Over the next few blogs I will be addressing the emotion and attitude of anger. Anger itself is not a sin, but often times our anger leads us to do sinful things. This is what the Bible is referring to when it says, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you” (Eph. 4:26; Ps. 4:4). Let’s identify eleven different types of anger.

It goes without saying that anger is one of those emotions that can be destructive and lead to various problems if it goes unchecked. One of the first steps in dealing with anger is being able to recognize it in yourself. See if you can identify with any of the types of anger below.

Behavioral Anger

This anger usually describes someone who is aggressive physically towards whatever triggered their anger, whether a person or an object. When one’s anger is directed toward an object (like a computer not working correctly) they will either hit the keys harder, slam the lid shut in frustration, or throw it across the room. When this anger is directed toward a person pushing, punching, slapping, or physically controlling the other person may occur.

Passive Anger

These are people who use sarcasm or mockery as a way to hide their feelings. Even though they may use sarcasm, they tend to avoid confrontation with people or in situations.

Verbal Anger

This is anger that’s expressed mostly through words and not actions. Verbal abuse is used to criticize and insult people (put them down) and complain. The goal with verbal anger is to hurt or punish someone with words.

Constructive Anger

This type of anger is a key factor in driving people to want to join movements and groups. It’s the feeling of being fed up with how things are going, and the need to make a positive change. Even though this anger can be helpful, it can be used to lead people to join movements that have questionable ways of bringing about change.

Self-inflicted Anger

This is anger that translates in causing harm to one’s own body. People who experience this type of anger are angry at themselves and choose to punish themselves for what they have done. This punishment usually shows up in forms similar to starvation, cutting, or overeating.

Chronic Anger

This person may be angry for no reason or they are easily angered over little things. They seem to be mad, irritated, annoyed, and frustrated most of the time.

Judgmental Anger

Even though closely related to passive anger, this anger focuses on putting other people down and making them feel worthless. This anger attempts to make people feel insignificant because they are not pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough, or good enough in some way.

Overwhelming Anger

This person relieves stress by getting upset and maybe even shouting, and flying off the handle when they can’t cope with situations and things that are happening around them. When things seem out of control or overwhelming they lash out in some way.

Retaliatory Anger

This anger usually occurs as a direct response to someone else lashing out at you. It’s to return anger with anger. Often times, the retaliatory anger is greater than the original anger of the other person.

Paranoid Anger

This anger comes about when someone feels jealous or envious of another. They either want what someone else wants or feel threatened by others who want what they want resulting in various expressions of anger. People can become angry toward another because they want the other person’s position on the team, their cubical at work, their company car, or their pew at church.

Deliberate Anger

This is using anger to gain power over a situation or person. A person expressing this form of anger may not start out angry, but will get angry when something does not turn out the way they wanted. To them, anger is a tool to manipulate people or a situation for control.

Questions to Consider:

  • Do you recognize any of the types of anger in your life? Which ones?
  • Why do you think you express that anger?
  • Have you hurt anyone in anyway (physically, mentally, emotionally) with your expression of anger? If so, do you need to apologize and ask forgiveness from that person?