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What Is Anger Made Of?

Updated on February 27, 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.

What is anger made of, made of? What is anger made of?

Disappointment, blame, frustration, stress, guilt, embarrassment, criticism, lack of control, hurt, discouragement, contention, discontentment, lack of time or resources, fault-finding, personal weakness, inability to express thoughts, and being overwhelmed.

That is what anger is made of.

Anger is a strong emotion. It occurs when you are faced with situations or behaviors you do not like or agree with. The automatic reaction to these situations is a strong negative feeling that permeates you. Anger is both psychological and physiological, therefore is affects you totally: i.e. your 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.

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


Disappointment is the let down that occurs when you expect something to happen and it does not. Examples are: a phone call from a friend, a paycheck that is late, a spouse or 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.

Unclear expectations breed disappointment. A parent who expects his or her child to do well in school, but does not let the child know of the expectation is bound to be disappointed. A child who expects his or her parent to give a ride after a school activity but does not make the proper arrangements may become disillusioned with the parent when the ride is not there.

Expectations clearly stated in the beginning do not guarantee that the job will be done to your satisfaction. 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. Teach others what you want them to do. Work with them in setting realistic expectations. As a result, your feelings of anger and frustration will be minimized.

Unresolved Guilt

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

Unproductive guilt turns you inward, attacking yourself and destroying rather than changing. Conflicting circumstances often bring unproductive guilt. One example is the mother with young children. She feels a desire to assist with the family income through meaningful employment, yet has small children in her care. If she decides to work, she feels guilty about not being at home with her children. If she decides to stay home, she feels guilty for not contributing to the family income.

Unproductive guilt results from questioning a natural law. Looking at the long-term implications of the problem will help you identify the law. Ten or twenty years later in your life, what decision will have the most positive consequences? Find out what others have done and how they felt afterward helps. Project yourself 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.

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 yourself by you. Be careful that your desire for self-control does not lead to perfectionism. The perfectionist desires control to the point that ideals become a sword with which to cut him or her self 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 your own desire to control others. When you try to control others by anger and manipulation, or use larger size or higher authority to make them do what you want, your relationship with the other person is damaged. They may decide to avoid you because of the continual confrontation.

The desire for power and control increases greatly if the individual does not have control of their own appetites and passions. For example, the alcoholic spouse often becomes abusive. People in co-dependent relationships become controlling when they realize that their actions deeply affect the other party. Greed leads to control for the sake of gaining more money and power.

Check your motives to 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.


You become frustrated when you are dissatisfied with the process or outcome you experience. When relationships do not go the direction you expect them to, it is easy to become frustrated. Working at a job where you do not have the knowledge or proper tools to complete it in an acceptable manner will bring automatic frustration. A person lacking in skills will not always understand the reason for the frustration, but if it continues to occur, anger follows.

Continually experiencing a negative outcome, no matter the area of life, will likely bring frustration. A coach, teacher, or parent, may sense frustration in others. Teach the skills that are lacking, thus building a relationship of trust with the person being taught. The same is true with an employer or supervisor who is sensitive to the needs of his or her employees.

Teach others to ask for help when it is needed, rather than allowing frustration to become anger. Asking for help takes humility or a lack of pride. It may seem difficult, but it is a refining process. There are certain times in life when skills are more easily taught. Take advantage of the time when people are in a skill-receptive state. Allow them to ask questions and learn, rather than brushing them off. You may have to put off your own desires for a time, but you will find that the desired knowledge and understanding is preparation for that which follows.

The Angry Outburst
The Angry Outburst | Source


Stress is seeing more than you can do in the amount of time you are given. You 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.

It is not always possible to remove the stressor. Stop and try to identify the stressor. In most situations, there are one or maybe two things that bring a climax to the stress. Identify these and deal with them immediately. The stressful feelings will be minimized.

Your personal stress will increase when your energy levels are low. Lack of sleep, poor nutritional habits, and lack of exercise will create stress in your life whereas the opposite will help deal with it. Personal resiliency to stress increases with good decision-making and conflict resolution skills.

Spiritual well-being assists in dealing with stress. Quiet mediation on spiritual things brings emotional resiliency and knowledge in dealing with the ills of life. Good music provides a spiritual atmosphere that keeps the environment relatively stress-free.

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 your control that contribute to your 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 you to the resources you need. Once you let go of the blame, you 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 your own sensitivities and your reactions to others will help you understand and deal with your 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. As Jim Rohn says, 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.

What is your anger made of?

See results

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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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


      7 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 

      8 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


      8 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 

      8 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


      8 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 

      8 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


      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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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