Irritable people: anger as a form of communication

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Robert Maurer
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Irritable people: anger as a form of communication

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

Hot-tempered people are dominated by constant anger. Fists on the table, doors slammed, shouts and even outbursts… They are those subjects who cannot communicate without raising their voices, those who do nothing and lose their patience and who cannot be upset. Behind this difficult behavior often lurks a weak being who uses anger as a defense mechanism.



We all lose our temper sometimes. We know what it feels like when anger grips us and, almost without knowing why, we explode in the most inappropriate and least suitable way. Well, this experience teaches us how important assertiveness is to manage complicated situations that test our emotional maturity.

Hot-tempered people have learned to relate to the world through anger and anger to get what they want.

On the other hand, there is a crucial aspect that is important to consider. Anger continues to be an emotion that is little or not understood at all. We could say at this very moment that irascible people are the ones that are most worth avoiding in our daily life to safeguard balance and health.

However, nothing is more important than understanding. So let's try to make good use of psychology and understand that Behind the short-tempered child, the brusque family member, and the head unable to handle frustration, is someone who can't use a different language. 

Someone who struggles with himself and who doesn't know what to do or where all that explosive anger and exacerbated negativity is coming from.

Irritable people: why do they behave this way?

There is a very fitting French word for these passive-aggressive behaviors, for those people who make anger their form of communication. It corresponds to the expression sous-entendu, which we can translate as "what is meant below or what is below". What is hiding under the guise of a wolf who makes use of this devastating emotional intensity? The answer couldn't be simpler: there is another wolf, but wounded.



Let's look at some of the characteristics that could explain the typical dynamic of irascible people.

  • Excessive distress. People who react with anger usually store an overwhelming amount of anguish. They are those subjects who as children were alarmed for nothing, who in front of any stimulus reacted with intense fear and anxiety. Thus, once they reach maturity, that persistent restlessness in the face of what is out of their control or the unexpected translates into anger. This emotion is nothing more than a huge defense mechanism with which they react in front of everything and everyone.
  • Anger as a response to any negative emotion. This type of personality cannot tell if they are sad, disappointed, afraid, uneasy, surprised, or ashamed. All these emotions will be interpreted and translated in the same way: with anger.
  • Anger is a problem of accumulation. When we don't channel, we don't understand, we don't manage an emotion, it builds up. Irritable people carry with them a baggage of frustrations stored over the years, so the most insignificant events make the river of anger that flows inside them overflow.
  • Anger and paranoia. This association is as problematic as it is crucial. Hot-tempered people are dominated by anguish, convulsive emotions that are not understood, and an overwhelming amount of anger. This architecture leads in many cases to the appearance of paranoid attitudes. Everything is a threat to them, they distrust, thinking that others want to hurt them, ridicule them. These are exhausting situations.

How to learn to manage anger?

Hot-tempered people don't have a good quality of life. An aspect that, from a clinical point of view, cannot and must not be overlooked. As several studies reveal, this type of personality is more prone to suffer from heart, cerebrovascular, respiratory problems, low defenses ... Anger makes you sick and marks unbridgeable distances to the people we love.



A typical manifestation on the part of these subjects is the so-called deferred anger. They can be angry about something or with someone and, yet, they end up projecting all their negative energy on those who do not deserve it: children, companions. It is therefore a priority to provide means and strategies to these people so that they understand that anger is not an adequate channel, since it is assertiveness that will allow them to better deal with any situation.


Now let's see some strategies to think about and that can help you manage this emotion better.

  • We need to understand what anger is and what its purpose is. It is a response produced by the brain to fight or flee a danger. A purely biological and physiological manifestation.
  • Recognize your emotions and what generates them. Do I feel sad? What caused it? If what I feel is shame, what caused it?
  • Breathing techniques. One way to channel the anger and rage that paralyze the body and mind is to learn to relax, breathe, focus on tense muscles and racing heart to calm down. Only in this way will we learn to think better and react appropriately.
  • Replace anger with assertiveness. Another key goal for irascible people is to learn to relate assertively, they must abandon the use of anger as a form of communication to make assertive communication their best tool.

Sometimes irascible people do not only make use of verbal violence, often physical violence becomes recurrent. Therefore, do not hesitate to intervene in these cases, implementing measures that protect you if you are a victim of these subjects or implementing measures if you are dependent on this dynamics.


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