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Anger And Why It Occurs

What is anger?

Anger is a basic emotion someone experiences when they feel they have been wronged. It is instinctual in nature, stemming from a flight or fight response that comes with the need to protect ourselves. It falls under the domain of other elementary emotions such as happiness, sadness, confusion, and surprise and is perfectly normal to experience.

What does anger feel like?

Do you ever feel like a balloon that’s getting bigger and bigger and one more blow and you will pop? Or perhaps, like a volcano that’s about to erupt? There is the rage that has been building up, and because of the excess heat, it gets blown out of proportion.

There are several other ways to describe anger. You may have heard people say ‘my blood is boiling’, ‘she has a short fuse’, ‘i am red with anger’ or the most common ‘steam is coming out of my ears.’ Ironically, even the human body presents itself through these kinds of physical symptoms such as increased body heat where the face can start to feel hot, or there might be sweating. Ears can start to ring which can feel like steam coming out. It can also take the form of increased blood pressure, increased muscle tension, and spikes in testosterone, and adrenaline. It can also take the form of clenched fists, frowns and a tensed face, tightened jaws, and a pacing heart.

What causes anger?

Have you been cut while driving through traffic? Or experienced a two-wheeler trying to squeeze through? Or the millisecond the lights turn green and bam, everyone is honking. You now find yourself frustrated and angry using all the swear words you know?

For someone to experience anger, there is always a trigger, the personality of the person and how they assess the situation that needs to be taken into consideration.

For example, you get cut off in traffic which triggers you, if you are someone with the personality trait of low tolerance, or wanting control and you feel like somebody is to blame, it can determine your reaction in that situation. A combination of all the three determines anger.

When we speak of emotions, we can categorize them into primary and secondary emotions. Primary emotions are the first response to a situation, they are usually direct emotional reactions. For example, you hear that you got into the top college of your choice and your instant reaction is happiness. Secondary emotions are learned reactions that cover up the more sensitive emotions such as pain, hurt, fear, or embarrassment. Say now that you did not get into your choice of college, you would be sad- which would lead to fear of facing family and feeling embarrassed, which would lead to feelings of anger of thinking you did not work hard enough or lashing out at someone asking for college updates.

What does anger have to do with the color red?

Red is one of the most noticeable colours in the colour spectrum due to its long wavelength. It is frequently employed to alert people to approaching danger because of its capacity to capture people’s attention right away. Consider stop signs, sirens, fire trucks, and red lights on the highway. In a non-literal sense, the colour red is frequently used to denote danger. As an illustration, the expressions “in the red” and “red flag” are used to represent financial loss and a problem with a person or circumstance, respectively.

Given that many people’s faces get red due to increased blood flow when they’re furious, is another reason for this association.

The phrase “seeing red” originates in the bodily manifestations of rage, such as facial and neck redness brought on by high blood pressure and thereby associating red with anger.

Why do we get angry?


Some people have high expectations from those around them. We might expect our partners or friends to know why we’re upset or what to do when we’re upset. But this kind of mentality can always lead to disappointment as it is unrealistic and unfair to the other person. This disappointment can turn into anger through fights or arguments


Going back and forth to the past

You cannot let go and keep reliving your past. As humans we tend to pay more attention to the negatives than the positives, a tendency called the negative bias. You may find yourself holding onto the things your friend said or did to you from some months ago. It’s hurting you and thus it makes you angry.

Making assumptions

Making assumptions in our head in order to get answers or read between the lines leads us nowhere but down a spiral of negative thoughts. We know, we should be communicating but we’d rather just communicate with our own thoughts until we’re now fighting it with anger.

Anger as a defence mechanism

Sometimes, we may find it difficult to express or communicate our needs to the people around us. Other times we may feel like we lack the control we want to exert. In these situations, our anger may be more prominent. Sometimes, we even use anger as a manner of projection. If you are angry with your boss, you then come home and lash out at your partner.

Basing self-esteem off what others think

When you hold your importance, worth, and self-esteem on those around you, you can be easily taken for granted and made to feel small. Having to experience this, can make you want to protect yourself through anger.

It is important to remember, anger is not bad. It is a regular, basic emotion that is commonly experienced. However, the way we choose to express this anger and deal with it is crucial in making it a healthy form of expression or an unhealthy form of expression.

If you are someone who finds it difficult to control your anger and are looking to manage your anger. Do not hesitate to book an appointment with us.

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