Four Incorrect Anger Management Styles

Anger is an invasive emotion. Furthermore, it's extremely important that it's properly expressed. That's because incorrect anger management can end up causing stressful situations.
Four Incorrect Anger Management Styles
Sergio De Dios González

Written and verified by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 13 January, 2022

Anger doesn’t go away on its own. Nor is there any magical way of dealing with it. In fact, when you experience this invasive emotion, it’s extremely important that you express it appropriately. Otherwise, if you employ incorrect anger management it may end up making you really stressed.

Bad anger management is a terrible habit that can lead to disastrous consequences. That’s because anger is one of those invasive emotions that often lead you to act foolishly. Therefore, with incorrect anger management techniques, you frequently say or do things that hurt you or others, including those you love.

Anger may be viewed in a more or less positive light. For example, a yelling boss or stern parent may believe that their outbursts are a sign of their seriousness or commitment. However, uncontrolled anger hardly ever generates anything positive. On the contrary, it hurts and ends up generating more anger in response. This includes feelings of resentment.

For this reason, learning to manage your anger is important. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel it, because anger, like all emotions, in most cases, is a legitimate reaction. What you mustn’t do is let it take control. In other words, don’t let it dictate what you do next. In this article, we’ll show you four incorrect anger management styles.

“Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.”


1. Absolute containment

Absolute containment is never a valid way to manage your anger or other emotions. Indeed, you should never deny what you feel, or avoid your feelings. If you do, you’ll find yourself trapped. As a matter of fact, no kind of repression is ever successful. That’s because the energy that you try to suffocate within yourself always returns in the form of another physical or psychological symptom.

Indeed, biting your lip and trying to move forward as if nothing has happened isn’t right. Nevertheless, what you can do is to preempt those outbursts of anger from turning against you or others. In fact, calmness gives way to a far more conducive setting, one in which you’re able to express your emotions.

Trying to absolutely contain anger is impossible.

2. Turning anger on yourself instead

One of the consequences of repressing the energy that accompanies your anger is that it ends up exploding within you. Because your emotions don’t just disappear from inside you. Furthermore, when you don’t manage them, they end up turning into something even more unwanted. As a matter of fact, anger, if silenced, will turn on you instead.

Depression often masks pent-up anger. The rage is there, but instead of targeting whoever generated it, it may turn on you instead. As a result, self-reproach and resentment appear. These emotions may manifest as migraines, dizziness, and other physical symptoms. For this reason, you shouldn’t lose sight of the source or cause of your anger. Ask yourself what triggered it in the first place.

3. Adopting passive-aggressive attitudes

Passive-aggressive attitudes are those in which your words, gestures, or actions denote anger. However, you don’t directly express it. In effect, your anger is hidden. You disguise it, but you neither channel nor solve it. The most typical example is using hints and indirect comments.

Masking your anger is incorrect because it creates confusion. Both for you and for others. In addition, it’s impossible to openly express your annoyance with hints and indirect comments. On the other hand, due to the volatility of anger, keeping quiet isn’t an option either. Finally, masking anger can lead to unnecessary prolongation of conflict, or be a direct source of new conflict.

Passive agressive attitudes will hold us back.

4. Wrongfully taking anger out on third parties

Sometimes, anger generates chains of aggression that are completely irrational in nature. For example, say a boss annoys their employee. The employee refuses to defend themselves. However, later, when talking to their partner, they take it out on them. The partner doesn’t defend themselves either but starts feeling annoyed at themselves. For this reason, they go home and become excessively intolerant of their younger sibling’s mistakes and they yell at them. The child refuses to defend themselves but later takes the anger out on the dog.

The previous example demonstrates a chain of aggression, in which not one single link was managed properly. In these kinds of cases, someone who’s completely uninvolved in the original dispute may end up paying the price of emotional mismanagement. As you can see, incorrect emotional management can deteriorate complete chains of relationships.

Learning to manage your anger is vital for building healthy environments and more constructive relationships. It’s also important to express your annoyance toward the person who generated those emotions in the first place. For example, you could openly state that you reject unfair, inconsiderate, or disrespectful treatment. It’s recommended that you do this after you’ve regained your composure. However, if this isn’t an option, state your case, unfiltered.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Moreno Loureda, A. (2017). Los cuentos como recurso para trabajar la ira en educación infantil.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.