What’s Your Anger Style?
“Anyone can become angry- that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way- that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy.” Aristotle
Each person has their own way of dealing with anger. Most of us lean to one particular style but depending on the situation or the trigger that creates the anger we may react differently. Often, additional conflict can occur when our anger style is different from our romantic partners, close friends, or family. This is usually when people realize it might be time to seek some anger management help. So which type are you?
Lock it up
This is the type that becomes silent and traps all the anger inside. Often this type will become emotionally withdrawn, give the silent treatment or become anxious or ill. This style denies or minimize how intense they are feeling their anger to themselves and others.
The problem with this anger management style is that the person begins to deny how intensely they are experiencing a strong emotion. The anger often bottles up until it’s too much to handle and they explode on someone, something, or themselves. They will usually feel scared or tell themselves that if they allow this anger to seep out that they will lose control. Or perhaps they don’t know how to deal with strong feelings. Many times, people with this style of anger believe that people will not like them if they show their anger. They are fearful they may hurt someone or offend someone. Eventually someone with this style will either explode or it will turn depression or substance use if not properly managed.
Let it Fly
This anger style does not hold back. You know when you’re angry and you’ll let other people know as well. Typically, people who exhibit this anger style will blow up. They will get into arguments and be aggressive, physically or emotionally. Swearing, threats, and shouting typically occur. For some people with this anger style, the
y may break things. It is common for individuals with this style to fly off the handle at small things and bring up grievances from the past.
The good thing about this type is that you will never have to guess what they’re feeling or what another person is feeling. You know that they are angry. Many times, this style comes from a person’s need to assert power over others or try to control a situation. They have a hard time being wrong and become defensive quickly. People with this style do not know how to communicate calmly when angry and feel out of control easily when feeling angry.
People with a managing style of anger typically remain relatively calm when feeling angry. This style allows discussion to happen and respects the other parties’ opinion, even if they don’t agree with it. You’ll hear “I” statements during a conflict, for example “I feel anger when…” This style recognizes the importance to only focusing on one grievance at a time.
People with this style recognize the difference between anger and aggression. Anger is a normal and natural feeling all humans experience. Aggression is the expression of that anger. The person proactively attempts to solve the problem that is causing their anger. Or if the situation is out of control, they utilize healthy coping skills to manage it. People with this style manage their anger appropriately and want to also express their anger appropriately.
If you have identified with anger style lock it up (1) or let it fly (2), you may benefit from some anger management counseling. Anger management counseling helps teach you the skills to better handle the emotion of anger in a healthy way. You will see improved relationships, lower stress, and a feeling of peace. Let’s get started– there’s no better time!