The Emotional you: Anger | Adaptive or Maladaptive?

The Emotional you: Anger |  Adaptive or Maladaptive? 

Anger Can Be Adaptive Or Maladaptive 

Anger can be both adaptive or maladaptive and may lead to physical aggression, verbal aggression, displaced aggression, and passive-aggressive behaviors. Rage is an emotion like fear, happiness, sadness, and disgust. It is my belief that basic emotions serve to increase our reproductive fitness, or in other words, to increase our chances of survival so that we stand a better chance of reproducing. Anger can occur rapidly and result from cumulative or persistent stress, and physical and emotional pain. Anger can jump-start the problem-solving process and stimulate the stress response, which is often referred to as the fight or flight response.

Verbal and Displaced Aggression: 

Displaced aggression occurs when anger is directed toward a person or thing that is not the source of the offense or frustration. Usually, the angry or frustrated individual associated minimum or no negative consequences with lashing out at the victim or object.


Example Of Verbal and Displaced Aggression

For Example, Cephis and Tasha Jones have been married for 7 years. Cephis has been working at the company for 12 years. His work scheduled is 8:00 am until 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, with holidays off. 

Cephis has been late for work on several occasions in the last month and has been warned by his supervisor, "If you are late again Mr. Jones, I will be forced to write you up. Cephis I need you to remember that three write-ups are ground for termination." 

Cephis replied, "yes Ma'am, It won't happen again."

Once Cephis get off work, he usually stops off at the convenience store and gets his usual four-pack of natural ice beer and a pack of cigarettes before heading home. Once home, Mr. Jones sits in his favorite recliner and pops open a beer can. Tasha noticed that her husband had a blank facial expression and appeared agitated. 

She had learned over the years that his temper could be violent and explosive. She felt as if she had to walk on eggshells to avoid conflict. She became eager to please Cephis.

Once the kids got home from school, she quickly instructed them to go out and play. Cephis said, "I was late again for work today. I just can't get it together! I need my job, we depend on it so much!" 

Tasha did not respond. 

Cephis then said in an elevated tone," DID YOU FUCKEN HEAR ME? You act like you don't give a fuck!!" 

Tasha replied in a shaky voice," I am not going to argue with you Cephis. I'm not putting up with this mess today. When you calm down then we'll talk."

Cephis storms out of the house, mumbling, "I gotta get out of here before I put my hands on you!"


A few hours later, Cephis returns home, reeking of alcohol and cigarettes. While sitting in the old brown recliner, he quickly falls asleep.

A few days passed, and things seemed to be approaching normal in the Jones' house. Cephis feels he is constantly being criticized by his supervisor. He also feels like his co-workers are talking behind his back. Cephis often yells at his family members because he is frustrated with his job.

He also feels like his co-workers are talking behind his back. 

Passive-aggressive behavior:

OK, passive-aggressive behavior can take various forms. For example, the silent treatment. Have you ever asked someone a question, and the person did not give a response? You may have to ask yourself," did they hear me!"

OK, have you ever said good morning to a person, but they just did not respond to the greeting? 

How about the subtle insult, for example, when someone says," your not as dumb as you look." Now that's funny! 

Seriously, did you know that the phrase," Oh, bless your heart" could be an insult, which means you are dumb, or not that smart? 

Have you ever been around someone who seemed to sabotage group effort when you were elected team leader, but you just couldn't prove it? 

Have you ever had a coworker who seemed to undermine everything you said or intentionally tried to keep you out of the loop? 

Passive-aggressive behavior can be challenging to spot. Anger and aggression can take on so many forms. Matthew 22:39 says," You Should love your neighbor as yourself." Imagine just for a moment, what if we lived in a world where we could follow this principle?  What a beautiful world it would be.

Anger and Health related issues:

Did you know that anger can lead to atherosclerosis? According to," Atherosclerosis is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries as a result of fat deposits on their inner lining." When individuals are angry as a result of a perceived threat, the fight or flight response is triggered. During the stress response or flight response, catecholamines, norepinephrine, and epinephrine are released into the bloodstream. 

Norepinephrine and epinephrine cause the constrict of blood vessels, thus causing the heart to beat faster. Glucose and fatty acids are also released into the bloodstream, which can lead to a buildup of fat in the inner lining of the arteries. Chronic anger has also been implicated in the onset of high blood pressure, migraines, and issues concerning the heart.   

Anger can be beneficial or non-beneficial.

There are times when anger can be beneficial; such as when it enables us to evade and fend off predators. It can also stimulate your mind through a problem-solving process. Therefore, anger is necessary, but it must be managed properly. If not controlled, anger can lead to lost wages, unemployment, domestic violence, child abuse, and incarceration.

Author: Gregory M. Green
Author: Gregory M. Green is a Rehab Therapist. He is also the author of various topics in the Social Sciences section of Inveigle MagazineHe writes on informative topics that bring awareness to the world. We are so pleased to have him as a part of Inveigle Magazine's Team. Follow us on Twitter. Follow me on LinkedIn. View more articles by Gregory M. Green

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