Understanding anger and irritability

What do we mean by anger and irritability?

Anger and irritability are hostile responses to a perceived provocation. The word “irritability” tends to imply a relatively minor response on the part of the irritated person. It is likely to be expressed verbally, and is usually not physically aggressive. “Anger”, on the other hand, might suggest and be demonstrated by a much more forceful response. Yet, in spite of this, irritability is less likely to be generally acceptable to society, since what most of us appear to dislike is not the fact of other people getting angry, but the fact of other people reacting in a way that is not justified or is out of proportion to the situation, and irritability is distinguished by being somehow less of a justified reaction than straightforward anger. However, straightforward anger can also be out of proportion to the situation or circumstance that triggered it, and it is when anger and irritability are uncontrolled in this way that they become a problem.


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