The anger spectrum

Posted on: May 12, 2007

The anger spectrum


We are all familiar with the terms hot, medium and mild. Theses words are often used to degree of spice in certain types of Asian cuisine. However they are also useful in discussed the spectrum of anger responses. Many assume that anger management is only for the start raving mad however in the spectrum of anger there is the mild, medium and the hot. Those who fall in the category of hot are easy to identify. Their facial expressions and body language communicates aggression all the time. They are aggressive verbally and physically and they either isolate themselves or they are simply avoided. Some studies also indicate that this kind of sustained anger can lead to heart attacks and multiple health problems. Theses individuals definitely do get their anger out but in the most inappropriate ways.

On the other end of the spectrum are the mild individuals. These individuals may not display overt anger outburst but are passive aggressive. They mumble and complain but they never confront the source or their anger. They may also experience physical symptom of stress. A good example of this would be the Gieco cavemen. Make no mistake anger management is still appropriate in this case.

In the middle are those in the medium category–this maybe harder to define. These individuals are neither always explosive or implosive. They are a combination of both. They can explode at the drop of a hat but in other situations fail to confront the source of their anger. This may be the most dangerous category of individuals because of their unpredictability. As one looks at these three categories it is clear that anger management is needed in each case.

My preferred anger management model is the Anderson and Anderson model which teaches not only anger management but communication skills, stress management and emotional intelligence. In every case anger management can teach skills to improve how an individual expresses unmet needs.

Carlos Todd, LPC, NCC, CAMF

President of the American Association of Anger Management Providers.

Carlos Todd is the owner of Todd’s Anger Management Solutions in
Charlotte, NC


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