Anger can be very destructive if you use it in a destructive manner. From my own experiences, I have seen people use anger in the worst possible ways to hurt others as well as themselves. People have killed others in fits of rage. They have broken their own hands or feet by punching or kicking walls. I have also seen the flip side where it is used constructively. Anger became a call to action. Passive, more timid people who normally would sit back and watch bad things happen to themselves or others would finally start to act and master their worlds.
Most people do not take the time to sit back and analyse their anger because it would not only take time but also invested mental energy and emotion on their part. Did you know anger can evolve into being a habit or addiction? I liken it to a skill. You can get yourself there to a point of no return in microseconds because you’ve becomes conditioned to the way you respond. As a matter of fact, people with addictive anger problems are simply just lazy thinkers. They choose to respond rather than act. Most people with serious anger problems will tell you that they ‘just get angry’ or ‘are angry all of the time’.
With that said, anger comes about by thinking thoughts which elicit anger feelings. Most people like to externalise the blame onto others as the cause of the anger. I often ask these same people if they are some kind of puppet – on strings where someone tugs away at their emotions, or if they are a hand puppet with someone’s hand shoved up their ‘you-know-what’? They are fast to answer ‘no’; that no one controls them. I say: ‘Really…you just said so and so makes you mad! How is that possible if you are not a puppet?’
This is usually the stepping stone to awareness for the impact on their lives and relationships. I teach people they are in control at all times to how they think, feel, act and what they become. Bottom line: Perception of the event is everything!
Some people were brought up in extremely violent, angry, abusive environments as children and that was all they ever knew. No one stepped in and helped them modify their thoughts and feelings. They became complacent and conditioned to their own angry, negative thinking scripts. We are all like actors. We feed our subconscious minds scripts – good ones or bad ones. In this case, these individuals cultivated destructive, bitter, vengeful scripts. They practised them and committed them to memory.
Some people get frustrated and stressed out very easily. They are extreme ‘Type A’ personalities and strive for perfection. Anything less than perfect is a failure to them. Let’s face it, no one is perfect. These people live pressure-packed lives and like to live on the edge. They cherish the adrenaline rush. They love the challenges of pressure. Unfortunately, they are balancing on a double-edged, all or nothing razor’s edge. When things are great they are great. However, when things are less than great, they have polarised their thinking process to equate it with failure and worthlessness. They personalise it. When this happens, they take it to heart and get upset much easier.
It is very important to know your anger type if your anger controls you and runs your life. By identifying your anger type, you can modify thoughts which lead to feelings and make them what you want them to be. Furthermore, by identifying your own anger type it helps you to better understand and deal with angry people in your own life. You can use tools to extinguish anger fires before they escalate and grow out of hand!
In my book, I have researched and concluded 12 distinct different anger types. These 12 are very common. With that said, when I lecture or counsel, the most common ones I hear about or that are growing at the fastest rate are; Road rage, jealousy, moralistic anger, compressive anger and habitual anger.
Road rage is growing perpetuated by lazy, careless drivers and people who like to drive fast. It is a very destructive kind of anger. Jealousy is always a common type of anger. The amount of abuse in domestic relationships is on the rise. Women are fast catching up to men and the number reason is jealousy! Moralistic anger is perpetuated by someone who has felt wronged or exploited and they feel the need to get their message out.
War and terrorism perpetuate it as well as racism and discrimination. Compressive anger is when people just explode. They see red. They go from zero to sixty microseconds. It is very much associated with violence. And habitual anger is for those who just stay angry all of the time. They are usually very depressed and frustrated people. They know no other way.
In my book, What’s Your Anger Type? Featuring Technological Rage: Millennial Anger, I have researched and concluded 12 distinct different anger types, plus new ones that focus on ‘online social media’ and texting. These anger types are very common. The amount of abuse in domestic relationships is on the rise. Women are fast catching up to men and the number reason is jealousy.
Have you been following the acts of ongoing abuse, violence in the news and media? Shootings, political violence, family violence, etc. dominate the headlines. At the root core of all of these issues is anger! First, you need to understand what type of anger you or someone else possesses. Next, you need to know why that anger is there. Finally, there are exceptional ‘tools’ and strategies for modifying and diffusing anger that is out of control. Are you ready to make or be the change that is needed?
Dr Peter Andrew Sacco is also the acclaimed author of What’s Your Anger Type? Revised Edition.