Anger Management

Anger Management

Understanding Anger and Aggression

Anger can be the result of hurt pride, unreasonable expectations or repeated hostile fantasies. We may unconsciously use anger to blame others for our own shortcomings, to justify oppressing others, to boost our own egos, to conceal other feelings and to handle other emotions.

Any situation that frustrates us (especially when we think someone else is to blame) can potentially trigger anger and aggression. Frustration can lead to anger, and anger can lead to aggression.

Dealing with frustration

We feel frustration when we don't get what we want or when something interferes with a desired goal. Here are some common triggers...

Dealing with frustration Details

  • something physical (like a flat tire)
  • our own limitations (like paralysis after an accident)
  • our choices (like flunking an exam we didn’t prepare for)
  • others’ actions (like parental restrictions)
  • others’ motives (like deceiving us for their own gain)
  • society’s injustice (like being born into poverty and seeing no way out)

Recognizing aggression

Aggression is taking action on our angry feelings, like attacking someone or a group with the intention of hurting them. Here are some actions to look out for...

Recognizing aggression Details

Aggression can be a verbal attack (insults, threats, sarcasm) or a physical punishment or restriction.

It can be cold and calculated or cause us to lose control. It’s not the same as assertiveness (a chronic state of anger) or hostility (a permanent personality characteristic).

  • Instrumental aggression: to get a reward, not revenge
  • Hostile aggression: to hurt someone or get revenge
  • Annoyance aggression: to stop an irritant
  • Rage: extreme aggression that causes us to lose self-control