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The Four Types of Anger and How to Deal with Them

Updated: Jan 15

When you think about anger, you probably picture a red-faced person screaming about something. Unless you’re an actor or have a role as the angry character in a play, that image doesn’t come up very often. Most people probably don’t deal with anger on a daily basis; however, it can be an essential part of human interaction and relationships. If you feel angry frequently or are dealing with an influx of anger, it might be helpful to know exactly what types of anger exist and how to handle them. There are four different types of anger:

The first type of anger is known as adaptive anger.

First, let’s start with adaptive anger. This is the type of anger that is helpful and necessary to achieve your goals and desires. This can be a reaction to a situation in which you have been wronged or feel that someone has treated you unfairly. This type of anger can be very helpful, especially as it relates to your health. Research has shown that people who experience brief episodes of anger are less likely to get sick. Anger can also reduce your risk of certain diseases like heart disease and reduce your risk of mortality. That being said, adaptive anger is a good thing that can be used positively and productively. This type of anger is different from the other three because it isn’t prompted by injustice or a desire to control someone. Instead, it’s a reaction to things like a biological or psychological trigger, or something that is important to you. For instance, if you’re allergic to dogs but someone brings one close to you without warning, you may feel anger. It’s a natural reaction to something that you think is wrong and that you have no control over. This is one of the more beneficial types of anger.

The second type of anger is called righteous indignation.

When you feel angry about something that isn’t wrong, but you feel you should be angry about it anyway, you’re experiencing righteous indignation. This isn’t helpful in any way and can lead to violence. This type of anger is commonly experienced by people who are either in an abusive relationship or have a strong desire to control others. People who are experiencing this type of anger often find that they’re easily provoked. They may be quick to fly off the handle at or say inappropriate things to other people. It’s important to understand that this is typically a reaction to feeling like you’re being disrespected or treated unfairly. This is something that you need to pay attention to as soon as it starts manifesting itself. You don’t want to get to the point where you’re making irrational decisions or hurting people. If you find yourself feeling this type of anger, you may have a desire to control others. It’s important to step back and reassess the situation. Ask yourself if there really is something that you need to be angry about. If not, you may want to take a step back before you cause more harm than good.

Coercive Anger

This is the anger you feel when you have control over the person you’re angry with. If you’re coercing someone, you’re attempting to force them to do something. People who feel this type of anger often feel as though they’ve been wronged but have no way of taking control of the situation. This is a tricky form of anger because you may not realize that you’re doing it. It’s important to be aware of your own feelings and how they affect your thoughts and actions. If you feel the need to control someone, it’s important to bring it to light. Ask yourself why you’re feeling this way and how you can address it. You don’t want to hurt anyone or yourself. This type of anger usually stems from a feeling that you’re being disrespected or treated unfairly.

Violent Aggression

Violent aggression is anger in its most extreme form. You may feel this type of anger when you have no way of controlling your situation or someone else. Again, this is a reaction to a feeling of being disrespected or treated unfairly. This type of anger can lead to thoughts of suicide or homicide, and it can be very difficult to deal with. If you’re feeling extreme anger and have no outlet, it’s important to seek help. You don’t want to do something you’ll regret later and you don’t want to hurt anyone. It’s important to understand the difference between feeling this type of anger and feeling coercion. Coercion is about controlling another person, while violent aggression is about releasing your own anger. It’s important to remember that violence will only make you feel worse and it won’t solve your problem.

How to Deal With Each Type of Anger

Now that you know what each type of anger is, you’ll want to know how to deal with them. Remember, the best way to deal with anger is to avoid it in the first place. If you find yourself feeling anger, let it pass. Don’t dwell on it or attempt to force it to go away; instead, let it move through you. You don’t want to keep it trapped inside you and you don’t want to let it out. It’s important to address the cause of your anger and talk to people about it. Don’t bottle your anger up inside you; doing so will only make it worse. Instead, talk to someone you trust or a therapist. It’s important to find healthy ways to deal with anger and to understand it. When you know what type of anger you’re experiencing, it’s easier to manage and control it.

Bottom-line takeaway:

Sometimes we are able to proactively work to reduce our anger and the likelihood that it might get us into trouble, other times anger may have gotten the best of us, and we wind up in the court system as a result. Advent eLearning has the resources you need. Our online anger management classes teach students to understand their unhealthy approach to anger and learn techniques to change their response to frustrating situations. The coursework is appropriate for a number of misdemeanor aggression offenses, family violence and abuse cases, and common sanction applications.

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