10 Types of Anger That Most People Don't Know

Anger is a complex and universal emotion, and its manifestations can vary widely from person to person. Mental health practitioners have identified over a dozen different types of anger. If you're having trouble understanding what's causing your heightened anger, know that you're not alone in this struggle. There is evidence from a variety of sources that we are indeed becoming more angry than ever before.


A thorough understanding of the type of anger you are experiencing is essential to developing effective strategies for managing and expressing this emotion safely and effectively, safeguarding both your well-being and your relationships. Continue reading to learn about the various types of rage and how to control each one.

Related: 8 Mental Disorders That Hide Behind Ordinary Behaviors

1. Assertive anger

Assertive Anger

Assertive anger is an extremely productive way of expressing one's emotions. Those who use this method use frustration or rage as a catalyst for constructive transformation. Instead of avoiding confrontation, internalizing anger, or resorting to verbal and physical hostility, those who express assertive anger do so in a way that fosters constructive development. This approach allows for the expression of wants, bringing people closer to meeting their needs without creating unnecessary grief or destruction. 

Assertive anger expression allows you to address personal desires while still respecting the rights and boundaries of others.

2. Behavioral anger

Behavioral anger

Behavioral aggression is the intentional choice to respond physically to the emotion of rage. This way of expressing anger is characterized by aggressive and, in extreme cases, violent physical actions. In this sense, aggression refers to actions with the express goal of causing injury to an unwilling party. Examples include breaking or tossing objects, as well as engaging in physical intimidation or assault.

Resorting to behavioral aggression as a method of expressing anger often results in undesirable legal and interpersonal consequences. This unpredictable and impulsive behavior diminishes your capacity to cultivate relationships built on trust and respect.

3. Chronic anger

Chronic anger

Chronic anger is a negative way of expressing anger. Chronic anger, in contrast to the fleeting character of some emotional outbursts, involves people clinging onto their feelings of resentment. Its not a passing phase; rather, it shows as a persistent sense of bitterness and irritation toward those around them, their circumstances, or their own internal battle.

Being perpetually angry not only produces chronic unhappiness and anger but also poses serious risks to both mental and physical health. The consequences may include increased anxiety, worsening depression, gastrointestinal issues, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes.

4. Judgmental anger

Judgmental anger

Moral or judgmental anger, often known as righteous anger, is triggered by an actual or seeming injustice against oneself or others. It might also be triggered by witnessing a moral defect in another person. Despite the perceived justification, people experiencing this anger may find themselves in a state of isolation.

This is a common type of anger. You've probably seen a relative or a friend who simply refuses to admit that they could be at fault. When something goes wrong and they become upset, their first instinct is to pass judgment on how everything went wrong due to the other person and they did nothing wrong.

5. Overwhelmed anger

Overwhelmed anger

Overwhelmed anger is a type of uncontrollable anger that happens when we feel a lack of control over a situation, causing feelings of despair and hopelessness. This type of anger can happen when we have taken on too many tasks or when unexpected life events disturb our typical stress-coping techniques. In this scenario, anger serves as an emotional beacon, suggesting that even if we are unable to express our anger properly, we may not have enough resilience to cope with the growing stressors.

6. Passive-aggressive anger

Passive-aggressive anger

Passive-aggressive behavior becomes the default mode for those who want to avoid confrontations by exemplifying an avoidant show of rage. People with this trait will usually go to considerable lengths to conceal or repress any sentiments of dissatisfaction or rage. This type of anger can be shown verbally through sarcasm, pointed silence, or subtle ridicule, as well as through behavioral patterns such as continuous procrastination at work. 

Surprisingly, people displaying passive-aggressive anger may be unaware that their acts are being seen as hostile, perhaps leading to serious personal and professional consequences.

Related: This Will Change Your Perspective On Anger

7. Self-abusive anger

Self-abusive anger represents a form of anger deeply entwined with shame. If you've been dealing with thoughts of hopelessness, unworthiness, humiliation, or shame, you may have internalized them. Internalization can often be seen in negative self-talk, self-harming behaviors, substance abuse, or disordered eating. In addition, it may lead to people projecting their inner troubles onto others in order to cover their own lowered self-worth, thereby intensifying feelings of detachment.

8. Retaliatory anger

Retaliatory anger

Retaliatory anger is a common instinctive response when faced with confrontation or attack. This form of rage is often motivated by a desire for vengeance and is rooted in perceived injustice. Its goal, whether premeditated or impulsive, is to assert control over a situation and scare others. Retaliatory rage, paradoxically, typically increases tensions rather than resolving the underlying difficulties.

9. Volatile anger

Volatile anger is a particularly destructive form of anger that appears to appear out of nowhere. Everything goes well until the person blows up and a minor incident occurs. They cool off just as rapidly as they heat up. This is one of the most damaging sorts of anger issues because it makes others around you always cautious about not invoking your wrath. You've probably seen a friend or relative who is fine and friendly until they lose their cool over a minor issue and then quickly get back to normal.

10. Verbal anger

Verbal anger

As the name suggests, verbal anger is anger that manifests itself through verbal interchange. Verbal anger often results in people feeling remorseful after unleashing their rage at someone. Post-episode, an apology may follow as those experiencing this form of anger acknowledge its impact. Loud and aggressive shouting, threats, the use of sarcasm, continuous and harsh criticism, and the imposition of mockery are all behaviors linked with verbal rage. Allowing verbal anger to fester can result in verbal abuse, hampering the development and maintenance of solid and healthy relationships.

Understanding and managing your anger

It's important to acknowledge that unaddressed anger, no matter where it comes from, can have negative effects on both your mental well-being and your relationships with others. When anger turns into displaced anger, it can be even more damaging. This is why it's important to take action and seek help if you're struggling with anger. If left unchecked, anger can contribute to persistent health issues.

Related: 8 Useful Tips That Will Help You Tame Your Anger!

One effective way to manage anger is to collaborate with a therapist. A therapist can help you recognize specific anger disorders, understand what triggers your anger, and give you tools to manage it effectively. If you've tried self-administered strategies and they haven't worked, exploring therapy, including online options, can offer a convenient avenue for seeking support. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.

Sources: APA PsycNetModern TherapyCREducationCalm Sage, Anger Management ResourceSemantic ScholarSage Journals

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