People sometimes feel sorry for me when I tell them I work with angry clients. They picture clients screaming and throwing things at me, attacking me, in my office. Yet, this is (usually) far from the truth. My clients are rarely angry in my office. In my office, my clients wear a mask of rationality and show a calm demeanor as no one wants to admit to having anger which is beyond their control. Interestingly, psychological research has been slow to examine anger.
So what is anger? And how is anger different from other negative emotions, such as guilt and fear? Is anger always a secondary emotion, following closely on the heels of another emotion such as sadness? Let’s take a look and see if we can answer these questions.