The word angrophobia refers to an excessive fear of anger. It is a fear of the anger of others and also the fear of getting angry or being seen as an “angry” person. While this is a phenomenon that has not been studied by psychopathology, it is a term that is used with some frequency in colloquialism, a question that deserves to be reviewed.
We will see below what angrophobia is as well as some hypotheses on its causes and consequences.
What is angrophobia?
As the name suggests, angrophobia is the irrational or excessive fear of anger. It is, on the one hand, the fear of getting angry. That means he is afraid of experiencing feelings of anger, rage, annoyance or disgust towards one or more people. On the other hand, it is a fear that other people have these feelings towards oneself.
When faced with a phobia, we can say that the irrational fear that characterizes it stems from the combination of external stressful eventsThese may or may not be objectively harmful; with a certain personal plan to deal with these events.
While this does not happen in all cases, phobias can generate clinically significant discomfort, that is, they can affect the way the person performs their daily activities. If it is a phobia of the emotion of anger, there is a good chance that if this discomfort arises, it affects the way the person relates.
In other words, like anger it is one of the basic emotions and is present in most everyday interactionsA person who is afraid of this emotion may have difficulty establishing and maintaining interpersonal connections. Likewise, it could be considered a type of social phobia.
However, this phobia, as we have said, is not a disease or a clinical picture recognized as such by specialists. It is a term that is part of colloquialism and is used more in literary narrative to express fear of anger, as well as its consequences.
Why be afraid of anger?
Anger is an emotion traditionally studied and analyzed as a “negative emotion”. On the one hand, it has been classified as such due to its association with conflict situations involving a series of physical ailments ranging from increased blood flow to increased heart rate and the presence of a significant amount of energy, which can sometimes be channeled aggressively or violently.
From the above is that we have generated a whole series of rules about who, when, how and where to get angry, and under what circumstances or against which people not.
The contradictory socialization of anger
The socialization that many people have gone through with anger has been to curb it, or at least, swap it for calm, control, relief, breaks, Or by downplaying the situations for which we got angry. The above even happened categorizing them as “fools” once we got angry. From an early age, we are asked, on the one hand, to avoid feeling anger, or at least to prevent its expression from being notorious; and on the other hand, we are asked the opposite: to express it, because it is the best way to channel correctly (Renata-Franco and Sánchez Aragó, 2010).
Emotional anger education then was contradictory, which is often a part of both family and school, the media, and scientific theories of emotions themselves. Thus, a culture of fear of negative emotions, such as anger, has been generated and generalized, due to the idea that the latter can prevent us from both happiness and the achievement of personal goals, as well as from interaction and fulfillment of social being.
From rejection to fear through “negative emotions”
If we go a little deeper and are more specific in this area, we can see that in fact there are certain profiles of individuals who have historically and socially been allowed to feel or express their anger in certain ways; and there are other profiles of individuals to whom the same forms have been refused. To give an example, anger exteriorized in the form of physical aggression or speaking out loud, may be more socially accepted in masculinity than in femininity.
Faced with such a reaction, people can then receive various reprimands and rejection. In fact, it is common to use the adjective “angry” or “angry” to refer to certain people and justify the few intentions of living with them. This question can trigger a progressive fear of anger and a denial of that emotion that triggers irrational fears.
In this sense, angrophobia can manifest itself in different ways in different people: some may be afraid of being perceived as angry, and socially rejected thanks to this perception; and others may be afraid to unleash the anger of others. In any case, the consequence can be to avoid expressing certain opinions, thoughts or behaviors for fear of being seen as people who get angry easily, or for fear that others will get angry with them.
Treatment of irrational fear of anger
Having experienced adversarial emotional education about negative emotions such as anger, and without having reinforced strong coping patterns in the face of conflict situations that can provoke this emotion, it is to be expected that some people develop an excessive need to avoid anger in all its expressions.
As when any need develops excessively, exposure to the event that triggers the stress (in this case, anger) can cause significant discomfort, ranging from states of stress or anxiety, and their physical correlates. , even obsessive thoughts and withdrawal behaviors that protect them from the event perceived as risky.
For the above, one way to prevent angrophobia is analyze the components of this irrational fear and work to reconcile, by contradiction, an emotional education genuinely oriented towards assertiveness. We need to work with mental health professionals who guide the process through psychotherapy.
- Retana-Franco, B. and Sánchez-Aragó, R. (2010). Plotting in the past … ways to regulate happiness, sadness, love, anger and fear. Universitas Psychologica, 9 (1): 179-197.