Anger is one of the many emotions that people may be confronted with when they interact with dying, death and grieving. The anger of the person dying, the anger of the family about their loved-one been taken, anger about the unspoken words, and the anger of not understanding.
What is ANGER?
Anger has been described in different ways by different sources and different kind of sources. Scientific, psychological, self-help, religious, all have a different approach to anger, its symptoms and its treatment.
Two of the descriptions accepted by a larger public are:
- Anger is an automatic response to ill treatment. It is the way a person indicates he or she will not tolerate certain types of behaviour. It is a feedback mechanism in which an unpleasant stimulus is met with an unpleasant response.
- Anger is an emotion related to one's psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied and a tendency to undo that by retaliation.
Some more scientific approaches are:
- Anger is a normal emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a
perceived provocation. R. Novaco recognized three modalities of anger: cognitive (appraisals), somatic-affective (tension and agitations) and behavioural (withdrawal and antagonism).
- Some view anger as part of the fight or flight brain response to the perceived threat of harm.
- Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviourally, cognitively, and physiologically when a
person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behaviour of
another outside force.
Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. The external expression of anger can be found in facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and at times in public
acts of aggression. Humans and animals for example make loud sounds, attempt to look physically larger, bare their teeth, and stare. The behaviours associated with anger are designed to warn aggressors to stop their threatening behaviour. Rarely does a physical altercation occur without the prior expression of anger by at least one of the participants.
While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them," psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observation. Modern psychologists view anger as a primary, natural, and mature emotion experienced by virtually all humans at times,
and as something that has functional value for survival. Anger can mobilize psychological
resources for corrective action. Uncontrolled anger can, however, negatively affect personal or
While many philosophers and writers have warned against the spontaneous and uncontrolled fits of anger, there has been disagreement over the intrinsic value of anger. Dealing with anger has been addressed in the writings of the earliest philosophers up to modern times. Modern psychologists, in contrast to the earlier writers, have also pointed out the possible harmful effects of suppression of anger. Displays of anger can be used as a manipulation strategy for social influence. Anger is an emotional or behavioural reaction of displeasure to an unmet expectation, demand or belief. Anger has three components: thinking, feeling and acting.
The above descriptions lead to the question if there are different types of anger. Over time three
types of anger are recognized by psychologists, which are described as follows:
-The first form of anger, named "hasty and sudden anger is connected to the impulse for self-
preservation. It is shared between humans and non-human animals and occurs when tormented or
-The second type of anger is named "settled and deliberate" anger and is a reaction to perceived deliberate harm or unfair treatment by others. The first and the second forms of anger are
- The third type of anger is called dispositional and is related more to character traits than to
instincts or cognitions. Irritability, sullenness and churlishness are examples of the last form of
anger. It seems that anger is:
1. An automatic response;
2. A feedback mechanism;
3. A normal emotion;
4. A strong uncomfortable and emotional response;
5. A reaction of fight or flight;
6. A conscious choice;
7. A public act of aggression;
8. A manipulation strategy;
9. An emotional or behavioural reaction of displeasure;
10. An impulse of self-preservation;
11. A reaction to perceived deliberate harm or unfair treatment by others;
12. And that anger comes not alone or unprovoked.