Grouping the Styles Anger 1. Masked Anger 2. Explosive Anger 3. Chronic Anger 1. Masked Anger – Anger is masked when people don’t realize that they are angry or when they severely underestimate their anger. 2. Explosive Anger – People with explosive anger are know by the quick, exaggerated & sometimes dangerous character of their anger. 3. Chronic Anger – People with chronic anger stew in their anger for long periods. They can’t let go of their anger as easily as those with any of the other styles. ANGER STYLES QUIZ 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 I try never to get angry. I get really nervous when other are angry. I feel I’m doing something bad when I get angry. I tell people I’ll do what they want, but then I often forget I say things like “yeah, but…” and “I’ll do it later”. People tell me I must be angry but I’m not sure why. I get jealous a lot, even when there is no reason. I don’t trust people very much. Sometimes it feels like people are out to get me. My anger comes on really fast. I act before I think when I get angry.
My anger goes away very quickly after I explode I get very angry when people criticize me. People say I am easily hurt and oversensitive I get angry when I feel bad about myself I get mad in order to get what I want I try to scare others with my anger I can pretend to be very mad when I’m really OK. Sometimes I get angry just for the excitement or action I like the strong feelings that come with my anger. My anger takes over and I go out of control. I seem to get angry all the time. I just can’t break the habit of getting angry a lot.
I get mad without thinking – it just happens I become very angry when I defend my beliefs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No 26 27 28 29 30 I feel outraged about what others try to get away with. I always know I’m right in an argument. I hang onto my anger for a long time. I have a hard time forgiving people. I hate people for what they’ve done to me. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No 10 WAYS TO OVERCOME ANGER Questions 1-3: Anger Avoidance
Sally says she’ll meet Joe for lunch. But she doesn’t show up. It’s the third time in a row, but is Joe angry? Of course not. He never gets mad, he says, Joe would feel like a bad person if he got angry. Anger avoider doesn’t like anger much. Some avoiders are afraid of their anger, or the anger of others. Anger seems too scary to touch. They’re scared of losing control if they get mad, of letting out the monster inside them. Other avoider thinks that it’s bad to be angry. They’ve learned sayings like “Only doge get mad” and “Be nice, don’t be angry. ” They hide from their anger because they want to be like.
Anger avoiders gain the sense of being a good or nice person because they don’t get mad. That helps them feel safe and calm. Anger avoiders have problems, though. They often don’t feel anger even when something is wrong, so anger doesn’t help them survive. Also, they can’t be assertive, because they feel too guilty when they say what they want. Too often the result is that they are walked over by others. Questions 4-6: SNEAKY ANGER The church ladies are calling again. They want Ruth to make sandwiches for 100 people next week at the social. Ruth has other plans, but she says OK.
The day of the picnic comes, and no Ruth. She just forgot, She explains when they call, and now there isn’t time. Too bad, but they’ll have to do something else. Anger sneaks never let other know they are angry. In fact, sometimes they don’t even know how angry they are. But the anger comes out “sideways” when they forget things a lot, or say “Yeah, but…” over and over instead of doing anything, or when they simply sit around and frustrate everybody in their families. When others get mad at them, anger sneaks can look hurt and innocent. “Why are you getting mad at me? ” they ask. I haven’t done anything. ” And that’s the problem. Because they are angry, anger sneaks don’t do what they are asked or told to do, but they don’t tell anybody about their resentments. Anger sneaks gain a sense of control over their lives when they frustrate others. By doing little or nothing, or by putting things off, they thwart other people’s plans. In addition, they can be angry without having to admit it. “It’s not my fault you expect too much from me,” they say. Questions 7-9: PARANOID ANGER Howard loves Millie. But he’s scared he’ll lose her. That’s why he follows her everywhere.
That’s why he asks her all those questions. And he flies into a rage whenever she even glances at another man. He’s so jealous he’s driving Millie crazy. She just told him that if he can’t control his temper she’s going to break off their relationship. Jealousy isn’t Howard’s only problem. He’s also suspicious a lot, often believing that others are talking about him behind his back. He doesn’t trust many people, and sometimes he wonders what others are going to do next to hurt him. Frequently he accuses others of being angry or being out to “screw” him, but they usually deny it.
