Anger is a normal human emotion, like happiness, sadness and fear. Anger has evolved to allow us to stand up for ourselves and our loved ones. It is not bad to become angry when you are legitimately threatened. In fact, people who claim to rarely or never get angry often act in a passive or passive aggressive manner, and may benefit from assertiveness training. On the other hand, anger that is habitually expressed as aggression can have numerous negative outcomes for the individual and others in their life.

Some people are passive and meek in some areas of their lives, only to be aggressive (and sometimes violent) with their family members or partner. Other people have no such problem with passivity. They express anger readily in all contexts. Aggressive people are usually unpleasant to be around, however the rarely receive honest feedback about their impact on others. Other people in their life learn to “keep the peace” or “steer clear” of aggressive people. Aggressive people are rarely happy. They often live in a lonely world which is full of perceived threats, where they live with resentments years (or decades) old.

Aggression can be treated successfully using anger management techniques. The angry person needs to make an honest commitment to avoid using aggressive behaviour. Surprisingly, some of the communication techniques used to address anger problems are the same as those to address passive behaviour. Assertive communication aims to express ones wants and needs without delegitimising other people’s wants and needs. It is fairly common for people who use anger to have experienced violence at the hands of others as a child. There has often been an either implicit or explicit oath-to-self to never be allowed to be a victim again. If this is the case, reprocessing these early violent incidents or relationships can be helpful. Fear often underlies anger. Uncovering the primary fears can be helpful when changing aggressive behaviour.




Intimate Partner Violence is a serious problem and may involve criminal acts. Please contact the number below if you have any concerns about these patterns in your life or someone else’s. Please contact 000 if you or someone else are in imminent risk.


Suite C5
102-106 Boyce Rd
Maroubra Junction, NSW 2035
(02) 8958 2585

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