Today it is common to hear that anger is associated with people who have a strong character. These are individuals who, in trying to establish their authority and firm temperament, are susceptible to showing choleretic attitudes. Anger generally begins from situations that are not favorable and generate discomfort.
There are multiple myths and confusions regarding anger and other emotions such as rage or hatred. Although they are closely related to each other, they are independent concepts. In this case, anger defines the feeling of not being able to satisfy or achieve a goal, it is a normal reaction to frustration and adversity.
People who experience anger frequently tend to be angry and may adopt aggressive attitudes. But also, due to the impulsiveness of their decisions and actions, they do not consider the possible consequences and long-term repercussions. It is characterized by being a difficult emotion to handle . It begins with an explosiveness that allows you to feel relief, but eventually the brevity of this phase is replaced by guilt, shame and sadness.
What is anger in psychology?
Anger is a type of basic emotion characterized by having symptoms that can be considered negative. That is to say, contrary to emotions such as joy and love; in this case, impulsive and dysfunctional behavioral changes are observed . Anger also plays a fundamental role in relation to survival, because it helps us react to what is happening in the environment.
Functions can be classified into two groups: functional and dysfunctional. Anger ranks in the second category because of its long-term repercussions and consequences. Its symptoms or characteristics usually have considerable variability in terms of time, intention, frequency and intensity. Each person experiences anger in a different and very particular way, it always depends on the stimulus to which they react.
From the point of view of psychology, this is an emotion that allows us to adaptively face any situation. This means that we largely adapt to the consequences of actions that are intended to defend ourselves and set limits . But even anger works as a means of escape and self-protection against an attack.
However, mention is usually made of the negative consequences of anger. Currently, people show dysfunctional reactions , which cannot be handled in an adequate way. Consequently, there is always the risk factor for physical and emotional damage. This is the main reason why anger often causes problems in interpersonal relationships.
What are their characteristics?
Anger is often described as an emotion that causes the inability to control aggressive behaviors and impulses. The most common is that it leads to situations that get out of control, but it can also be the cause of sadness and guilt. It is an emotional state that has ups and downs in its intensity qualities, it can start as a mild discomfort, which eventually changes to a more intense psychological state.
Anger instinctively generates changes in the organism and in the psychological resources of the individual. This occurs automatically in the face of stimuli that have been identified as a threat. That is why an unconscious process begins where physical and psychic survival prevails. Its main characteristic are cognitive changes, such as physiological arousal and a high degree of intensity in behavioral expression.
Anger can be identified in two distinctive ways: internal anger and external anger. The first is recognized because it is experienced more intensely and usually consists of suppressing feelings that are not expressed verbally or physically. In the second, aggressive behaviors are observed that are usually directed at specific people or situations.
It is important to mention the anger and rage that are directly connected to anger. Affected people will begin to plan strategies that will aim to eliminate or counterattack what generates this emotion. By solving the problem that has caused them, the intensity and duration of anger can be reduced, the goal is to experience satisfaction.
What are your causes?
Anger in most cases arises as a reaction or response to a frustrating or threatening situation. This occurs occasionally so it cannot be considered a big problem, however when it becomes recurring it must be addressed and resolved. It is associated with character traits that indicate that instincts and attitudes such as irritability and resentment are highly developed.
Therefore, anger develops out of displeasure ; it originates from an unconscious and uncontrollable impulse to eliminate what causes it. However, the consequences and potential risks of impulsive decisions and actions are not measured. Feelings such as anger and rage that are also associated with this emotion are expressed.
Identifying what are the causes that have generated anger involves trying to understand which are the situations that affect each person the most. Conflict situations such as stress are generally associated , these can be of a different nature and depend on one’s own perception.
If we feel hurt or, on the other hand, it is difficult for us to achieve a goal, consequently we can feel anger. Certain circumstances can keep us predisposed to react in a particular way, which is why anger is considered a protection mechanism . However, by trying to defend ourselves, we can cause damage to third parties without measuring the consequences.
What are its consequences?
The main priority of a person with anger is to solve the problematic situation that has generated this emotion. Physiologically, changes occur that mainly affect the central nervous system. That is why we observe symptoms such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. But there is even an increase in the levels of hormones such as adrenaline.
When the consequences are mentioned, they usually have a direct connection to the dysfunctional expression that generates anger. This means that it is an emotion of great impact not only on a personal level, but also in the social structure. This is well exemplified in cases of domestic violence that unfortunately are very frequent today.
Various types of social problems such as racism and xenophobia also have their origins in anger. Due to the low tolerance for frustration, people will show their worst in situations that they have considered unfair. That is why deficiencies in communication and the impossibility of executing assertive actions and decisions ; they generally have negative consequences for everyone involved.
The importance of recognizing anger lies in identifying its negative effects. It is important to learn to control the symptoms and manage the emotion properly, for this it is important that people learn to express themselves in a firm way without being aggressive. When there is a good relationship and communication, situations of this type can be avoided.
It is also common for people not to take responsibility and recognize the results of their violent behavior. When there are deficiencies in the control of one’s emotions, their effects will generally have negative repercussions on the environment. The key is to know how to express needs, feelings and ideas in the most appropriate way.
Likewise, you must be aware of all the false beliefs that can influence the development of this emotion. Anger usually generates reactions such as yelling, hitting, insulting and getting heated; it is very intense and it is increasing. Having good emotional management allows you to eventually become more efficient in finding and applying solutions to conflicts .
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.