Rage Vs. Anger
by Marty Brenner
Rage and anger seem like twin emotions, but rage is actually anger’s ugly cousin. When you are angry, you try to overcome an obstacle or adversary that is preventing you from feeling safe and comfortable. Anger is natural, sporadic and temporary. You feel better when you express your anger in a way that reduces your discomfort. The anger sequence is pain-anger-action-relief. Appropriately acted upon, anger is a straight line rather than a cycle.
In contrast, rage is not confined to a specific target and it often has no distinct beginning or end. Rage is the result of pushing negative emotions, like anger and fear, deep inside an “emotional jar” for very long periods of time. When you feel pain, you suppress your natural urges to become angry. Over time, these negative emotions fill your emotional jar and spill over, drowning out other, more positive emotions. Rage seethes just below the surface; you need little or no provocation to have an emotional meltdown.
Unfortunately, letting rage out is as dangerous as keeping it in. Rage can explode your emotional jar. When you are in a rage, you destroy everyone everything in your path, even if they mean a great deal to you. Rage makes you drive your car into a tree, punch walls or throw glass. You inflict pain on yourself by destroying what you love most. Because anger is a natural response to pain, you enter a cycle of pain-anger-rage-aggression-pain. Rage precedes violence by mere seconds but the rage and the violence can continue for hours, days or even weeks.
When you communicate your anger towards the person that hurt you, you hope the person responds in an empathetic way. If you articulate your needs well, your anger dissipates as your adversary accepts responsibility for their role in your discomfort and the two parties can work out some sort of agreement. When you feel rage, on the other hand, your opponent’s response just makes you angrier. Nothing he says or does de-escalates the confrontation; in fact, his very presence infuriates you. Even his expression of love feels like sunburn to your soul.
Anger causes chemical and neurological changes that make your muscles stronger and your senses more acute. These changes help you interpret your environment more accurately and make important decisions quickly. Rage does quite the opposite. Rage runs away with your thoughts and emotions, and even hijacks your body. The phrase “blind rage” is fitting in that rage removes your ability to see things clearly. When you are enraged, you do not correctly interpret the words, actions and motivations of those around you. Additionally, rage blindfolds you, preventing you from seeing how your actions will affect your future and the future of those you love.
There is a clear benefit to anger. It protects you from harm and helps you move to a safe place. There is no advantage to rage. Rage detracts from the quality of your life, driving away the people who love you and can help you. Rage may also land you in prison as the result of a violent crime.
Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.
Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.
Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.
Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.
Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.
Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.
His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.
As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.
It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.
- Anger and Relationships General Overview and Differences
- Anger Complications
- Anger in the Workplace
- Anger Styles