Four Styles to Managing Anger
How people experience a perceived or real threat to perspectives of fairness, and the resulting anger response (anger-in), is expressed (anger-out) through one of four different styles.
First: passively, the involved personalizes the eliciting event, experiences an anger response and is intimidated to express the response. Such a person processes the triggering situation through a perspective of powerlessness as manifest through beliefs of helplessness and hopelessness to reestablish and maintain control.
Second: passive aggressiveness, the involved personalizes the eliciting event, experiences an anger response and is intimidated to express appropriate anger, however, unlike the passive style, the resulting despair or distress is displaced onto less threatening mediums.
Third: aggressive hostility, the involved personalizes the eliciting event, experiences an anger response, however unlike the previous styles, is not intimidated. Lacking self-regulation, the involved impulsively responds to the threat with the goal of elimination by intimidation.
Fourth: assertiveness, the involved processes the eliciting event as nonthreatening, embraces his or her perspective of functional flexibility in power of control, and expresses disappointment toward the event and those involved.
For these four styles, the goal for the behavior, defined as a pattern of thinking, feeling, and action, is to establish personal competence and social independence (e.g., rational power of control).