Deadly But Serious: What is Silent Anger And How to Deal With It
We’re no stranger to anger. The emotion is the same, but the way it manifests might be different. Some call it frustration, some as violent as a volcano, but it does exist. Usually, when I say picture anger, you might imagine the red-clothed character from Inside Out; yes, that’s the one. But what many might not realize is that anger can be subtle and silent but as deadly as aggressive anger.
This type of anger is called silent anger or silent rage. This anger simmers below the surface but doesn’t explode like a volcano. Silent anger is a complicated emotion for us to grapple with and because of its traits, we often struggle to identify and address it.
In this article, we’re exploring the world of silent anger, where it comes from, and how to deal with the signs of silent anger.
What is Silent Anger?
Silent anger is the ninja of emotions. It’s stealthy, silent, and subtle, but it’s as dangerous, strong, and destructive as aggressive anger. Silent anger doesn’t always announce its presence, but it’s always lurking in the shadows.
Unlike the explosive anger outbursts that we typically associate with anger, silent rage is a quieter and more internally experienced type of anger. It involves suppressing or internalizing anger rather than expressing it and addressing it externally.
Some common examples of silent anger can include;
- The silent treatment, where you ignore the other person
- Being passive-aggressive, where you indirectly comment or express your anger
- The brooding silence, where you withdraw your thoughts and emotions from others
The Signs of Silent Anger
Silent anger might be subtle, but it can be as deadly and serious as other, more explosive forms of anger. Here are some common signs of silent anger;
- Withdrawing from social interactions and avoiding others
- Physical symptoms of anger such as tension, headaches, and stomach aches
- Expressing anger via passive-aggressiveness or sarcasm
- Avoiding confrontation and suppressing feelings of anger
- Being excessively critical of others, finding fault in everything
- Feeling fatigued without any reason
- Engaging in subtle self-sabotaging behaviors
- Feeling emotionally numb and detached from emotions
- Feeling a chronic sense of discontent without knowing why
Where Does Silent Anger Come From?
Silent anger often comes from a source and never “out of nowhere” as many might like to think and believe. There’s always a reason for your emotions, even anger. When we talk about silent anger, the causes might be as subtle as the manifestation of the emotion. Some factors that might cause silent anger include;
1. A Fear of Confrontation:
You may have a fear of confrontation, and this might cause you to express or internalize your anger. You might fear damaging your relationships or facing negative consequences, and because of this, you might turn your anger inward.
2. Conflict Avoidance:
You might also find conflicts extremely distressing and draining, so you choose to suppress your anger to maintain the facade of harmony. This desire to avoid discontent can cause silent anger.
3. Negative Experiences:
If you’ve had traumatic experiences with anger in the past that led to adverse outcomes, such as punishment, then you might find it reluctant to express your emotions. Silent anger, here, becomes your defense mechanism.
4. Social Conditioning:
Social norms might also be the cause of your silent anger. Social and cultural norms often discourage open expression of anger, and this can cause you to internalize your anger. In such cases, your anger might hide behind a facade of politeness.
5. Low Self-Esteem:
If you have low self-esteem, then you may struggle to assert yourself or believe that your feelings are valid. Because of this, you may internalize your emotions. Silent anger can come from a fear of not being taken seriously as well.
6. People Pleasing:
If you have a habit of prioritizing others over yourself, then you may resort to silent anger to avoid disappointing others. The fear of being seen as too much or too demanding can cause silent anger.
How to Deal with Silent Anger?
Now that you know what is silent anger and where it comes from, let’s take a quick look at the ways you can deal with silent anger;
1. Identify the Signs
The first thing you need to do is figure out the signs of silent anger. Sometimes, we might not even realize that anger exists, so identify the signs of silent anger and accept that it’s OK to feel what you’re feeling and let it out.
2. Find a Safe Outlet
Next, you can express your feelings with a safe outlet or expression such as journaling about them, creating art, or getting some workout done. Expressing your anger doesn’t have to be violent; all you have to do is find a safe and healthy outlet to let out your feelings.
3. Talk About It
Another way to deal with silent anger is to choose a calm and quiet moment to express or communicate your feelings to others. You might not realize this, but talking about your feelings can help avoid direct confrontations and conflicts, but make sure you do so calmly and honestly.
4. Set Boundaries
If you can figure out your triggers of silent anger, then note them down and try to communicate them to others. This will help you define and set boundaries and avoid dealing with anger. Being assertive and clear with your limits can be a good way to deal with silent anger.
5. Seek Help and Support
If you begin to feel that your silent anger is hurting you and others around you, then seek help and support from a professional. You can talk to a therapist or even your loved ones about how your anger is affecting you and others. Knowing others’ perspectives can help you find the right solution.
Silent anger might be silent and stealthy as a ninja, but it can be as deadly and destructive as aggressive anger. Addressing anger is important for your emotional well-being, so understand the signs of silent anger and what causes it to get the right help. With the right support and strategies, you can learn to manage your anger and transform it into an opportunity to express your emotions.
It’s OK to feel anger, but how you choose to express it matters the most. I hope this article will help you figure out how to deal with silent anger. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.