Most research done on anger has concluded that it is a universal emotion. It is common to all of us in one form or another from time to time. We all have bouts of frustrations, annoyances, and emotional explosions or outbursts which can result in enough loss of control to be defined as anger.

Anger also can’t be, or shouldn’t be definitively characterized as good or bad. It is merely a natural emotion. Anger comes in many forms, however, and according to experts, there is no finite list of anger types.

However, there are several types of anger that are more prevalent and commonplace. Those types are outlined below. It should be noted that anger is not normally premeditated, nor is it absolutely indicative of a deeper, more serious mental disorder.

Assertive Anger

This type of anger is the most constructive type and usually produces a positive outcome. It is felt when we are in a situation of injustice or feel threatened in some way that does not prompt physical outbursts of violent behavior, rage, or harsh verbal confrontations. This type is a powerful catalyst for desired change and the least harmful type of anger.

Chronic Anger

One of the least beneficial types of anger is the chronic type. This type is an ongoing, habitual frustration, resentment, or unforgiveness and often results in physical manifestations, such as flushing, extremely increased blood pressure, headaches, muscle tension, jaw-clenching, and sometimes even shaking. It is a very powerful type of anger.

The triggers can be simple, run-of-the-mill happenings that wouldn’t seem to set anyone else off. However, those with chronic anger issues jump first to anger before really assessing the circumstance. Chronic anger isn’t always accompanied by fit-throwing, tantrum-style reactions when triggered. It’s more of a deep-seated, internal anger with outward physical manifestations.

Think of an earthquake; the plates are shifting and moving underground but the general public will only know it’s happening if the vibrations reach the surface.

Judgmental Anger

Not to be confused with moral anger, which results when someone breaks a moral code of ethics, with this type of anger one has a sense of superiority over another’s shortcomings or behavior. The beholder cannot seem to come to terms with their feeling of righteous fury resulting from a perceived injustice. This type of anger is often held inside and improperly addressed if it is addressed at all.

Passive-Aggressive Anger

Prevalent in people who avoid confronting their fears or frustrations, this type of anger is the inability to articulate to another person that they feel wronged, and why. Passive anger can result in dire consequences in personal and professional relationships. Often, the entire point is overlooked or disregarded because of the passive-aggressive manner in which it was delivered.

Self-Abusive Anger

Hopelessness, helplessness, unworthiness, and shame are some of the root causes of this type of anger which can manifest itself in negative self-talk, self-abuse, and substance abuse, or even lashing out at others. These actions are masking an internal battle and can be devastating.

Instead of spewing anger out like hot lava and then moving on, the self-abusive anger type has an inner dialogue constantly feeding negativity to the beholder.

Volatile Anger

As expected, this type of anger can be incredibly destructive to those around them. It seems to come out of nowhere as a result of annoyances both big and petty. Those people affected feel they have to walk on eggshells to avoid setting the person off.

Once this type of anger is unleashed the end result is almost always a sense of calm. Fortunately, there are simple learned techniques that one can use to prevent this type of anger from escalating.

Retaliatory Anger

Nearly all of us have displayed this most common type of anger at one time or another. It is quick to set in and it is our response to another person first lashing out their anger at us. It’s the common immediate response we deliver when someone is angered with us, whether we are in the right or the wrong.

Sometimes the tongue works faster than the brain and logic disappears as anger-filled words are spit like venom.

As stated above, anger is a universal emotion and we all experience it. It presents itself in a whole range of styles, with only a few of them mentioned here. Simply being aware of what sets our anger off can be immensely constructive in lessening its intensity and its destructive outcomes.