What Are the Different Causes of Anger?

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  • Written By: Rhonda Rivera
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 10 June 2019
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Some different causes of anger are frustration, perceived slights, and other people’s anger. Many people who experience anger are also frustrated or annoyed due to everyday circumstances. Perceived slights can also trigger an angry response from a person, though feelings of confusion or hurt are also normal. Among the common causes of anger is ill treatment, such as definite slights against a person, or outbursts of anger from other people. There is such a thing as healthy anger, but healthy people are not angry all, or even most, of the time.

Frustration is a major contributor to anger because the person is usually presented with a problem he or she cannot solve right away. This problem might be that he or she is stuck in traffic, cannot complete a difficult homework project, or someone is not listening. Frustration can bring a mix of emotions to the surface, like impatience and a feeling of helplessness, that might be expressed through angry words, thoughts, or actions.


Perceived slights is also among one of the most common causes of anger. Sometimes people get angry because someone said one thing, but it was perceived as a different thing. For example, the statement “That is a unique piece of clothing” might be meant as a compliment because the speaker prefers outfits that stand out in a crowd, but the receiver of the compliment can misinterpret the compliment as a passive aggressive insult. The same can be true for actions in addition to statements and questions. Better communication can be key to avoiding negative emotions associated with misunderstandings.

Other causes of anger are ill treatment by others, including being the target of someone else’s anger. Anger can be an automatic response to strong, uncomfortable emotions from others. In addition, anger is a normal and usually healthy reaction to being treated in a wrong or unfair way.

Everyone gets angry over something, and the healthiest ways of dealing with that anger is a mixture of venting and relaxing. A popular myth is that the best way to deal with anger is to vent, but experts say that always venting can make people even angrier and their lives shorter. Likewise, always bottling up anger is also bad for a person’s health. If a person is unable to deal with his or her anger in a constructive way or feels angry most of the day, he or she may have an anger management problem. Anger management problems can be treated with professional help, time, and dedication to solving the problem.



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