Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity. It varies from a minor irritation to an intense rage. Like other emotions, it goes alongside psychological and biological changes. When you experience anger, your heart rate and blood pressure increase and the same happens with your energy hormone levels, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Many people justify their anger expressions by saying that Jesus got angry at the religious leaders of his days and told them offensive words. This fake belief regarding anger is used many times to mistreat other people.
Anger is an emotion that God put in our bodies. It allows us to react against injustice, sin and things that are wrong. Pablo says, “in your anger do not sin”. This means that there is a limit where anger becomes a sin.
Every manifestation of anger must be done inside the concept of the Agape love. But, in order for this to happen, the Holy Spirit must live inside us, help the love and self-love necessary to express anger inside the limits blossom, those that reflect the relational image of God.
People who get angry easily usually have what we call low tolerance to frustration, which means that they feel they should not be subjected to frustration, irritability or drawbacks. They cannot take things calmly and they get angry, especially if the situation seems somewhat unfair. For example, when other people correct them due to a non-important mistake.
What makes these people be this way? There are several factors. One of them might have a genetic or physiological origin. There are proofs that show that some kids are born irritable, sensitive and they get angry easily, and these signs are present from a very early age. Another factor might be linked to the way they are taught regarding how to deal with anger. Anger is often considered as something negative; many of us have been taught that it is fine to express anxiety, depression, and other emotions, but it is not fine to express anger. As a result, we do not learn how to deal with it and channel it in a constructive way.
Research also found that the family history has an important role. Usually, people who get angry easily come from troubled and chaotic families, in which there is no room for emotional communication.
One part of learning how to control anger, and also one part of the lessons a professional might teach you, are based on the management of the different types of anger. Not all people express their anger in the same way. Also, there is no need to feel fear or guilt because of being angry, because anger is a normal reaction of human life.
But the way we express anger is what can make of it something very dangerous, both for the couple or for ourselves.
There are four basic ways in which anger is expressed. A person can express more than one type of anger, depending on the situation she/he is living:
Aggressive: It is the type of aggressiveness that is visible and externalized. It is not intended to be hidden. Many people yell and scream and “vent” when they are angry. They explode, lashing out against others, either verbally or physically. This can provide a satisfactory freedom for them in the short term, but it can have devastating consequences in the long term for them and their relationships.
“I am right; all the other people are wrong, and they deserve to pay!”
Passive-aggressive: In this type of anger aggressiveness is shown, but not in a violent way, but rather a well disguised one. For example, with indirect actions or sabotage.
In this type of anger, the rage is locked inside the person. It causes harm inside him/her, pretending that everything is fine. Some people consider anger as something scary or unacceptable. They avoid recognizing or expressing feelings of anger and, instead, they convince themselves that they are not angry. The problem this coping mechanism presents is that people do not set their feelings free nor express them, which can lead to building resentment and unhappiness.
They say, “it is fine” when it is not or when they want to say “no”. These are passive-aggressive behaviors, which are used to express negative emotions indirectly instead of manifesting them openly. “Passive-aggressive people are sneaky when it comes to their anger”. They say one thing but do a different one; they do not show that they are angry, but they get even.
Avoidant anger: This type of people finds it difficult to deal with anger so they do everything they can to avoid it. They bottle anger up. They try to hide inside their “caves” every time they feel angry or when people around them are mad. They say things like…
“I cannot deal with this right now”
“Let’s talk about something else and let`s get along”.
“I cannot say anything because it would cause a fight”
“It is not that bad”
“Nothing is going to change”
Assertive: In this type, anger is properly managed, and it is communicated if necessary. It is what each individual must do when dealing with anger.
It is important to know the types of anger, since by doing so we can be aware of the way we act and how we can take actions that will allow us to handle it in a better way, so that we do not hurt ourselves and the people around us.
Do you feel identified with one of the types of anger? Do you feel that one of them defines the way you act? How could you improve the way you react when you feel angry for some reason? Share your answers with us in the comments section so that we can enrich our experience of having better interpersonal relationships with the people around us and so that we can have a balanced inner world. God bless you!