The Four Faces of Anger

When we’re angry, we tend to feel the urge to lash out at someone, often because we feel vulnerable and powerless. However, the longer we hold onto our anger, the bigger trouble it becomes. Anger can cause us to lash out at someone who didn’t mean to hurt us, or it can lead us to take extreme measures to hurt ourselves out of a desire for revenge or to feel powerful or in control. In these situations, we usually don’t even realize what we’re doing or the damage we’re doing to ourselves.


Anger is never easy to understand. It is a complex emotion with a variety of other feelings associated. Anger is not always violent or destructive. The emotions of aggression, rage, hatred, and fear are also part of anger, as are the feelings of sadness, regret, jealousy, and relief. On the one hand, it motivates people to act to protect themselves. On the other, it causes people to act recklessly and incorrectly, which is much more frightening. 


There are four different faces of anger, which can be used to help people understand the different types of anger. They are purposeful, spontaneous, constructive, and destructive. 


Let’s discuss these four faces of anger in brief. 



Anger is a complicated emotion. It can be a helpful motivator, motivating us to work harder and accomplish more. When people hear the word “anger”, they might think of uncontrollable rage, a dark cloud of fury that follows you around and ruins your life. But anger can be a positive emotion. It is not always bad. If you have ever felt angry about something, you know that it can be a powerful and good thing. Anger is a tell-tale sign of a more pressing issue waiting to be resolved. 



Though few people actually articulate it, everyone experiences anger. As humans, we are social creatures, and part of human nature is the desire to express anger in socially appropriate ways. If you are having trouble controlling your anger, you may be experiencing a form of spontaneous anger. Individuals with this form of anger are typically reactive to situations, with little planning, forethought, or consideration for the consequences of their actions.



Anger serves as a motivational agent to direct our attention to the person or situation that has frustrated us, and for us to take action to restore our balance and our sense of well-being. What distinguishes constructive anger from other forms of anger is that it is an emotion that affirms one’s integrity and boundary, while simultaneously not intending to threaten or violate another’s integrity or appropriate boundary. Constructive anger is a form of anger that acknowledges what happened and affirms the boundaries established to protect oneself. People who express anger in a constructive way are able to handle the emotion in a healthy way, so instead of hurtling into a destructive anger-fueled rage, they are able to work through their emotions in an appropriate, healthy way. 



Anger can be destructive because some people have strong physical reactions to anger. For example, when angry people yell and swear, they may physically hunch over and become stiff. Some people get pale and start sweating when they are angry.


Final Words


No one is immune to the destructive power of anger. It is a natural emotion and can be an effective motivator.


To understand the varied nature of anger expression, attend the Compliance Prime webinar. 

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