The Styles Of Anger

You probably knew that there are various styles of communication that people use to express their anger. But, it may be surprising to learn that there are 5 styles – aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive, assertive, and projective-aggressive.

Once you learn about what types of anger people have, it will open your eyes to learn more about who they are and who you are.

Aggressive Anger:

The person using the Aggressive style of anger often feels the need to be in control of themselves, other people, and situations. They do not take no for an answer and they use hurt and/or anger to manipulate others into feeling guilty or backing down. Some patterns that typically emerge are the aggressive use sarcasm, humiliation, put downs, complaints, threats, and abuse to get what they want.

Passive Anger:

A Passive anger style tend to want to avoid conflict and confrontation. These individuals do not tend to express their needs and feelings and have a difficult time saying no without feeling guilty. A passive anger style tries hard to avoid hurting others because if leads them to feel guilty. They also avoid angering others so that they can avoid feeling uncomfortable and/or fearful.

Passive-Aggressive Anger:

People with Passive-Aggressive anger style are not as outwardly aggressive toward others as the Aggressive style and they do not want to avoid the conflict as the Passive style instead, when they are mad, they want to get even and may use seduction and/or manipulation to get what they want. They are often nice to your face and use behind the back techniques to get even. They may use the silent treatment, withdraw their love/affection and their attention, gossip, tattle, or refuse to cooperate. When asked what is wrong , they often say “nothing” even though their body language or behavior clearly communicates that their is something wrong.


A person using Projective-Aggressive anger style may appear passive but they are not. They are usually pretty angry and are afraid to own and express their anger. Instead, they project their anger onto others and/or may get others to act out their anger for them. They may say to you that you appear angry when you are not.


Lastly people using Assertive anger style state they need a direct, open, and honest way and do not wait for others to read their mind. At the same time, they consider other people’s needs and feelings. They respect themselves and expect others to treat them with respect and dignity. They feel responsible for their own life and choices.

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