This is paranoid anger. It occurs when someone feels irrationally threatened by others. Those with paranoia see aggression everywhere. They are certain that people want to take what is theirs. They expect others will attack them physically or verbally. Because of this belief, they spend much time jealously guarding and defending what they think is theirs – the love of their partner (real or imagined), their money, or their valuables, for example. People with paranoid anger give their anger away. They think everybody else is angry instead of acknowledging their own rage.
Since they think others are attacking them, they believe they must defend themselves. They have found a way to get angry without guilt. Their anger is disguised as self – protection. Paranoid anger is expensive, though. Paranoids are insecure. They trust nobody. Worse, they have poor judgment because they confuse their own feelings with those of others. They see their own anger in the eyes and words of their friends, mates, and coworkers. That leaves them (and everybody else) confused. Questions 10-12: SUDDEN ANGER Martha is furious. Her mother experts her to mover out of the house some day. How dare she!
Martha’s instantly enraged. She’s yelling and throwing things, beating her fists on the wall. Her rage only lasts a few minutes, but by then her mom is crying and running out the door. People with sudden anger are like thunderstorms on a summer day. They zoom in from nowhere, blast everything in sight, and then vanish. Sometimes it’s only thunder and lightning, a big show that soon blows away. But often people get hurt, homes are broken up, and things are damaged that will take a long time to repair. People with sudden anger gain a surge of power. They release all their feelings, so they feel good or relieved.
They “let it all hang out,” for better or worse. Loss of control is a major problem with sudden anger. People with sudden anger can be dangerous to themselves and others. They may get violent. They say and do things they later regret, but by then it’s too late to take them back. Questions 13-15: SHAME-BASED ANGER Mary’s husband Bill drives over to pick her up. When he gets there he forgets to ask her how she enjoyed the movie. “Well, that’s proof he doesn’t love me,” She thinks to herself. “If he cared, he’d want to know about my day. Boy, does that burn me up! People who need a lot of attention or are very sensitive to criticism often develop this anger style. The slightest criticism sets off their own shame. Unfortunately, they don’t like themselves very much. They feel worthless, not good enough, broken, unlovable. So when somebody ignores them or says something negative they take it as proof that the other person dislikes them as much as they dislike themselves. But that gets them really angry, so they lash out. They think: “You made me feel awful, so I’m gonna hurt you back. ” People with this anger style play hot potato with their shame.
They get rid of their shame by blaming, criticizing, and ridiculing others. Their anger helps them get revenge against anybody they think shamed them. They avoid their own feelings of inadequacy by shaming others. Raging against others to hid shame doesn’t work very well. Those with shame-based anger end up attacking the people they love. Meanwhile, they continue to be oversensitive to insults because of their poor self-image. Their anger and loss of control only makes them feel worse about themselves. Questions 16-18: DELIBERATE ANGER William wants sex tonight. His wife says no.
He starts to pout, and then accuses her of being cold. He looks awfully angry, almost out of control. Odd, though, that when his wife gives in and says she’ll go to bed with him, her anger vanishes. How can someone be terribly angry one second and totally calm the next? Deliberate anger is planned. People who use anger this way usually know what they are doing. They aren’t really emotional about their anger, at least not at first. They like controlling others, and the best way they’ve discovered to do that is with anger and, sometimes violence. Power and control are what people gain from deliberate anger.
Their goal is to get what they want by threatening or overpowering others. Deliberate anger may work for a while. However, this style usually breaks down in the long run. People don’t like to be bullied, and eventually they figure out ways to escape or get back at the bully. Questions 19-21: ADDICTIVE ANGER Melinda is a rageaholic. She feels depressed a lot, bored with her life. But once in a while she gets bent out of shape and really blows up. “You know what,” she told us, “I really feel alive when I get into a fight. That adrenaline rush is great. That’s the only time I feel excited. Some people want or need the strong feelings that come with anger. They like the intensity even if they don’t like the trouble their anger causes them. Their angry is much more than a bad habit – it provides emotional excitement. Anger isn’t fun, but it is powerful. Rageaholics like forward to the anger “rush,” the emotional “high. ” These people will have trouble giving up their anger. Like those who cling to gambling, cocaine, or risk-taking behaviors, their lives seem dull without these periods of tremendous feeling. Anger addicts gain a surge of intensity and emotional power when they explode.
