory and Assessment,1, 402-419.
Mikulincer, M. and Shaver, PR (2011). Attachment, anger and aggression.Human aggression and violence: causes, manifestations and consequences, 241-257.
Marcus Andrews is the Founder and Director of Life Supports, founded in 2002. He has extensive professional experience working as a counselor and family therapist on a wide range of issues. The core component of his role at Life Supports involves supervising other counselors, including secondary practices. Marcus has worked in many sectors, including private, government, not-for-profit, healthcare, forensics, and community practice.
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- being treated unfairly and feeling powerless to do anything about it.
- feeling threatened or attacked.
- other people not respecting your authority, feelings or property.
- being interrupted when you are trying to achieve a goal.
- stressful day to day things such as paying bills or rush hour traffic.
But, it may be surprising to learn that there are 5 styles – Aggressive, Passive, Passive-Aggressive, Assertive, and Projective-Aggressive styles. A person using the Aggressive style of anger often feels the need to be in control of themselves, other people, and situations.How can I control my anger in 10 seconds? ›
Touch your tongue to the back of your teeth. Go to the bathroom. Do whatever you need to do in order to create a pause between your strong emotion and your response. Even a two-second pause can be enough to stop you from reacting with anger.What is a good advice for anger issues? ›
Give them space. If you notice that continuing the conversation is making it worse, give them space to calm down and think. This could be something like going into another room for a while, or spending a few days apart. It's important to give yourself space as well, so you don't find yourself getting too angry.What are 4 causes of anger? ›
- threatened or attacked.
- frustrated or powerless.
- like we're being invalidated or treated unfairly.
- like people are not respecting our feelings or possessions.
"Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil." "But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." "Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."What makes me angry easily? ›
What causes anger issues? Many things can trigger anger, including stress, family problems, and financial issues. For some people, anger is caused by an underlying disorder, such as alcoholism or depression. Anger itself isn't considered a disorder, but anger is a known symptom of several mental health conditions.How many different types of anger is there? ›
There are three types of anger which help shape how we react in a situation that makes us angry. These are: Passive Aggression, Open Aggression, and Assertive Anger.What are the 6 types of anger? ›
- Type 1: Assertive Anger. Assertive anger is actually considered to be a constructive type of anger expression. ...
- Type 2: Behavioral Anger. ...
- Type 3: Chronic Anger. ...
- Type 4: Passive-Aggressive Anger. ...
- Type 5: Retaliatory Anger. ...
- Type 6: Self-abusive anger.
Retaliatory anger is usually an instinctual response to being confronted or attacked by someone else. It's one of the most common types of anger, and is motivated by revenge for a perceived wrong.
Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. Anger can be a good thing. It can give you a way to express negative feelings, for example, or motivate you to find solutions to problems. But excessive anger can cause problems.Does counting to 10 help with anger? ›
In summary, these results suggests that counting to ten could help stop you from lashing out too harshly when there are obvious consequences for your anger, presumably because the delay gives you time to take these consequences into account before choosing how to act.Does counting to 10 calm you down? ›
The actual process of counting to 10 calms your mind and body, especially when incorporated with deep breathing. It also minimizes the chance that you will say something harsh that you will later regret (guilt is one of our biggest stressors after all).What are 3 ways you can deal with anger? ›
The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others.Is there a 12-step group for anger? ›
The Emotions Anonymous 12-step recovery program is for people experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, anger, low self-esteem and other emotional difficulties. There is a 12-Step program for depression and a 12-Step program for anxiety, along with several others.What are 4 types of anger management skills? ›
- Boost your self-esteem. Anger can arise when people have low self-esteem, so it is essential to surround yourself with people who respect you and can help you cultivate self-love.
- Identify the source of your anger. ...
- Take a brisk walk. ...
- Use breathing exercises.
Do something to distract yourself mentally or physically – anything that completely changes your situation, thoughts or patterns can help stop your anger escalating. For example, you could try: putting on upbeat music and dancing. doing something with your hands, like fixing something or making something.What are the five expressions of anger? ›
- Are hurting others either verbally or physically.
- Always find yourself feeling angry.
- Feel that your anger is out of control.
- Frequently regret something you've said or done when angry.
- Notice that small or petty things make you angry.
A leading cause of anger is a person's environment. Stress, financial issues, abuse, poor social or familial situations, and overwhelming requirements on your time and energy can all contribute to the formation of anger.How many types of anger are there? ›
There are three types of anger which help shape how we react in a situation that makes us angry. These are: Passive Aggression, Open Aggression, and Assertive Anger.What is the highest form of anger? ›
Enraged. This is the stage when you feel completely out of control. You may exhibit destructive behavior when your anger reaches this point, such lashing out physically, excessive swearing, or threatening violence.What is the most extreme form of anger? ›
Rage (also known as frenzy or fury) is intense, uncontrolled anger that is an increased stage of hostile response to a perceived egregious injury or injustice.What are the 6 stages of anger? ›
In order from 1 to 6 they are: activation, modulation, preparation, action, feedback and deactivation. I will talk about each stage in detail below.What are the 4 stages of anger? ›
The anger arousal cycle
xi The arousal cycle of anger has five phases: trigger, escalation, crisis, recovery and depression. Understanding the cycle helps us to understand our own reactions and those of others.
Behavioural anger involves the associated behavioural outbursts associated with uncontrolled anger. This is anger that affects personal relationships, work relationships, and daily life. People who experience this particular type of anger may even find themselves coming into trouble with the law due to outbursts.What causes anger in a person? ›
Everyone has their own triggers for what makes them angry, but some common ones include situations in which we feel: threatened or attacked. frustrated or powerless. like we're being invalidated or treated unfairly.What causes anger issues? ›
Stress, financial issues, abuse, poor social or familial situations, and overwhelming requirements on your time and energy can all contribute to the formation of anger. As with disorders such as alcoholism, anger issues may be more prevalent in individuals who were raised by parents with the same disorder.