Anger Responses


Anger is a result of thinking that we have been unfairly treated or disrespected, or that others have broken or fallen short of our rules, standards or expectations, and we won’t stand for it.

Thinking this way leads us to feel angry, which stimulates the body’s adrenaline response which is our body’s way of helping us to cope with either fighting, or running away (‘fight or flight’ response). We respond to those thoughts and feelings, by acting, or feeling an urge to act, in threatening or aggressive ways.

Thoughts that often occur:

  •  I’m being treated unfairly
  •  I’m being disrespected
  •  They’re breaking a rule or standard
  •  I won’t stand for it

Physical Sensations – The Adrenaline Response

When there is real, or we believe there is a real, threat or danger, or that we have to defend or stand up for what we believe is right, our bodies’ automatic survival mechanism kicks in very quickly. This helps energise us to fight or run away (‘fight or flight response’). We will notice lots of physical sensations, which might include:

  •  heart racing or pounding – enabling good blood supply around our bodies
  •  breathing quickly – allowing more oxygen around the body
  •  tense muscles – a state of readiness to fight or flee
  •  shaking
  •  hot, sweating
  •  light-headed
  •  stomach churning or butterflies
  •  fist or teeth clenching

Behaviours might include:

  • staring & angry facial expression
  • aggressive body posture
  • go towards what makes us angry
  • attacking or arguing
  • hitting out (or urge to hit out)
  • shouting, snapping at others
  • running or storming away
  • staying silent, inwardly seething
  • door slamming, making lots of noise
  • sulking

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