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What Is Anger Made Of?

Updated on December 18, 2020
denise.w.anderson profile image

An Education Specialist, Denise teaches the principles of Emotional Health for the establishment and maintenance of high quality families.

Anger is a Strong Emotion

The Overstuffed Bag of Negative Emotions.
The Overstuffed Bag of Negative Emotions. | Source

Anger is Unresolved Negative Emotion

Anger is a strong emotion. It occurs when we are faced with situations or behaviors we do not like or agree with. The automatic reaction to these situations is a strong negative feeling that permeates us. Anger is both psychological and physiological, therefore it affects us totally: i.e. our physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual well being. Anger can result from a combination of two or more emotions that become jumbled or stacked on top of one another. These emotions, left unresolved, fester and grow.


Disappointment is the let down that occurs when we expect something to happen and it does not. Examples are: a phone call not returned from a friend, a paycheck that is late, or a child not doing a household chore. The event that was expected brings high hopes and anticipation, then when it does not take place, the resulting feelings are of low self-worth and dislike for the person or party that did not follow through.

Disappointment will happen because the world is not perfect. Allowing feelings of disappointment to fester gives rise to anger. Instead of becoming angry, recognize disappointment for what it is. Accept it as a part of life. Work with others in setting realistic expectations and feelings of anger and frustration will be minimized.

Anger Turned Inward
Anger Turned Inward | Source

The Desire for Control

Control comes from two different sources, inside or outside. Inward control is control of ourselves. Unfortunately, the desire for self-control often leads to perfectionism. The perfectionist desires control to the point that ideals become a sword with which cut ourselves down. Self-criticism and self-condemnation lead to a chronically angry disposition and the adoption of self-destructive habits.

Outward control is control by others, or our own desire to control others. The desire for power and control increases greatly if we do not have control of our own appetites and passions. Checking our motives will help us discover whether control is an issue. Both inner and outer control can be checked by seeking to understand and persuade rather than to manipulate and control.

Unresolved Guilt

There are two types of guilt, productive and unproductive. Productive guilt leads to a change of actions and is the first step in the repentance process. Self-searching and analysis follow, along with recognition of wrong and remorse for the pain and suffering caused. Eventually, a desire is kindled to restore that which was lost, seek forgiveness and resolve to change for the better.

Unproductive guilt turns us inward, attacking ourselves and destroying rather than changing. Conflicting circumstances often bring unproductive guilt. Looking at the long-term implications of the problem will help. Ten or twenty years later in life, what decision will have the most positive consequences? Find out what others have done and how they felt afterward helps. Project into the future and ask, “What will I wish I had done?” In this way, unproductive guilt changes to positive action, and peace of mind follows.

The Angry Outburst
The Angry Outburst | Source


Stress occurs when we see more to do than the amount of time we are given. We feel an intense pressure to either perform or abandon, to fight or flee. The adrenal glands are pumping adrenalin into the blood system and the nerves are on edge. Stress is the opposite of relaxation. Unresolved stress leads to anger.

If we try to identify the stressor and deal with it immediately, stressful feelings will be minimized. Our personal stress increases when energy levels are low. Lack of sleep, poor nutritional habits, and lack of exercise also increases stress. Personal resiliency to stress increases with good personal habits, decision-making and conflict resolution skills.


We become frustrated when we are dissatisfied with the process or outcome experienced. When relationships do not go the direction we expect them to, it is easy to become frustrated. Working at a job where we do not have the knowledge or proper tools to complete it in an acceptable manner brings automatic frustration.

Asking for help when it is needed keeps frustration from becoming anger. It means setting aside our pride, and developing humility, yet the outcome is worth the effort. We may have to put our own desires off for a time, but we will find that the resulting knowledge and understanding paves the way for better times ahead.

What is your anger made of?

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Lack of Time and Resources

Lack of time and resources cause a pre-occupation of the mind to the point that personal or family needs become oblivious and unattended. Blaming is a natural tendency if there are circumstances out of our control that contribute to lack of resources. Anger may be directed toward society, the workplace, and even the government.

Unfortunately, the situation is often worsened by the abuse of chemicals that increase the inability to cope. Turn around this type of situation by getting needed assistance. Let go of the blame. Give it to God and let him deal with it. Ask for his help in improving the situation. He will guide and direct us to the resources we need. Once we let go of the blame, we will find additional time for learning.

