The 6 Anger Types - What's Yours?
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Anger is an emotion that occurs for every human being. Having angry feelings is not the problem, but rather what occurs with the feelings. Anger really becomes a problem if the emotion results in actions or verbalizations that have destructive consequences, which can manifest as relationship issues, employment issues, or even legal issues. Many times, the person with an anger problem feels regret, shame and guilt over their behavior. Anger is often a more intense feeling such as abandonment, loss of control, rejection, or disappointment to name a few.
5. Passive aggressive
6. Habitual irritation
The explosive style of anger can be seen in the response to small issues and big issues. For the explosive anger type, the person becomes enraged almost immediately. In addition, there may be times of verbal or physical aggression. The person might be easily angered in most situations or stuff down all of their feelings until they explode with rage, and the outcome is usually destructive toward relationships and property.
Self-abusive anger can be seen in a response where the person turns their feelings onto themselves. They see themselves as a terrible person, responsible for the situation or see the situation as helpless or hopeless. The result of this type of anger could be self-harm, cutting, and even suicide.
Avoidant anger can be seen in response to situations, where the person actually avoids all feelings of anger. They may even deny any feelings of anger. For the Avoidant Anger type, theirs becomes a form of “buried anger”, and there is little to no acknowledgement of the feeling associated with the situation. The person wants to avoid any confrontation, thus ignores the feeling.
Sarcastic anger can be seen in a response where the person uses condescending and implicitely debasing intellectual attacks in order to verbally assault an individual or a situation, which may be intended to mock and humiliate through an aggressive and clever wit. An example would be: I am so happy you are late- I like my food extra dry and almost burnt”. Sometimes the sarcasm can come across as trying to be funny, but the true feelings of anger are usually obvious.
Passive Aggressive anger can be seen in circumstances in which a person uses a subtle communication style where their behavior or comments appear as though they coud have been accidental and unintentionally out of line with social curteosy, but it is really a “dig” on the person. It is apparent that the person is angry, but their actions or comments may appear to be subtle, beneath the surface, and somewhat "stealth-like". One example of passive aggression could be a mother speaking to her children and explaining that “If you were home on time, you would have had a great dinner, but now there is none left. Sorry kids.” The statement is plausible, but it is apparent that the mother's motive for not offering dinner is aggressive in nature - It's driven by anger. Another example could be a situation, where somebody notices that they could take action and intervene in order to be of assistance with somebody's problem, but they choose to withhold information or assistance becaues "It's not any of my business" - When in-fact, they are choosing to withhold assistance in order to allow harm to occur to another person.
Habitual Irritation anger can be seen in a response where the person uses a style where the person is constantly angry - Every response seems to come from a place of irritation and agitation. The person cannot win, even if they were not doing anything to purposely or accidently upset the person. This style can be seen as the “Grumpy Gus Syndrome”.
Anger actually has a positive side. It can make us aware when we have been violated or are in danger. However, when anger becomes out of control there can be some very negative consequences. Knowing your anger style can help you to change. If you know your anger style, you can learn to change how you respond to anger. We all have an anger style. Once you are aware of what your anger styles, you can learn to better manage your anger. Again, anger is not negative, but how you respond to anger determines the value of the state, so you have the ability to make positive change in your life. Instead of feeling regretful after the incident, you can learn to manage your anger during the situation. In addition, anger management skills can help you to feel less angry in situations and can help you feel less angry day to day.
Feeling angry all the time leads to increased stress which can affect your emotions as well as your physical well being, so learning how to manage your emotions can help you in all of your life areas, including family, social, and employment.
- Kim B.