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Anger and Rage- Are Men & Women equal?

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Article by Robert McInnes

Anger and Rage- Are Men & Women equal?

The results of this study are based on the following definitions of Anger and Rage

Anger is defined as mainly having angry thoughts and feelings within oneself

Rage is defined as mainly acting out anger, that is, outside oneself [eg. verbal abusive, throwing things.]

The study was based on a sample of 100 clients, 54 males, 46 females seen over three different counselling centres. All clients were tested using Young’s Schema test and all clients had higher than average levels of anger [based on Young’s standard measure. See complete details at end of this report]

The clients were catagorised into two groups, firstly, those with moderate anger and secondly, those with high anger.

The test also compared 12 personality traits affected by anger and rage.


FIRST CONCLUSION: Related to Anger

Based on this study, approximately two-thirds of all clients presented with high levels of anger irrespective of gender or place where they were counselled  [3 separate centres]  Conversely, one-third had moderate anger.



While both males and females may have the same anger levels within them, males are twice as likely as females to act out their anger as rage.


THIRD CONCLUSION: Effects of rising anger and rage on personality traits.

When comparing anger and rage to a person’s traits, there is a high degree of correlation between rising anger/rage and the following traits.[These are summarized according to the degree of increase in traits.]


Small increase:

-Vulnerabilty  [eg, feeling lost or lonely] & Detachment [eg. withdrawing from others]

Medium increase:

-Undisciplinedness [giving up on goals] , Aggrandising [eg. self-centeredness], and Punitive [eg. blaming others or self]

Significant increase:

-Implusiveness [eg acting before thinking], Self-soothing [escapism eg drugs, alcohol, work], and Bullying behaviour.

Also there is reverse correlation [that is a decrease] in the following traits:

-Happiness, Mental health [eg. feeling secure], Compliance [eg trying to please others] and Demanding behavior [eg trying harder]



Based on the third conclusion the following approach should be taken to deal with rising levels of anger and rage:

(i)  Try to have the person with rage remove themselves from the situation. Alternatively, try to remove yourself. [safety is the highest priority]. Do not argue with the person during this stage, do not us logic or commonsense as this will not stop rage, because rage is an out of control habit. Be silent.

(ii) When the person is calming down, try to engage the person, but not about the subject of the rage or their behaviour during the rage.[Do this to reduce Vulnerability & Detachment]

(iii) When the person has calmed down, use assertiveness to address the issues of  Undisciplinedness, Aggrandising, Bullying, Implusiveness, and or Self-soothing. [and the Rage]

Assertiveness is attacking the ACT [those behaviours which resulted from the traits mentioned in (iii)] but not the PERSON, otherwise it will be counter productive and restart the anger, rage etc. Do not take it personally and do not make it personal if you want success in reducing future rage, rather than seeking revenge. You need to be in conscious control when you use assertiveness and not lead by your own bad habits.

Use statements like: “When you did …… I felt……..”

 (iv) Then state the consequences  [to increase future Compliance & Demanding (eg trying harder) traits and decrease the traits which caused the bad behaviour.]

Use statements like: “If ……happens again, then I will ……..”

Make sure the consequences can be carried out [do not make threats].

Use escalating consequences based on the degree of bad behaviour. Start low then increase the consequences.

The ultimate consequence is:  “If you do this…… then the relationship is over and …..”



The  data base on anger has been  developed over a two year period using Jeffrey Young's Schema Therapy test SMI 1.1,  which measures 14 separate personality traits, namely, Vulnerability, Anger, Rage, Implusiveness, Undisciplinedness, Happiness, Compliance, Detachment, Self-soothing [escapism], Self-Aggrandising [self-centredness], Bullying, Punitiveness, Demanding and Mental health.

The following data is extracted from that data base relating to 100 clients presenting across three counselling centres, namely, A Drug & Alcohol Rehab [15], Private Practice [15] and a Community Counselling Centre [70]

All of the 100 clients presented had a level of anger above what the Schema Test catagorised as “Average Anger”, and they have been dissected into two categories, namely:

(i)                  Moderate anger    [34]    [19 Males, 15 females]

(ii)                High anger           [66]    [35 Males, 31 females]

        Total                  [100]    [54 males, 46 females]


An analysis of the above shows that both men [65%-35/54] and women [67%-31/46] both had high levels of anger.

Data analysed by Counselling Centre

                                                         Total           High

                                                           No.           Anger

                                                     No.     % total

D & A Rehab                       15          10      67%

Private Practice                   15          10       67%       

Community Centre              70          46       66%

                  Total                                100           66      66%


An analysis of the above shows that high levels of anger were consistent across the three counselling centres


When those [66]  with high anger are ranked according to the degree of Rage from highest to lowest rage levels, then an analysis of the top 20 compared to the remainder [46] is as follows:


               Total                        D & A Rehab                            Priv. Pract.                      Com. Centre

            T-----M-----F                T-----M------F                          T-----M-----F                 T------M-----F


            20     14      6             5         5         0                      4       2         2                11        7        4   

            46     21    25             5         5         0                      6       2         4                35      14       21   

            66     35    31            10       10         0                    10       4         6                46      21       25


  Rage- 30%  40% 19%          50%    50%   0%                      40%   50%   33%              24%    33%   16%


This analysis shows that males have double the Rage of females [40% versus 19%]

That those males in D & A Rehab have higher levels of Rage [50%] than those in a Community Centre [33%], but the same as in my Private Practice [50%-] which specializes in anger management programs and therefore attracts those with anger issues.

Note: T= Total, M= Males, F= Females.

27 Sep 2011

Last Update: 30 Sep 2011

Article/Information supplied by Robert McInnes

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.