Anger is a powerful emotion that can shape our relationships. Our experiences with anger may leave us seeing it as being positive or negative and shape our use of it. However anger is neutral. Anger is ok. It is how we use and respond to anger that can be positive or negative. For many the response to anger may be negative more times than not. “Stuffing” and “Escalating” are two common anger styles.

Is stuffing your anger style?

Do you tend to avoid direct confrontation?

Do you deny that you get angry?

Do you know that you have the right to be angry?

Reasons people stuff:

  • Fear of hurting or offending people
  • Fear of being disliked or rejected
  • Fear of losing control
  • Feeling it’s not okay to be angry
  • Unable to cope with this intense emotion
  • Fear of damaging and even losing a relationship

Consequences of stuffing:

  • Anger comes out regardless
  • Impairs relationships
  • Can affect physical and mental health
  • Issues are not properly resolved
  • Your needs may not get met

Is escalating to rage your anger style?

Do you try to stay in control but lose it?

Do you blame and even shame the person you’re angry with?

Do you find yourself in abusive situations?

Reasons why people escalate:

  • Believe there is no other option
  • To show that you’re strong/powerful
  • Avoid expressing underlying emotions
  • Fear of getting close to someone
  • Inadequate communication skills

Consequences of escalating:

  • Desired results my be short-term
  • Possible physical destruction
  • Impairs relationships
  • Can affect physical and mental health
  • Possible legal ramifications

Stuffing and escalating anger are learned responses. Learned responses can serve a purpose; they can help us to stay safe and help us navigate our world. However in the wrong setting, our learned responses may put us at a disadvantage. But with any learned response, it can be unlearned. Though difficult, it is possible to learn a new way to handle anger and often learning a more healthy and adaptive way of expressing your emotions can lead to a more satisfying life.

At Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services, we have experienced therapists that work with individuals to help them clarify their anger style, and subsequently learn ways to manage their emotional expression more productively. Learning how to manage anger can help provide a richer sense of self and thereby help to build richer relationships. If you would like to find out more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us at 267-861-3685.