What Is Anger?
When something interferes with your achievement of a goal or desire, the developing frustration results in a feeling of tension and hostility. That feeling is referred to as anger.
Example 1, Lucille wanted to clean the kitchen but her husband insisted that she rest instead. Lucille felt she was being treated like a child, viewed her husband’s attitude as condescending, and became very angry.
Example 2, Susan just got a call from her doctor’s office cancelling her appointment for the next day. Susan had been anxiously awaiting the day of the appointment and became angry about the unexpected change.
Example 3, George watched from the sideline as his two roommates played tennis. George felt angry because his physical limitations prevented him from participating.
Example 4, John’s mother told him he would be more healthy if he took better care of himself. The comment made John angry.
What are three types of anger?
Anger In: This is feeling angry but directing it toward oneself, or inwardly directed anger. It is depression or suppressed hostility.
Anger Out: This is feeling angry and directing it toward other persons or things, or outwardly directed anger. It is the showing of repressed hostility and resentment.
There are techniques which can help you control your thoughts and in turn control your anger.
Imagery – Get rid of intense, angry feelings by letting your imagination diffuse some of the feelings. Allow yourself to imagine strangling the person who has made you feel angry, without actually carrying out the action. Imagery is a safer way for you to vent angry feelings.
Thought stopping – Do not allow the thoughts that are making you angry to continue. Shut down those thoughts by switching your concentration to something you find pleasant and enjoyable. By diverting your attention you help the anger to dissipate.
Change your expectations – People often get angry when their expectations are not met.
Modifying your expectations can help you cope with anger. If you can afford more flexibility there is less chance for a situation to lead to anger.
Develop more understanding – Being aware of why a person behaves a certain way or why a person is saying something will help promote understanding. Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and viewing a situation from their perspective.
Anger Need Not Be Negative
Physiological responses occur in the body when you become angry.
blood pressure increases
breathing and heart rate become more rapid
muscles become tense
Harnessing anger into a productive force in my life will assist my emotional growth.
What are some to take in handling current anger?
Step 1: Relax yourself by using deep, natural breathing and muscle relaxation.
· Take deep breaths and silently repeat the words “relax” until you are able to calm down.
· Do not say or do anything until you are calmed down.
· Avoid words or actions in the “heat” of the moment.
Step 2: Recognize what arouses or provokes your anger:
· Is it a situation, an event, a person?
· Is it real or imagined?
Step 3: Use a rational approach to “rethink,” “reframe,” and reason in your mind what is going on and why you are angry.
· Is this a trigger event bringing up old unresolved anger or resentment in me?
· How what is happening to provoke my anger a product of my past?
· What is really getting me angry?
· Maybe this person provoking my anger is having a bad day or needs more of my understanding.
· How am I feeling about this?
· What needs to be changed here?
· What alternatives could I use to get the best results in handling this situation?
Step 4: Once you have a clearer” idea of what is going on, take steps to change the situation that is provoking the anger.
· Use “I” statements. “I feel angry when you Y”
· Clarify your feelings about the situation.
· Point out issues needing clarity.
· Relate to the person how what is happening now is triggering feelings from your past.
· Identify the unresolved anger, resentment, hostility, or depression and work on it.
· Inject some humour into the situation to defuse the anger or hostility.
Did you know there were 12 types of anger?
Anger, which is often an emotion linked to depression, can be the beginning of deeper emotions, such as rage or violence. Therefore, it is important to control your anger, lest it should control you.
The best method to control your anger is to gain a better understanding of it. Anger can actually be categorised into different types –
BEHAVIOURAL ANGER is all about cruelty and physicality – it usually involves physical attacks against a target, typically a person.
Conversely, VERBAL ANGER is not based on physical violence. Instead it typically involves stinging oratory and insults. Making false claims about someone could also be construed as verbal anger.
PASSIVE ANGER is usually employed by people with avoiding personalities. Instead of being upfront about their anger they will be surreptitious instead, utilising mockery and sarcasm to express their displeasure.
SELF-INFLICTED ANGER requires that the sufferer punish themselves. This often involves self harm, though typically this is not through extreme, life threatening measures. More common is the abuse of food – either over- or under- eating.
Someone with CHRONIC ANGER is, simply, angry all the time. They may be angry at themselves, their immediate surroundings, the world in general or all of those at the same time. It is usual for people suffering with chronic anger to have no specific reason for feeling the way that they do.
JUDGEMENTAL ANGER causes someone to put others down by belittling them. Commonly, this anger is directed at those closest, such as friends and family.
OVERWHELMED ANGER can normally be linked to stress. The person feels so helpless in dealing with their surroundings that they lash out at anything they hate in their lives.
CONSTRUCTIVE ANGER is born out of a feeling of wanting to change something, to right a wrong. People with constructive anger will often join groups or movements and will lend their voice to them to relieve the anger they are feeling.
RETALIATORY ANGER is probably the most common form and is experienced by people who feel anger directed at them. It is very easy to then feel that same emotion in a reciprocal manner.
PARANOID ANGER comes from feeling that someone wants to take everything you have away from you. It is quite irrational and often stems from feelings of jealousy.
DELIBERATE ANGER can often be attributed to those who like to be in control. They may present a plan or idea in a normal fashion but will be quick to anger should anyone oppose them, looking to use that anger as a way to control the dissenter.
Muhammad Naveed Rahmat