Unresolved Negative Emotions

Anger is one or more negative emotions that are left unresolved over a period of time. Much like an allergic reaction, the body can tolerate a certain level of the allergen or substance. The reaction happens only when the level is past the point of tolerance. People who are very sensitive reach the toleration point sooner than others. Watch for the following emotions as well:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Blaming others
  • Criticism
  • Fault-finding
  • Discontentment
  • Making assumptions
  • Embarrassment
  • Unresolved past hurt

Everyone is different. Understanding our own sensitivities and reactions to others will help us understand and deal with anger. The key is recognizing what the emotion is and resolving it rather than allowing it to fester. Once anger builds up, it must be released, and the result can be devastating. Allowing it to turn inward is just as harmful. Far better is the ability to recognize that negativity is a part of life and must be dealt with, just as the cold and snow of winter. We cannot make January go away by tearing it off of the calendar, rather we become stronger, wiser, and better, in our ability to handle the negative.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Denise W Anderson


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    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting MDavisatTIERS. Anger was a big issue for me for a long time. It wasn't until I realized that it was made up of a lot of other things that I was able to get past it. Now, I am able to recognize these other emotions when they happen, and life is much more pleasant!

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Very helpful and insightful article; look forward to reading more of your Hubs this weekend, Denise. I appreciate how thorough you were in breaking down various aspects of anger. I really believe that when we can isolate, identify, and relate to a particular feature of “anger", and have concrete negative and positive outcomes, as you have stated, it makes “working on ourselves” easier. Thank you for an excellent Hub.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Anger is addressed in the scriptures in many instances. The Savior himself tells us that not only is the expression of anger inappropriate, but thoughts of anger. In order for us to keep anger from consuming us, we need to understand and deal with those emotions that feed it. Any unresolved negative emotion will turn into anger. As we learn to deal with our feelings as they happen, we can keep anger at bay.

    • lemmyC profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      This is one emotion to which the Creator advised a man about in the scripturer. I give you the assignment to find the verse of the scripture and who the man is. I think the take of this article and the advise the Creator gave to the man is an example for us all to follow. Thank you!

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, Lady_E. Anger is probably the number one cause of family dysfunction. When we learn to recognize and handle negative emotion in a productive way, anger becomes a non-issue.

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      This is an eye opener. Anger has so many other negative side effects. I've learnt more about it. Thanks for sharing.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      That is right. There is no such thing as being home free in this life. They say, life is like shaving, no matter how well we do it one day, we have to get up and do it again the next!

    • www.lookseenow profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks Denise, but he will not give up, just having concluded all the temptation, retires from us until another convenient time.—Luke 4:13.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for reminding us, Lookseenow, of the importance of turning to God when it comes to change. He is the author and finisher of all change. Only when we involve prayer, repentance, faith, and the atoning blood of our Savior, can we totally become a new creature!

    • www.lookseenow profile image


      9 years ago

      How is it that the word of God is alive, and exerts power? A speaker quotes a Bible verse but does not have Bible opened—he’s quoting from memory. You don’t have to be reading from an opened Bible quoting from it, and not necessarily verbatim it still becomes alive.

      For example the speaker quotes from Philippians 4:7 mentioning the peace of God that excels all thought. Well I know that verse, it’s one of my favorites, but his scriptural application that he added made that verse come alive by what he next said. It’s the tranquility that comes over some who suffer a crisis. It’s the tranquility that exists in the mind, but it’s source is from God, an his word enabling a sufferer to deal with whatever not being anxious over anything but in everything let your petitions be mde known to God.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I appreciate your comment Sandy. One of the reasons anger is such a difficult emotion is that it is cumulative. The residue of many emotions over time become the basis for anger. It is necessary to unravel the layers and deal with the various emotions one at a time, then the anger will subside.

    • Sandy Frost profile image

      Sandy Frost 

      9 years ago from India

      Yes, very true words. Controlling anger is just like controlling other emotions but this is one which tries to rule over us in a consecutive way because the reasons behind are long-lasting ones. This can be a frustration related to our past and comes in our remembrance time to time or this can be a situation which triggers this emotion everytime when we cope with a particular stressful situation again and again but find that we're not able to resolve this solely, then anger plays game.

      Well, very nice dichotomy of anger and an awesome hub. :) Many thanks, voted up.

    • denise.w.anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise W Anderson 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for your comments, Express 10 and Eliza. The goal is to recognize and work through emotions before they become anger. Life is much more pleasant that way. Physical activity and creativity are ways it can be done, as well as talking, journaling, visualization, listening to music, changing focus, reading, and praying.

    • profile image

      Eliza Anderson 

      9 years ago

      Talking things over with the person who is hurting you and reconciling to them can help to let go of the anger toward that person. Also asking them for forgiveness and forgiving yourself can help.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      9 years ago from East Coast

      Anger can be released through physical and creative works as well as talking through issues or simply being alone. This is a very informative hub.


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