They feel alive and full of energy. Addictions are inevitably painful and damaging. Anger addiction is no exception. Anger addicts don’t learn other ways to feel good, so they become dependent upon their anger. They pick fights just to get high on anger. And, since they need intensity, their anger takes on an all-or-none pattern that creates more problems that it solves. Questions 22-24: HABITUAL ANGER Ralph is really getting tired of being angry with his kids, but he can’t stop it. Every night, like clockwork, he comes home and starts screaming at them. He’s angry before he even get in the door.
And when the kids give him that “Oh, there he goes again” look, he gets even angrier. Anger can become bad habit. Habitually angry people find themselves getting angry often, usually about small things that don’t bother others. They wake up grumpy. They go through the day looking for fights. They look for the worst in everything and everybody. They usually go to bed pissed off about something. They might even have angry dreams. Their angry thoughts set them up for more and more arguments. They can’t seem to quit being angry, even though they are unhappy. Habitually angry people gain predictability.
They always know what they feel (because their main feeling is anger). Life may be lousy but it is known, safe, and steady. Habitually angry people get trapped in their anger. Anger runs their lives. They can’t even get close to the people they love because their anger keep them away. Questions 25-27: MORAL ANGER Joan is a crusader. She’s always fighting for a cause. Today it’s one thing, tomorrow another. But whatever it is, she’s absolutely certain she is on the side of justice. She gets furious with those who think differently than she does. Joan wears the cloak of righteousness as if it were designed by her personal tailor.
Some people think they have a right to be angry when others have broken a rule. That makes the offender’s bad, evil, wicked, sinful. They have to be scolded, maybe punished. They have to be brought back in line. People with this anger style feel outraged about what those bad people are doing. They say they aren’t angry for themselves. They just have to fight to defend their beliefs. They claim moral superiority. Morally angry people gain the sense that their anger is for a good cause. They don’t feel guilty when they get angry because of this. Indeed, they often feel superior to others even in their anger. Yes, I’m angry,” say the crusader, “but I’ve got a good reason. I’m defending a good cause, so I have a right to get mad. These people suffer from black-and-white thinking, which means they see the world too simply. They fail to understand people who are different from themselves. They often have rigid ways of thinking and doing things. Another problem with this anger style is crusading- attacking every problem or difference of opinion with moral anger when compromise or understanding might be better. Questions 28-30: HATE Mona is going through the world’s messiest divorce.
She’s on the sand now, testifying against he husband. But look at her face. You can see the hate in her eyes. She would say anything to hurt him, whether or not it’s true. Hate is hardened anger. It is a nasty anger style that happens when someone decides that at least one other person is totally evil or bad. Forgiving the other person seems impossible. Instead, the hater vows to despise the offender. Hate starts as angry that doesn’t that get resolved. Then it becomes resentment, and then a true hatred punish the offender, and sometimes they act on those ideas. People who hate gain the feeling that they are innocent victims.
They create a world of enemies to fight, and they attack them with great vigor and enthusiasm. However, hatred causes serious damage over time. Haters can’t let go or get on with life. They become bitter and frustrated. Their lives become mean, small, and narrow. HEALTHY ANGER Anger is a tricky emotion, difficult to use well until you learn how. It is a real help, though, as long as you don’t get trapped in any of the anger styles we’ve introduced here. People who use anger well have a healthy or “normal” relationship with their anger. They think about anger in the following characteristic ways. Anger is treated as a normal part of life. • Anger is an accurate signal of real problems in a person’s life. • Angry actions are screened carefully; you needn’t automatically get angry just because you could. • Anger is expressed in moderation so there is no loss of control. • The goal is to solve problems, not just to express anger. • Anger is clearly stated in ways that other can understand. • Anger is temporary. It can be relinquished once an issue is resolved. When you practice good anger skills you never need to use your anger as an excuse. You can take responsibility for what you say and do, even when you are mad.
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