The Difference Between Anger and Aggression 

Anger is a feeling. Aggression is a behavior. However, often the two get confused. At other times people use their anger as an excuse to behave in an aggressive manner.

Anger is an acceptable emotion just like happiness or sadness. Everyone feels angry sometimes. However, many people deny that they ever feel angry. For others, they tend to become angry to cover up other feelings, such as hurt and sadness.

Angry feelings can release endorphins, which are powerful chemicals within the body. This rush of energy can help people to relieve themselves from feeling sad or hurt. However, masking underlying emotions with anger is not a healthy coping skill.

Feeling angry is okay, however, the behaviors people exhibit when they feel angry make a difference in whether or not they become aggressive. Aggression is a choice. Just because you feel angry doesn’t give you permission to treat others poorly.

Aggressive behaviors try to bully the other person into doing something whether they want to or not.  When people behave aggressively, they don’t acknowledge the other person’s feelings or needs. Instead, they want the other person to give in.

There are lots of ways to behave aggressively and it may become physically or emotionally abusive. Verbal forms of aggression include making threats or demands. It may include name calling or putting the other person down. Physical forms of aggression may include throwing things, breaking things, slamming things, or physical attacks.

Aggressive people blame others for their anger. “It’s your fault for making me mad,” is the common theme. They don’t take responsibility for their feelings or their behaviors.

Aggression and anger management problems hurt the marriage. If you live with a partner who behaves aggressively, it is important to not allow abuse. There’s no excuse for domestic violence or abuse. It is your partner’s responsibility to learn anger management skills.

If you have difficulty managing your anger, learn to separate your angry feelings from your aggressive behaviors. Make a choice not to behave aggressively anymore if you want to work on your relationship. It is important to have a healthy partnership if you are not able to treat your partner in a healthy and respectful manner.

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