Anger is an emotion many feel throughout their lives. But there is a difference between the types of anger we experience and the impact of those various types. Knowing the four basic types of anger is the first step in figuring out how best to manage the turmoil in ourselves, in our relationships, and in our day-to-day environments.
From a recent article published in Psychology Today:
1. Justifiable Anger
Justifiable anger is having a sense of moral outrage at the injustices of the world — whether it’s the destruction of the environment, oppression of human rights, cruelty towards animals, violence in the community, or an abusive relationship at home. Justifiable anger may have benefits in the short-term, as its intensity can be channeled into passion and action for change. However, any type of anger over time is inherently unhealthy, as it robs us of our peace of mind and causes suffering within. Feeling angry on a regular basis, over any reason, only hurts oneself in the long run.
2. Annoyance Anger
For most people, this is the most common type of anger. Annoyance anger can arise from the many frustrations of daily life: A driver cuts you off on the road, your partner said something insensitive, the kids aren’t listening, your boss is a real jerk, etc. The list can go on and on. When we focus on the negative and personalize/internalize other people’s words and actions, it’s easy to experience annoyance anger on a regular basis. Worse yet, by becoming upset and getting triggered, we unwittingly allow other people’s problems to become our own.
3. Aggressive Anger
Aggressive anger is often used in situations where one individual attempts to exercise dominance, intimidation, manipulation, or control over another. When expressed repeatedly in relationships, aggressive anger becomes bullying, oppression, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.
4. Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums (which is sometimes intertwined with aggressive anger) can be characterized as disproportional outbursts of anger when an individual’s selfish wants and needs are not fulfilled, no matter how unreasonable and inappropriate. Temper tantrums are often directed toward those whose words and actions do not deserve such emotional fury. This type of anger often originates in childhood (due to multiple factors) and is typically part of a young person’s developmental and maturation process.
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