Social Question

nebule's avatar

Is there or can there be a physiological reason why people take their anger out on other people?

Asked by nebule (16436points) November 26th, 2009

I’m not talking about physical abuse here because I think that’s a whole deeper discussion…I’m talking about verbal abuse mainly. Verbal insults, shouting, raising voices, swear words…seem a much more common form of peoples expression of anger to me.

Do you know if there is a physical reason why people need to express anger and often do it through words, raising their voices etc?

Do you think that verbal release of anger is only a step away from the physical form of abuse anyway?

Is it an effective form of anger release? Are other forms of getting rid of anger as effective as anger expressed to/ at other people? if you believe it is…?

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15 Answers

gemiwing's avatar

People who yell/insult others are abusing people. It’s soul murdering to scream and terrify another human being. There’s simply no need.

If someone has an issue with ‘needing’ to yell, scream, insult and bully others verbally then I strongly recommend they visit a psychologist for their personality disorder. It’s not healthy to have so much anger/rage inside that you explode over little things.

nebule's avatar

@gemiwing I did class it as abuse, wasn’t sure if you were insinuating that I wasn’t or not…:-/

gemiwing's avatar

@lynneblundell Oh no, sorry- I’m up too early. I only meant to reiterate the point. I agree with all the points you’ve made in your question. shuffles off in bunny slippers for more coffee

nimarka1's avatar

my father is emotionally abusive and very manipulative, reason why i leave with my mother. But it’s so they feel better about themsevles. They get off, or they get like a high bringing people down. It’s as if they enjoy it, and they feed off of it. The person is so down and so angry, the only way they can feel better is making others worse, and they enjoy every minute of it.

nebule's avatar

lol @gemiwing hee hee, I need more coffee too!!!

noraasnave's avatar

I know that when I am angry at a situation that happens in my life or at a person I am really angry at myself for my role or indifference in that situation, or in regards to a person my permission for them to know enough information to hurt me.

I remember when I was in Iraq last time one of my peers repeatedly would come sit down and talk to me, then a few hours or a day later would use information I had shared with him in confidence to hurt my feelings in anger to try and get my aquiesence on a certain course of action.

In other words, he might say something like this: (raised voice) “I need your Marines to do X (some crap job), I don’t care if you wife is cheating on you, it is no excuse for your Marines to sit there and do nothing, they should do work even if you are not.”

I would get intensely angry, which I would vent to a true friend of mine. It was during one of these sessions of sharing that I realized that I was mostly angry at myself for sharing that information with him. So it took some practice and some planning, but I stopped sharing information with this person and started confronting him about being unprofessional and the dynamic changed.

Mostly I find that I get angry because I let people in my boundaries too fast. I have been learning quickly that it doesn’t matter who a person is or what their title is that they have to prove they deserve to be let into any boundaries that are closer in than aquaintance, kind of like a security clearance for my heart. This last year I have learned that about people the same rank, people higher rank, officers, pastors, and my parents.

You can know this is working if you have people at all different clearance level. Amazingly there is one person that is at the highest clearance for my heart…my soulmate, My parents are inside just a bit closer than acquaintance, my children are at PG-13 clearance level, my coworker go up and down in clearance level dependent upon how they react to ‘sensitive information’ that I share. If the information is used against me it doesn’t hurt me, other than to tell me that a person isn’t trustworthy with deeper stuff. This clearance process allows me to treat all people kindly, it is a slow process though.

Now that people are only given information when they have proven I can trust them, not with words but with actions then I am not surprised anymore and I haven’t been angry is quite some time.

Hope this helps.

gemiwing's avatar

@noraasnave “I know that when I am angry at a situation that happens in my life or at a person I am really angry at myself for my role or indifference in that situation, or in regards to a person my permission for them to know enough information to hurt me.”

Isn’t that the honest truth? That’s such a good point and very well made.

nebule's avatar

It is so true… but how does this work… it fascinates me this projection thing…

say I am angry with my sister for not calling me.. I am angry with her. What projection theory states is that I am really annoyed with myself because I’m not calling her..I am being indifferent… but that’s not really about the feeling anger… It might be true that I should call her if I want to speak to her and it might be true that really underneath it all lies love for my sister…but the disappointment is still there that she doesn’t call me. Does this kind of situation not allow us to be entitled to our feelings of anger about another person… is it always…our own fault ?

gemiwing's avatar

I think anger comes from having a personal boundary crossed. For example, I get livid when someone tells me how I feel when that’s not true. I feel that my boundary has been crossed so I get angry. Now in my personal history I tend to get mad at myself for geting mad (thank you childhood) because ‘mad is bad’. So that intensifies my feelings of shame so to hide it- boom- enter anger.

So, in my experience, it’s not one or the other but more of a combination of both the ‘stimuli’ and my reaction to it that lead to more anger.

noraasnave's avatar

@lynneblundell you could be angry because you do call her and she doesn’t reciprocate. That is a violation of your boundaries. Perhaps you call her daily and she only calls you once a week. You feel the imbalance. It isn’t fair, you share more with her than she shares with you.

I also recognize how anger can come from deep guilt. It is interesting that this form of anger is directed at oneself because of something that the person percieves that they did wrong and feels guilty about. The anger flares out and injures everyone in their life, but if that person could forgive him/herself and give her/himself the benefit of the doubt, the anger would disappear forever. This anger doesn’t just manifest in violence, but in many forms usually mostly damaging the owner the most.

I had this kind of anger and mostly damaged myself by seeking the numbing medication of pornography, not realizing that it slowly isolated me from any real, open relationships because I was ashamed that I was addicted.

It can manifest itself in self-mutilation, tatoos, drug addictions, self defeatism, making fun of oneself.

hope this helps.

BluRhino's avatar

I once took a short course in Nonviolent Communication, a communication process developed by this man; I was amazed and appalled at the same time at the way we talk to each other, even in the simplest things. Check it out, he gives a little history as to why perhaps we do this. I am so glad to know I am not alone in my feelings about the way we talk.

Fred931's avatar


ninjacolin's avatar

When angry, people act according to how they have trained themselves to act and according to what they are used to. For example, think of the last (non-chinese) english speaking person who you remember swearing at someone else. Why didn’t they swear in chinese? Obviously, it’s because they never learned how and because they aren’t used to it. Swearing and cussing and any other actions while angry are learned and practiced behaviors. “Habits.”

Further, anger is simply frustration due to the absence of knowledge. Also known as Ignorance. When you don’t know the answer to a pressing issue, you get angry. When you get angry, you swear. When you have the solution to all your pressing problems, you aren’t angry. When you are aware of something better to do besides swearing, you don’t swear. This is evidenced often when the average person gets angry around elderly people or children. In these cases, swearing tends to be kept to a minimum, if used at all.

Coloma's avatar

It’s about emotional immaturity, low EQ.

There is never an excuse to kitchen sink another, be it a person or an animal for ones own sloppy, out of control emotions.

Nothing more unattractive than a splattering display of childishness by a so called ‘adult.’

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