What Is Anger?
When something interferes with your achievement of a goal or desire, the developing frustration results in a feeling of tension and hostility. That feeling is referred to as anger.
Example 1, Lucille wanted to clean the kitchen but her husband insisted that she rest instead. Lucille felt she was being treated like a child, viewed her husband's attitude as condescending, and became very angry.
Example 2, Susan just got a call from her doctor's office canceling her appointment for the next day. Susan had been anxiously awaiting the day of the appointment and became angry about the unexpected change.
Example 3, George watched from the sideline as his two roommates played tennis. George felt angry because his physical limitations prevented him from participating.
Example 4, John's mother told him he would be more healthy if he took better care of himself. The comment made John angry.
Three Types Of Anger
Rage is the expression of violent, uncontrolled anger. Rage is an outward expression of anger and can result in a visible, often destructive, explosion. If Lucille (in example 1) took the plate she had in her hand and threw it against the wall causing it to break into pieces as a reaction to her husband's suggestion, this behavior would exhibit rage.
Resentment is the feeling of anger directed towards a person or object which is suppressed and kept inside. It is a feeling which smolders and feels uncomfortable, and can possibly create more physiological and psychological damage. If John (in example 4) listened to his mother's comment but did not respond by explaining the reality to her, he would harbor feelings of resentment.
Indignation is regarded as appropriate, controlled, positive type of anger. Though Susan felt like screaming when the doctor's office canceled her appointment (in example 2), she calmly told the secretary she was disappointed but understood and rescheduled the appointment.
The three types of anger (rage, resentment, and indignation) can occur separately or in combination, depending on the situation. With an understanding of the different types of anger, it may become easier to deal with situations which provoke these feelings.
Anger exists in the mind and is a direct result of your thoughts. An event does not make you angry, but your interpretation of the event and how you think and feel can lead to anger. Certain things can be done to make the feelings of anger more controllable and manageable.
Step 1- Admit you are angry. Recognizing that you are angry is the first step in dealing with it. Some people find it difficult to admit they are angry perhaps because they view their feelings as inappropriate or not valid. These people may deny their feelings therefore choosing not to deal with them.
Step 2- Identify the source of the anger. Realizing what is causing you to feel angry is important in dealing with the real problem. Often the real problem can be confused with other issues or other emotions. In example 1, is Lucille truly angry with her husband or is she angry because her illness is an interference in her daily routine? If Lucille is misdirecting her anger at her husband rather than the true source, the problem becomes compounded.
Step 3 - Feeling angry?.....Why? Recognizing the reason for your feelings of anger is an important step in dealing with the anger. After analyzing the reasons, you will decide in your mind if the anger is reasonable or justifiable. If you decide the anger is unrealistic you can diffuse the feelings. If you decide the anger is realistic, you can better decide how to deal with your feelings.