Anger is an interesting emotion. It is often frowned upon in society and people can feel ashamed about feeling angry.
According to Professor Ephrem Fernandez’s psychological research, anger can be categorised according to six bipolar dimensions of expression. These include:
• The direction of anger (internal vs external)
• The anger reaction (retaliatory vs resistant)
• The mode of anger (physical vs verbal)
• Anger impulsivity (controlled vs uncontrolled)
• Objective of anger (restorative vs punitive
We all have various anger types that we resort to when feeling a sense of injustice, violation, threat, or disrespect. The type of anger we use to express ourselves can depend on our mood and the circumstances we find ourselves in. Anger is neither inherently good nor bad – it is just an emotion. Emotions exist for a reason, they serve as messages. More importantly, Anger is there to signal something to you, it is there to signal that there is a real or imagined threat, violation or injustice. It is our responsibility to listen to our emotions and to determine whether the messages they relay are accurate, and if they require action or not. When we feel angry there is often an urge to do something about it, to protect ourselves. That is why it is an action emotion. So it is important to act on anger! No, I do not mean to hurt someone when you feel angry or to go raging. What I suggest is to acknowledge the anger, reflect on why the anger signal has arisen in your internal system, and consider how intense it is, does the intensity of the emotion align with the perceived violation? Is the trigger about a real violation or has it opened up an old wound in you? Once you have the information you need, then it is time to consider on the action, maybe you decide to show your self-compassion in order to heal, or perhaps talk to be assertive and express your boundaries, or maybe it might help to talk to someone you trust about it, maybe you decide to take up boxing classes, you might want to write some of your feelings down, or participate in yoga or psychological counselling. There are options to heal or help you feel safe again. But do not discount your anger, or suppress it, try to treat it with compassion and respect. Both suppression of anger or chronic displays of aggression/rage can be stressful to our internal system.
What do you do when you get angry? Would love to hear what the emotion of anger feels like in you when it arises?