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Definition of anger

Anger is an emotional experience associated with the use of power in response to a real or imagined threat or provocation. While fear involves a desire to flee from danger, anger is a moving forward and sometimes against emotion. There is a belief that a threat can be countered; that something can and should be done. Fear, in contrast, reflects powerlessness. Like all emotions, both anger, fear, and sadness can all be layered together. If anger is present, it often hides the other emotions.

Anger can range in intensity from mild irritation to rage. The trigger for the anger could be our own thoughts and feelings, the actions of others, or events. The threat or provocation is given value by our own expectations or beliefs.

The principles and skills mentioned here are based on two critical concepts related to anger. First, anger can be a healthy emotion, and second, action and emotion are not the same thing. Feeling angry is not the same as behaving aggressively.

This definition is expanded considerably in the FireWorks online course.

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Author Informationhttp://www.ksu.edu/wwparent/programs/anger/anger-def.htm-- Revised: September 30, 2003
Copyright © 1996-2003 Charles A. Smith. All rights reserved.