Dealing with Anger: 6 Main Reasons & How to Manage Each

Anger is a natural human emotion, but it can be overwhelming and destructive if not managed properly. Before we dive in, to get the most out of this article, be sure to watch the video about primary and secondary emotions.

Let’s look at the six main reasons why we experience anger and how to manage each one.

Hunger and Lack of Sleep

First, the most practical one: hunger and lack of sleep. If you are irritable or frustrated, it may simply be because you need rest or food. Taking a nap or having a meal can help solve everything.

Using Anger to Get What You Want

We might use anger as a way to get what we want. However, this short-term strategy erodes relationships and breaks trust. Instead, healthy communication skills are needed to make requests from a more vulnerable position. Non-violent communication, as taught by Marshall Rosenberg in his book and courses, can help in making requests instead of demands, leading to better and more nourishing relationships in the long run.

Secondary Anger

We might feel anger as secondary anger, which is a reaction to a primary emotion. Often, secondary anger is a reaction to fear, which can be vulnerable and disempowering. Getting down to the root of the problem by identifying and communicating the primary emotion is important in solving the issue and preventing breakdown of trust and connection.


Resentment is another reason why we might experience anger. Wanting to punish another person for whatever reason can cause anger and that anger can stick around for a long time. This long-lasting anger can be detrimental to your health. It can feel difficult to forgive but it may be the only way to get past this kind of anger. Forgiveness is for you.

Feeling Powerless

Feeling powerless in the face of anger can be a way of shirking responsibility. This can happen in situations where we feel like we have no control over our lives or our decisions. In this case, it is important to identify what aspects of our lives we can control and take action toward changing them.

Take time to identify what you want. There may not always be ideal options available but choosing your actions, taking responsibility is empowering.

Primary Anger

When someone violates your boundaries. Primary anger can drive action to ensure your future safety. In this case, it is important to communicate our needs and values clearly and assertively, while also being open to compromise and negotiation.

Understanding the reasons behind our anger is important in managing it effectively. By recognizing the triggers and underlying emotions, we can develop healthy strategies for coping and communicating in a way that strengthens our relationships and leads to greater personal growth.

But no matter what, through these strong emotions and difficult situations, sure to look after your heart.

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My book

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to take this journey further, check out my book The Good Thing About Mortar Shells: Choosing love over fear”.