Style #9 – Bank Shots
People who express anger by “bank-shots” by bringing in the “troops” for additional support during any angry interaction. When they feel they are losing an argument, they bring in the opinions of others their partners’ respect.
The unfortunate people on the other end of these anger strategies often feel self-doubt when confronted by “all the others who feel the same way about them as their partners do.” They begin to wonder whether their own thoughts and feelings have merit, and then give in.
Style #10 – Revenge
This anger style is the most damaging to any relationship. The partners who use it are intentional in their goal to inflict damage and to vanquish the other partner.
They do so by using wipe-out statements, character assassinations, attacks on the other’s most vulnerable states, and threats of abandonment or exile. In their focus to retaliate, they intend to annihilate the other in any way they can.
If the other partner argues back, they escalate their need to win. They may even try to bait them if they don’t. Many of the attacked partners remain silent, hoping to lessen the intensity and duration of the tirade. Others attempt to disconnect but will have trouble doing so until the predating partner feels they have suffered enough.
“Anger is a valid emotion. It’s only bad when it takes control and makes you do things you don’t want to do.” – Ellen Hopkins
Anger styles are predominantly learned from early childhood but can also be caused by mood disorders such as depression or other genetic inheritances. They are also affected by a person’s current underlying state, prior upsets, or triggers from past negative experiences.
If people can learn to understand and share their underlying drivers for their anger before they express it unsuccessfully, most partners do respond positively to listening and caring for those underlying vulnerabilities and will strive to help heal them.
Written by Randi Gunther Ph.D. Originally appeared in Randi Gunther, Ph.D.