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What makes a type 8 angry?

8 Types of Anger: What They Mean and What to Do about Them

8 Types of Anger: What They Mean and What to Do about Them

Anger is arguably the most complex of human emotions. Even though it looks raw and brutally honest, it usually works as a cover-up mechanism for unrecognized or unwanted states of mind, such as fear, sadness, forgotten trauma, issues with self-esteem. There are various types of anger, each of which can show and hide different aspects of you.

Anger is a natural emotional reaction to the situations or people that we find threatening, disrespectful, hurting, or frustrating. Its manifestation can range from mere annoyance to full-blown rage.

Nevertheless, it’s just as valid and necessary emotion as love, sadness, or joy. It speaks volumes about your personality, about your past, and about the things you care about the most in life.

This is, however, an emotion that requires a lot of introspection and action to solve the real underlying issue. Even though the reasons for somebody’s wrath can seem external, our reactions are always ours and as we grow into adults we become solely responsible for them.

Different types of anger

Ephrem Fernandez, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, has introduced the six dimensions of anger expression that can help to identify the different types of this emotion.

The Six Bipolar Dimensions are these:

  • direction (internal vs external)
  • locus of control (the degree to which one believes to have control over one’s anger)
  • reaction (retaliatory vs resistant)
  • modality (physical vs verbal)
  • impulsivity (controlled vs uncontrolled)
  • objective (restorative vs punitive)

Although different sources suggest a different number of types of rage and annoyance, here’s a selection of the most popular and best-recognized ones out there.

7 common forms of anger:

1. Passive aggressive

unhappy couple

This one is the most avoidant type of anger and arguably the most irritating to those around such person. It indicates the person’s unhealthy relationship with this emotion, believing that it’s inherently wrong, punishable, or socially unacceptable. It can stem from certain childhood traumas, such as being forced to bottle up all the negative emotions.

This type of anger can be much more emotionally and physically draining to the one expressing it than the more overt types. It can be expressed by silence treatment, sarcasm, procrastination, or mockery.

Management tips and directions:

Reconnecting with anger as a valid emotion; improving communication skills; exploring the fear of confrontation; relaxation techniques.

2. Volatile / Sudden

This type of anger comes as if out of nowhere. It’s an impulsive reaction to whatever is perceived even the tiniest bit annoying. Because it’s so unpredictable, it can eventually force everyone around such person to walk on their tip-toes or avoid the person altogether. And rightly so, as this sort of manifestation of rage can be very destructive, emotionally and physically.

Management tips and directions:

Trigger journaling; relaxation techniques; identifying physical signs before the outburst.

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3. Deliberate

This type of anger is one of the positive ones. This is used as a technique by managers, coaches, leaders, activists, and other people whose interest is to hype up, motivate and prepare their teams or audiences for a battle, a game, a protest, or a personal transformation.

4. Behavioral

breaking stuff

This type of anger manifests in a very straight-forward way – physically. An enraged person can physically attack someone or start smashing and breaking inanimate objects. Such a person tends to act first and think later. The emotion can be very overwhelming and vanish as suddenly as it appeared.

Management tips and directions:

Anger management counseling; breathing techniques; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy; learning to recognize the physical cues of rising anger; removing yourself from conflicting situation to regain self-control.

5. Self-abusive

This type is the one driven by covert shame, guilt, and low self-esteem in general. It can be expressed indirectly by negative self-talk, substance abuse, physical self-harm, and disorderly eating patterns. It can also manifest in rage outbursts towards others, which only deepens the feelings of loneliness, alienation, and guilt.

Management tips and directions:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy; positive psychology techniques; mindfulness meditation; self-love and affirmation journaling.

6. Chronic

This type indicates the long-lasting and unresolved emotional issues. These manifest themselves indirectly by constant frustration and resentment towards others and, often, towards oneself. This type of person is likely to be described as bitter, mean, or spiteful. It can seriously affect a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

Management tips and directions:

The longer this type of anger is accumulated, the deeper roots it has, so long-form psychotherapy that focuses on childhood and adolescence might be useful. Loving-Kindness meditation; gratitude journaling.

7. Addictive / Habitual

This type of anger is closely connected to the adrenaline and dopamine rushes that a person experiences when enraged. This is a sort of natural «high» that can become emotionally and physically addictive. Also, the powerful stance over others also chips in the need to repeat this scheme of communication.

