Of all the emotions, anger can be the most difficult to manage. Fundamental to our nature, it’s part of being a healthy human, but can effect us adversely when it grows beyond our control. Either it effects a person too intensely than a situation calls for, or we experience it more often than we should. There are many ways that a person can manifest anger, and they don’t all look the way we expect ‘anger’ to typically look. This can lead us to not recognize that we are suffering from anger issues, and prevent us from seeking the help we need to fix them. Understanding the many ways that anger can manifest is the first step to recognizing unhealthy anger in ourselves and loved ones, and finding the anger management techniques that we need to bring ourselves back to health. Capital Choice Counselling offers a variety of Ottawa anger mangement counselling to help you regulate and understand your anger.
The Types of Anger
If deep down you’re feeling resentment over some kind of wrongdoing, but you haven’t made those feelings known, chances are you’re suffering from Passive Anger. These are feelings that, for whatever reason, we don’t feel comfortable discussing in the light of day. Maybe we struggle with confrontation, or we feel that those that wrong us are obligated to approach us in apology without being prompted. Regardless, we have not taken the effort to explicitly acknowledge the thing that is making us upset, and are allowing it to boil within us, hidden from view. As long as it stays hidden, it will negatively impact the quality of our life, and cause us to act in ways that perpetuate our suffering.
Passive Anger leads us to act indirectly aggressive, or ‘passive aggressive’. We do not explicitly express anger, because to do so would invite the confrontation we are so uncomfortable with. Instead, we practice patterns of indirectly ‘getting back’ at the person that is making us so angry. Whether this is something as small as refusing to empty the dishwasher, or more drastic, it is a useless endeavour. Ultimately what we are trying to get from our passive aggressive actions is a return to our peace of mind by restoring a sense of justice. By ‘getting back’ at the person we believe to be the cause of our anger, we hope to balance the scales. Unfortunately, this never works. The passive aggressive sees not emptying the dishwasher as a strong message to another person that they are angry. The other person simply sees that the dishwasher wasn’t emptied.
Those with passive anger manifest passive aggressive behaviors because they are desperately trying to communicate that they are angry, but for some reason aren’t comfortable doing so explicitly. Whats necessary for people in this situation to healthily resolve their anger is to identify precisely why they are so uncomfortable being explicit about their feelings. Once that’s done, they can process this understanding and use it to change their behaviors and actually achieve the resolution they want.
Volatile anger is the most popular characterization of anger, but is more nuanced than most understand. If you or someone you know can be described as a ‘powder keg’, ‘short fused’, or any other term meant to describe someone who often enters a state of explosive fury, chances are they suffer from volatile anger.
Volatile Anger generally manifests in a person according to environmental or emotional ‘cues’. Consider Road Rage, the most common form of explosive anger. While everyone is licensed to a degree of irritation behind the wheel when others are driving poorly, those with volatile anger problems will explode irrationally. What separates a regular driver from one with volatile anger is whether or not their reaction is proportionate with the situation. If your are screaming and fuming because the person in front of you is going 110 when you want to go 120, chances are you are not healthily processing your irritation.
Not recognizing ones chronic predisposition to explosive anger can have terrible consequences. In addition to causing significant and ongoing distress, during episodes of explosion you lose your ability to think rationally, and this can land you in serious trouble. Those with volatile anger are often the aggressor in domestic violence situations, as they lose themselves in their fury and end up hurting the people they love. If you experience an explosion at work, without the tools to control your fury, you can risk your career. The only way to prevent these things is to learn how to healthily process irritation, allow it to vent away as opposed to building up.
If you or someone you know is suffering from issues of volatile anger, consider the value of counselling. They are far from the first or only person to deal with this problem, and with professional counselling they can get access to the knowledge and information they need to solve it.
To someone with chronic anger, the feeling of tension and internal distress associated with anger never seems to end. Often, they don’t even know what it is they’re angry about, but are simply so used to being consistently angry that it becomes a default mental state. Those suffering from chronic anger are in a profound and persistent state of suffering, unable to ever stop being angry. Moreover, they are prone to cardiovascular problems and weakened immune systems, as their bodies are consistently pumping stress hormones day and night.
If you listen to white noise for long enough, eventually you’ll stop hearing it at all. Chronic anger works in a similar way. Those suffering from chronic anger wake up angry. They work angry. They go to bed angry. Day after day, month after month, they are angry; and become so practiced at feeling that way that they forget they’re angry at all, and simply accept the bitterness and resentment they’ve become so used to. They lose awareness of the cause of their anger, and thus lose the ability to do anything about resolving the way they feel.
As you might have guessed, a large part of resolving chronic anger issues have to do with identifying their root causes, and this is no easy task. In some cases, the root cause of a persons chronic anger can stretch back decades, buried under years and years of bitterness. Professional counselling is very recommended for those that suffer from chronic anger, as performing this investigation without a professional assistance can be nearly impossible.
Vengeful anger is when a person feels highly directed fury that borders on obsession. They want to get even with whoever has done them wrong, and they can think of nothing else until they’ve done so or their feeling passes. Until they’ve found their revenge, their desire for it consumes a large part of their life. What these people are not likely to realize it that their anger produces absolutely nothing of value for them, and in fact poisons the quality of their life.
If you ask a person who is in an episode of vengeful fury what they want, chances are they’ll tell you it’s catharsis. Unfortunately, because they’ve chosen revenge as their method of achieving it, the exact opposite happens. Studies have demonstrated that while people generally expect that revenge will lead to peace of mind, after achieving it, it never does. They invest days of tension, stress, and irritation in the pursuit of this goal, and end up getting nothing in return. Whether they are successful or not in revenge, at the end of they day they feel none of the release they are looking for, and are ultimately left worse for having done so.
The key to achieving the release from vengeful anger, it is necessary to learn how to let anger move through you as opposed to staying stuck inside. We recommend seeking out a counselor that can teach you Meditation or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as these are two methods of psychological control that can be tremendously helpful at achieving this.
Manage Anger Better With Capital Choice Counselling.
Above are only 4 of many types of anger that a professional counselor can help those with anger issues process healthily. Unhealthy anger is like drinking poison in order to kill the cause of your stress. Whether you suffer from explosive anger, vengeful anger, chronic anger, or any other form of anger on this list or not; you don’t have to any more.
If you’re looking to stop feeling this way, and are ready to get to the bottom of your anger issues, get in touch with Capital Choice Counselling. We have the tools and knowledge you need to connect with the peace of mind you crave.