ten different styles of expressing anger; this may help you identify your type
and help you stop it.
How angry are you?
There are so many frustrations in our daily lives; one could easily become
chronically irritated. Perhaps more important than the variety of things that
anger us, is (1) the intensity of our anger and (2) the degree of control we
have over our anger. That is, how close are we to losing control? About two-
thirds of the students in my classes feel the need to gain more control over
How much of a temper do you have? Ask yourself these kind of questions:
Do you have a quick or a hot temper? Do you suppress or hide
your anger (passive-aggressive or victim)?
Do you get irritated when someone gets in your way? fails to
give you credit for your work? criticizes your looks or opinions
or work? gives themselves advantages over you?
Do you get angry at yourself when you make a foolish mistake?
do poorly in front of others? put off important things? do
something against your morals or better judgment?
Do you drink alcohol or use drugs? Do you get angry or mellow
when you are high? Research clearly shows that alcohol and
drugs are linked with aggression. Drinking decreases our
judgment and increases our impulsiveness, so watch out.
You probably have a pretty accurate picture of your temper. But check your
opinion against the opinion of you held by relatives and friends. There also are
several tests that measure anger, e.g. Spielberger (1988) and by DiGiuseppe &
Tafrate (2003). The latter scale has 18 subscales but only takes 20 minutes.
A case of jealous anger
Tony and Jane had gone together a long time, long enough to wear off the
thrill and take each other for granted. The place where this was most
apparent was at dances and parties. Tony was very outgoing. He liked to
"circulate" and meet people, so he would leave Jane with a couple of her
friends and he would go visit all his old buddies. This bothered Jane; she
would have liked to go along. But what really bothered Jane was Tony's eye
for beautiful women. As he moved around greeting his friends, he looked for
the best-looking, relatively unattached woman there. Tony was nice looking, a
good dancer, and not at all shy. He'd introduce himself, find out about the
woman, tell some funny stories about what he had done, and, if it were a
dance, ask her to dance. Eventually, he would excuse himself and come back
over to Jane and her friends. He just enjoyed meeting new people and
dancing or parties.
Jane resented this routine. She had told Tony how she felt many times.
He told her that she was being ridiculous. Jane felt much more anger, hurt,
jealousy, and distrust inside than she let show. She was usually quiet and