Just like with most addictions, they grow from habits and eventually take over the wheel of control. Such communication patterns can usually be seen in other members of the family, so it could have been learned at home.

Management tips and directions:

A person may not see it as a problem, not even when others around them tell them it is. It can be very problematic to convince such a person to change the very behavior that they know is making them feel good. Family intervention; meditation; anger management courses.

8. Moral / Judgmental

It manifests as righteous indignation at someone else’s actions that are perceived as unjust, wrong, or incorrect. These people see themselves as natural moral compasses and they just can’t look the other way when something not according to the rules is happening just in front of their eyes.

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This is not necessarily a destructive type of anger, as it can be harnessed and focused to make a greater change. But such a person is at risk of alienation. This type of anger can also be a feature of certain personality types and a characteristic of Asperger’s syndrome.

Management tips and directions:

The more honest people surround you, the better chances you have at recognizing this in yourself. The focus of work should be the heightened need for control and judgmental criticism.

Enneagram Centers

Within the Enneagram are “centers” or “triads” of three types that share similar underlying motivations, feelings, strengths, and blind spots: the Gut center, comprised of types 8, 9, and 1, the Heart center, made up of types 2, 3, and 4, and the Head center, including types 5, 6, and 7. The graphic below helps illustrate the centers:

3 Centers

Enneagram Gut types

The gut center is made up of types 8, 9, and 1. These types tend to be impacted primarily by their deep instincts and innate anger. They each have a desire for independence and control over their own environment. Types in the Gut center can be strong, stable, grounded, and connected with life when healthy. However, when they aren’t very in touch with their own anger, they may unconsciously act on it in negative ways.

Eights tend to act on their anger, meaning they use it externally. They may lash out at others when anger is building. Nines are more likely to reject their natural anger and instinct. In other words, they often pretend that it’s not there. Ones may try to control their anger by internalizing it; they are aware of its presence, but they choose to channel it. This often leads to them becoming more critical of themselves or others.

Enneagram Heart types

The heart center is made up of types 2, 3, and 4. They are unified in a natural, subconscious shame that tends to impact them in different ways. They all want to feel affirmed and appreciated by other people, whether they are aware of it or not. When they’re healthy, heart types can be caring, authentic, and connected with others. However, they may express shame in negative ways when they don’t take the time to properly work through it.

Twos are likely to express shame externally by doing acts of service for other people to receive gratitude. Threes may throw themselves into their work in order to be successful and receive admiration from others. They are most likely to be in denial of their shame. Fours may control their shame by emphasizing their uniqueness to receive validation from others.

Enneagram Head types

Types 5, 6, and 7 make up the head center. They each are likely to be fearful or insecure, particularly in less healthy times, and may feel like their mind is overactive and noisy. Head types can be perceptive, creative, and thoughtful when at their best. However, their fear can wreak havoc if they don’t learn to process and address it in a healthy way.

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Fives react to the anxiety they feel by retreating into their own minds. They have a tendency to shut out the rest of the world and fixate on gaining knowledge when they feel overwhelmed. Sixes often spend time imagining all of the worst cases for each scenario and preparing for them as a way of coping with fear. Sevens tend to turn their fear outward by actively running toward uncomfortable scenarios and reframing them as something exciting or adventurous. They tend to seek a sort of physical escape from anxiety.

More on the Gut Center

The Instinctual, or Anger, Triad is made up of Enneagram personality types 8, 9, and 1.

Enneagram Type 9 is the center type of the triad and considered to be the most out of touch with their own anger of the three types in this triad. Enneatype 8, has the most read-access to their anger, and is considered to be the “over-expressed” type in this triad. Enneagram Type 1 is the most “under-expressed” type in the Anger triad.

gut triad 8-9-1

Type 9 (the center of the Anger triad):

The type 9 is the most “out of touch” with their anger. Most type 9 people, if they haven’t done much self development work, will deny that they even experience anger. The problem is that they actually do…they just don’t acknowledge it until it has built up to the point of explosion. Then, it’s much like a volcano blowing…and it can be scary for them and those around when it happens. The work of the type 9 person is to be present for themselves, in the moment, as much as possible, and become aware of their own point of view. Nines definitely have a point of view, it’s just common for them to “go along to get along,” and when they don’t monitor that tendency, they can become passive-aggressive in how they get their own needs met. Their anger really is hidden to the world (except in the passive aggressive instances, but even then the Type 9 may not admit it to themselves), until it becomes atomic…then there is no denying it (although its specific cause may still be a mystery to the 9).

