Why We Get Angry

Anger seems simple when we are feeling it, but the causes of anger are multiple. Knowing these causes can make us introspect about our behavior, and amend bad habits. Anger is rarely looked upon as a beneficial character trait, and is usually advised to reduce it or eliminate it. The main reasons we get angry is due to triggering events, personality traits, and our appraisal of situations. Understanding these reasons will curb our own anger if we are willing to evaluate ourselves with a critical eye.

Triggering events for anger are so numerous that to describe them all would take hundreds of pages. However, here are some examples: being cut off in traffic, someone using a patronizing tone with you, being hungry, being tired, a deadline is approaching, you failed at something, a machine is not working, you have financial issues, you witnessed an injustice, experiencing physical pain, and much more (TheHopeLine). Not everyone acts the same in response to events, and that is why what triggers one person may or may not trigger another person. The reason why someone is triggered by something and others are not is often due to one’s personal history, conditioning, and psychological traits (Martin, Ryan).

Each person, no matter who they are, has psychological imbalances (mind.org). People who have personality traits that connect with narcissism, competitiveness, and low frustration tolerance are much more likely to get angry. Having these personality traits imply the pre-anger state, where anger is in the background of your consciousness (Martin, Ryan). Also, sometimes pre-anger does not have to do with a lasting condition, but rather a temporary state before a triggering event has occurred. Say you spilled a cup of coffee on yourself in your car right before someone cut you off while you were driving to work. These types of situations also allow pre-anger to appear.

Our attitude and perspective on situations can create anger within us as well. Sometimes even routine or mandatory occurrences become sources of pre-anger, or anger itself. For example, a person of Arab descent goes through customs in the airport. One of the customs officers asks him or her if he or she is carrying any weapons. He or she gets upset and thinks the customs officer is asking him or her this specific question due to his or her genetic traits. However, what he or she does not know is this is a standard question that customs officers are instructed to ask every passenger through a checkpoint. Sometimes ignorance and negative outlooks on situations can create anger (Martin, Ryan).

Anger is a particularly strong emotion and maybe people think that the feeling is justified. However, anger can easily turn violent and chaotic, and it is best to know the reasons for anger to appear in order to thwart its presence. The main reasons anger comes about are triggering events, personality traits, and our perspective on situations. With these in mind, we can evaluate our level of anger throughout the day and see if we can prevent instances of outbursts by comprehending the reasons for our emotions.


“Why Do We Get Angry.” TheHopeLine, 22 Jan. 2018, www.thehopeline.com/why-do-we-get-angry.

Martin, Ryan. “Why We Get Mad.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 19 Oct. 2011, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-the-rage/201110/why-we-get-mad.

“How to deal with anger.” Causes of anger | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems, www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anger/causes-of-anger/#.WoGaBJ9fjCI.


Comment/Ask an Expert

Related Writing Guides

Writing an Expository Essay

There are three main types of expository essays: scholarly writing used mainly for academic purposes, which describes or examines a process in a comprehensive way; analyzing a concept, which describes and explores a written work or an event; also, exposi...


Register | Lost your password?