New Insights Communication Poll: How Do You Handle Anger?

Do you feel that you manage anger in healthy, expert ways? Most clients with whom I work closely to improve their communication skills are afraid of conflict and the anger that accompanies strong disagreement. In fact, “nice” people tend to stuff anger inside,
while “strong” personalities get their anger out. Both types of anger handlers experience some pretty negative consequences to their self-esteem, physical energy and the quality of relationships. Too weird is a combination of both approaches: Many times, we first stuff or sit on our anger and THEN explode on a passerby and say some pretty mean things.


How many of us swallow anger in an implosive way, and how many of us
get anger off our chest and distribute anger in an explosive way?

This New Insights Communication reader poll discovered that normal, intelligent people like you and me SAY:

50% say “I am an ANGER IMPLODER.”

30.77% say “I am an ANGER EXPLODER.”

19.23 % say “I am an ANGER EXPERT.”

DISCUSSION: Well, looks like we can all learn how to manage our anger and frustration a little better, can’t we? Looks like there are lots of “anger imploders” out there! In theory, the positive purpose of anger is to make difficult changes happen faster, to state disagreement openly and passionately, to admit to problems instead of ignore the elephant in the room, to brainstorm options to travel in new directions when we have lost our way.


In my interpersonal communication studies, Empathizer-type communicators (E-types) tend to be “anger imploders,” while Instigator-type communicators (I-types) tend to be “anger exploders.” One method for handling anger isn’t better than the other…just different. Empathizers and Instigators who use assertive talk strategies tend to deal with distress the best. Examples: “I feel very frustrated and disagree strongly with what you’re proposing!” Or, “Frankly, I know what you’re suggesting sounds good, but IT won’t work and will simply frustrate everyone!” Or, “I could act like I’m going along with the program here but I really don’t agree for one minute!”

Thanks for your vote…and vote on the next poll that addresses the issue and
impacts of social “shyness.”

Dr. Dennis O’Grady is a clinical psychologist and communications coach from Dayton, Ohio, USA. His new communication theory of Empathizer (E-type) vs. Instigator (I-type) communicators is featured in his newly released book TALK TO ME. In Dr. O’Grady’s clinical studies, Empathizer communicators tend to struggle with stuffing anger, while Instigator communicators struggle with spreading anger around. You can participate in Dr. O’Grady’s practical weekly communication polls at

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