5 reasons why we get angry with others

A flower grows quietly, coping with interruptions, not getting attached, not hurrying, and free of tension. It does not get angry. Photo by Nong V on Unsplash

Humans get angry for lots of reasons, but here are a key 5, followed by a short discussion of what we can do about it if we want to become less angry.


We unconsciously detect something we need to improve in ourselves.  To avoid the suffering of self-improvement, we shift the blame onto someone else, and blame them for a very similar thing.  We push onto others, through anger, what we don’t want to push onto ourselves.


Our nerves are jangled by sensory input (visual, sound, physical) that seems to emanate from someone else.  This interrupts our peace.  Because we cannot think of a quick and calm way to stop this happening, we bottle up frustration, which eventually comes out as anger.


We are disappointed by having something taken away from us, reducing our resources or our peace.  We attribute the loss to someone particular, and channel our loss response into anger at that person.


We feel pushed by circumstance to achieve or complete something in a short space of time.  This squeezes us into anxiety, spoiling our attentional focus and making us frustrated.  Our communication becomes clumsy, and we bark out responses without diplomacy or compassion.

#5 – INNER TENSION – We may already have a bias towards anger, if our mind or body are attuned that way.  This could be because of hormonal balance, drug intake, organic illness, or longstanding or endemic perceptual or conceptual bias.  We are like a tilted building waiting to fall, or a coiled spring waiting to pounce.


The above 5 routes to anger could be labelled:

  1. I find it hard to confront my own self-improvement
  2. I find it hard when my peace is interrupted
  3. I find it hard to handle loss
  4. I find it hard when under time pressure
  5. I have a physical/hormonal bias towards anger


Hopefully the above summary highlights that anger is caused by difficulty processing, and can therefore be reduced by training ourselves to process better, in those 5 areas as follows:

  1. GUILT – I will learn to respond with self-improvement, not blame
  2. INTERRUPTIONS – I will learn to cope with interruptions
  3. LOSS – I will learn to be less attached to things
  4. TIME – I will learn to relax under time pressure
  5. PHYSICAL – I will explore ways to reduce bodily tension

These 5 things are life-long lessons, and it can take a very long time to master any one of them.  Eventually we will find that they are linked, and improving in one area will improve us in all other areas.