Know the Different Types of Anger to Deal With Them Successfully

Different Types of Anger
Aggressive anger is marked by abusive and violent behavior towards the targeted recipient. Whereas, those who exhibit passive anger often convey their displeasure and sometimes prefer not to talk and completely avoid the person who has made them angry.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Tame your Temper
Regularly practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises and yoga can certainly help in managing anger effectively.
Anger is often described as a temporary response to events that hurt us physically, psychologically, or emotionally. Though an integral part of life, anger can be a tricky feeling that is sometimes difficult to handle. As it is often outwardly directed, if not controlled, it can hurt people we love the most. Depending upon its nature, anger can be classified into the following types:
Passive Anger
Passive Anger
In this type of anger, people express their emotion in an indirect way. There is no direct communication, instead it is conveyed sarcastically. Passive anger is also described as a non-verbal form of aggression, since the person may communicate his feeling through negative responses such as through angry gestures. This type of anger is often accompanied by negative body language such as ignoring people, avoiding eye contact or looking away from the person, poor posture, procrastination, and sulking.

In passive anger, people tend to bottle up their negative feeling, rather than venting it out. As a result, there is a drastic change in their behavior such as isolating oneself from friends, which often makes people around uncomfortable. People with this type of anger, appear calm outwardly but they experience inner turmoil and anxiety. They will not talk to the person who made them angry, instead vent out their frustration through indirect channels such as by gossiping or spreading terrible, malicious rumors against him.
Aggressive Anger
Aggressive Anger
Aggressive anger is expressed directly and is often marked by an outburst of negative emotions. This is an extreme form of anger that can spell trouble to whomsoever the anger is directed. This style of anger in individuals makes them shout at and event hit the targeted recipient.
It is an aggressive way of expressing your negative feelings wherein the recipient is threatened, verbally abused, and often manhandled. Road rage incidents are one of the most common examples of the aggressive type of anger. Gestures such as sharp jabbing of the index finger during confrontation are also interpreted as an aggressive form of anger.
Assertive Anger
Assertive Anger
Assertive style of anger is often considered as a healthy way to express anger. Assertive anger directed to an individual is conveyed in the most responsible manner through assertive communication. In this type of anger, aggression or uncontrolled bursts of emotions do not come into picture. As such, there is no damage to the relationship because the person communicates properly about the reason behind his anger and moreover, is ready to take full responsibility if he has made someone angry.
In this type of anger, the individual does not hold any grudge or show disrespect towards the recipient of his anger. People with an assertive style of anger expression do not overact or behave rudely in an anger-inducing situation. Also, unlike in other styles of anger, here there is no scope for misunderstandings due to proper communication.
Retaliatory Anger
As the name suggests, this type of anger arises due to perceived wrongdoings of the recipient of anger. This is a form of aggressive anger that fuels the fire of revenge against the perceived offender. Harassment in any form from the offender or not receiving payment from an organization despite working efficiently are some common causes of retaliatory anger.
Self-inflicted Anger
This form of anger may be described as a self-injury behavior because the individual is angry with himself. This self-directed anger often results in hurting oneself. In this type of anger, the individual tries to punish himself by inflicting wounds to one's own body or by other means such as starvation with the sole intention of self-harm. Having prolonged and excessive guilt feelings is the main reason behind self-inflicted anger. Failing to crack an interview or being unable to complete a given assignment resulting in missed opportunities, often leads to feelings of self-inflicted anger.
Constructive Anger
Anger, when channelized in the right direction can help to make positive changes socially. This is the main purpose of using anger constructively to resolve issues that are affecting day-to-day life. Constructive anger involves making anger your ally and often manifests in the form of protests, for instance against unlawful activities or racial discrimination. Here, one does not personalize the anger but rather focuses on issues that are affecting society as a whole.
Habitual Anger
When an individual starts getting angry over trivial issues, he is said to be habitually angry. These people exhibit a constant expression of anger over little things. No wonder, staying with a habitually angry person can be a headache. As a result, they seem to be in a state of constant anger, which can be unhealthy and can adversely affect their emotional well-being. Keep in mind, anger should be an occasional response but if it starts 'visiting' every now and then, it can become a source of annoyance or rather amusement for others.
Judgmental Anger
People exhibiting this type of anger often misjudge someone and then downgrade him by making insensitive remarks. Their habit of forming a wrong opinion about others makes them resent people. They misjudge people and be-little them.
Paranoid Anger
In this type of anger, the individual tends to show distrust in others or gets suspicious unnecessarily. He feels someone is trying to demean or intimidate him. Feelings of jealousy about others is a hallmark of paranoid anger because the person believes that someone is going to snatch something that truly belongs to him. So jealousy (due to unfounded beliefs) that starts in the mind is often responsible for paranoid anger.
Shame-based Anger
People exhibiting this type of anger simply cannot tolerate criticism. So the recipients of their anger are those who have shamed or embarrassed them through criticism and scathing remarks. Even a small criticism triggers their shame-based anger, which can be volatile and many times violent. For instance, say, you innocently give a nickname to your friend but if that nickname reminds him of a traumatic childhood incident of personal shame, then calling him with that name will set off his shame-based anger.
Considering the different types of anger, one can say that anger can be destructive (which can cause self-harm or harm to others) or constructive, which is positively directed to highlight socially relevant issues. However, it is only through assertive communication that one can calm people who are angry or agitated. Remember, uncontrolled anger can hurt your near and dear ones, whereas controlled anger when expressed properly, can help develop and nurture relationships.