Can you be angry without being agressive?

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I used to have a pretty bad temper. A temper so bad, you’d think I had horrible parents. And that couldn’t be further from the truth; my parents are wonderful, caring, kind and extremely understanding people. Naturally, they bore an evil (teenage) daughter who only realised the error of her ways when she met a boy from a faraway land. But this isn’t about our story.

As someone who always chose to be aggressive in the past (not that I knew it at the time but I’ve since learned that it is a choice you make), I understand how easy it seems sometimes. But as someone who now always chooses (or at least tries to choose) to be patient, I can assure you it’s much easier to remain calm. You feel less stressed, you get less headaches, you get heartburn less often, you get sick less often, you can probably give up smoking more easily (I say probably because I’m not a ‘true’ smoker so I can’t say for sure) and people will always find it pleasant to be around you.

I know it’s hard to remain calm when someone else is already shoving their anger down your throat, but you can do it. Just take a few seconds, take a few deep breaths, and think about something that always makes you happy. While this can result in the other person getting even angrier than before, the hope is that they too will calm down so you can both deal with the situation like the adults that you are. The key is not to condescend them in anyway while you remain calm. Besides if you’re doing that you’re being passive-aggressive, and look there’s that ‘a’ word again.

There are a lot of reasons why I decided to write a post on this issue. I drive almost every day, and I get to watch road rage rear it’s ugly head for the stupidest reasons. Even online, people feel the need to express themselves aggressively when they find someone with an opinion different to theirs. I’m sure I could go on with examples but I’d really rather not.

I’m not saying that we can’t ever get angry, there is a time and a place to be angry. But you don’t have to be aggressive in showing it. Why can’t you be angry without yelling? Or why can’t you be angry without demeaning someone? Why can’t you be angry without disrespect someone? There are ways to be angry, and show your anger without being aggressive. This was a really hard lesson for me to learn, and I’m still trying to gather my thoughts on how I was able to make the change in my behaviour. But I think that it’s something that’ll be worth your while to explore, even if only for your peace of mind.

How do you feel about aggression?

responses to “Can you be angry without being agressive?” 11

  1. Well, to answer your last question, I had written a post in advance because I was psychic and knew this question was coming.

    You’re right. Your actions from anger are choices, they’re something that you can control. Some, choose not to, unfortunately.

    You’re also right in suggesting that even if we’re angry, we should try to be the bigger person. Two angry people can’t get anywhere if the only things being yelled out are insults. I’ve learned that once an angry person has his defenses up, there’s no getting passed that until he cools down, so yelling back does nothing.

    I choose to yell in important situations, in situations that need yelling because the other person, angry or not, is not understanding how upset I am.

    Oh, and road rage. Lol. I yell a lot when I’m on the road. I don’t act on it, but lots of “What the hell are you doing?!?” “Stupid driver…”

    Overall, being angry is fine, but acting on it rashly is not okay, especially if it hurts other people or yourself.

    (This reminds me of an episode in “House” where there was a patient who never got angry… and by never, I mean never.)

    Marias last blog post..Excusing Anger

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  3. No, they worm their way into my life somehow.

    Periapexs last blog post..“Who Is That Cutie?”

  4. That’s really smart Jazz, but I got given out to for doing something similar – mostly because I wouldn’t walk away so much as I would storm off and I suppose it’s not exactly the same thing is it? hehe Needless to say I don’t storm off anymore.

  5. As a kid I used to have a bit of a temper, but now I walk away from the situation if I get really angry. Just to avoid doing anything I would regret.

  6. Michael – I didn’t know one could be aggresive inconspicuously?

    Monique – That’s a bit different though, not giving a damn about what someone thinks is perfectly understandable! But I just don’t like it when a situation can be approached with calm and understanding but a person chooses to go on the offensive without knowing the whole story… you know what I mean?

    Peri – So am I to understand that you simply attract passive aggressive people into your life?

    Chris – Hehe I’ve been thinking about taking up kick boxing. I have a feeling it will fix everything in my life!

  7. I’ve always had problems with anger+aggression growing up. It took alot of maturity to learn to control and harness that anger properly. I hit the weights alot and I’ve noticed I’ve calmed down quite a bit.

    trenchs last blog post..The Incredible Hulk (Theaters)

  8. I find passive-aggressive behaviour more difficult to deal with actually. Had a roommate who was manipulative this way. Took me a long time to figure out how to deal with him. Then I had a business partner who was passive aggressive as well. I ended up getting out of that partnership because of the stress it caused me.

    Periapexs last blog post..An Open Letter to Our Landscaper.

  9. When I am very very very angry I usually get quiet and withdraw myself from the situation. I will usually cry before I will scream, and my friends and family know if I am mad and crying, they should just leave me alone.

    I’m not a very agressive or mean person, but people tell me (and I know its 100% true) that I have an major attitude problem. It’s kind of hard for people to fight with me when I really don’t give two hoots what they think anyway.

    Moniques last blog post..95 Questions … Not Really

  10. I’ve never been aggressive conspicuously in my life. It’s just not in my personality.

    Michaels last blog post..Trio of Super-Earths

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