Type 8:

Type 8 people have ready access to their anger, and can be quick to express it. They can have an aggressive style, but in many instances, society has given them the message that their natural style is unacceptable, and so the Type 8 person has learned to control their style. Because of this, they can tend to have very big energy, which will be felt as a large energetic presence when they enter a room. 8’s have a direct style which can be intimidating. Often it looks like they create a lot of conflict with others, and can come across as bullies. Most 8’s would probably tell you that they really don’t like conflict…and don’t like “getting mad.” What they do crave, though, is intensity, and when their own intense energy isn’t matched by the other person in a way they want it to be, 8’s can escalate a situation to get the response they are looking for. That can lead to an angry response from an 8, which then makes them look like the angriest type, hands down.

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Type 1:

People who identify as Type 1’s will often times say they don’t get angry, they are just “frustrated.” Usually it’s frustration about other people not doing things the way that the Type 1 would do it. Whether it’s how (or if) the dishwasher is loaded, or the way a document is formatted, or how something is said to them, the Type 1 will typically prefer it be done differently. They really believe that they are right…and that can apply to moral values as well, an their personal integrity. Type 1 is considered the “under-expressed” type of the Anger triad, typically considered “repressed” in psychological terms. Although the Type 1 may not be fully aware of how their anger comes across, it is readily apparent to others. They can appear to be very uptight, tight-lipped (in appearance), have a very determined, clipped/choppy gait, etc., when they are sub-consciously expressing their anger/frustration.
This is just an overview of the Anger Triad types, and the differences between the way their anger expresses itself. In future posts, we’ll look at each type more in depth. Please do not use the overview to type others. If it resonates with you, personally, you may want to investigate the type further for your own benefit in self growth.

There is an Enneagram Depot Resource Guide available to you when you subscribe in the box to the right side of this post, at the top of the page. It also comes with a mini-course, sent right to your mailbox over the course of several days, so you can get a jump start on the material.

The Intelligence Centers (or Triads)

The Triads and the Law of Threes

The basic foundation of the Enneagram is built around a Triad (or, group of three) of three centers of intelligence: the Gut center, the Heart center, and the Head center. Each of these has a main Enneagram type associated with it as shown below. They are the 3, 6, and 9, representing the core Enneagram energies of each Triad (which is another term for Intelligence Center). The Enneagram uses building blocks based on the Law of Three…in this case, there are three triads, each with three personality types associated with them.

The other numbers (which are not shown here) make up the other six types, and represent variations on these three main types. Incidentally, these three main types are the three most common types found in our culture.

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triangle 3-6-9

The Three Centers of Intelligence

The Gut center (or “triad”) is at the top of the symbol, represented by Point 9. The central type in the Heart triad is the 3, and the 6 represents the center type of the Head triad. Each of these triads is characterized by an expression of energy focused in the area of the body shown.

The Gut (or Anger) Triad

The gut triad is very instinctual energy, with an emphasis on Vitality and Life Force. Instinctual energy has more readily available access to anger, and its core issues are around managing aggression and repression. Enneagram types 8, 9, and 1 are part of this triad, and their key focus needs to be on bringing awareness to this anger, and how they personally manage it when in reaction mode. Each type will experience and express anger in a unique way.

The Heart (or Shame) Triad

The types within the Heart Triad, types 2, 3, and 4, have a focus that is on their own Value and Identity. Their concern is their own image, or how other people see them, which creates problems associated with their identities. Shame is an emotion common to most of the 9 Enneagram types, based on our most basic human experience, but the types in the Heart triad can experience a more chronic sense of it, which expresses in their behavior and inner experience of their own right to “be” without having to “do” anything else to prove it. Until they become aware of how they are affected by this concern for their own image, hostility can become an issue for them. Each type will channel it differently, as part of the expression of their type. Becoming aware of how they direct the hostility can be transformative in their lives.

The Head (or Thinking) Triad

Types 5, 6, and 7 make up the Head Triad, and each of these types focuses on the theme of Inner Guidance and Support. This translates to issues around Anxiety and Insecurity for them, and like the other triads, each of these three types will have a slightly different strategy to handle those issues. The Thinking types are also known as the Fear triad. They have more difficulty (relative to the types in the other two triads) with making decisions and making plans for their future. The Head types tend to focus on some, unique aspect of “worst case scenario” thinking, which, in turn, can develop their creativity.

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  • The Law of Three
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