Anger is a natural emotional reaction we have all faced when our needs or desires are blocked. It happens when we are confronting an unpleasant situation that is causing frustration or irritation. Anger, like any other emotion, is not the problem, the problem is the way we deal with it. If it is harming us or those around us in some way, it is a sign that we need to adapt new ways to channel our anger become more constructive.
A healthy way in dealing with anger is one which is channelized in a socially acceptable and respectful way. Where some prefer to let it out in sports, others settle for writing, painting, music and many other creative ways. In general, a constructive way to express anger is the assertive way. By being assertive, we are respectful of ourselves as well as the person we are engaging with. Integrity, honesty and respect are key elements of assertive behavior that leads to peaceful and happy life as well as long term healthy relationship. But for those who use destructive ways of dealing with anger, it become a serious challenge.
Below are 7 unhealthy expressions of anger which are the warning signs of anger management problems.
1. Obsessive Anger
It is only human to fear and be angry. The fear of rejection, betrayal, and embarrassment are normal. Feeling envious and jealousy is natural too. However, when these things take over your mind and you are obsessively going through the roller coaster of these emotions, it will make you feel angry and insecure that negatively impact your self-esteem. Rumination over negative and obsessive anger will create additional escalation of hostility, which will later take shape of angry flare-ups and fury. Moreover, chronic and explosive anger problems have the power to not only affect your relationships, but also your mental and physical health.
2. Continual Resentment
Do you forgive people or are you determined to find out whose fault it was? Resentment makes us repetitively replay the undesirable events as well as the feelings of hurt associated with it. The continual resentment and grudges that we keep in our hearts, later on take the form of anger. People start to play the blame game and loathe each other for things they would have done differently. Keeping resentment for long though, will lead to chronic antagonism, and will eventually have an impact on your well-being.
3. Flooded Anger
Once in a while, when we are extremely stressed out, or are overwhelmed with the situation, all hell breaks loose. This is the flooded anger which has some similarity with a temper fit. In this situation, similar to emotional flooding, we don’t have the resources and capacity to deal such anger. We are unable to resolve such difficult issue as we cannot access our rational mind. If you feel that flood anger takes place in your life often, they you better seek help.
4. Verbal Abuse
Verbal abusers often experience anger often. When confronted by conflict in relationship or something upsets the peace of our mind, verbal lashing may be one of our initial fight response. Verbal abuse serves as a mean to have power over someone and to maintain control. However, this method is extreme and cause major escalation and setbacks in relationships. Uncontrolled anger makes us say the meanest things and involves bullying, put down and intimidating behaviors.
5. Aggressive Behavior
Aggressive behavior is a problem when it brings harm to others (we can be also aggressive toward ourselves). It is even more serious when it is regular or frequent. Aggressive actions that stem from our angry thoughts and feelings, such as abuse, fighting, cursing, hitting and slamming objects, pets, or people or desire to inflict harm are detrimental to the well being of others as well ourselves.
6. Passive-Aggressive Behavior
Passive aggressive behavior is method aggression that is designed to be hurtful. Because of it indirect or “sugar coating” way, the aggressive person can deny wrong doing. Many people use passive-aggressive behavior as a coping strategy of avoiding a direct confrontation. These behaviors include portraying indifference towards loved ones, sarcasm, silent treatment, intentional mistakes, deliberate procrastination and measured emotional disregard.
While anger is a feeling, rage is an impulsive aggression and behavior. Rages seriously violet other people boundaries and strongly jeopardize the safety of others. This is an extreme form of anger, where anger governs your mind and body, and you lose contact with what is happening. It is uncontrolled physical as well as psychological response, where the person blurts out all the painful feelings to be extremely aggressive and volcanic. Additionally, an individual might even face a partial or selective amnesia after a rage episode.
Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. When you hold on to anger, it disrupts your harmony, and can also lead to serious psychological disorders such as anxiety disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, personality disorder, and depressive disorder.