Difference Between Anger and Frustration

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Anger and Frustration

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Humans' reactions to events or circumstances, or their emotions, are known as emotions. The situation that causes an emotion determines the kind of emotion that an individual will feel. For instance, when someone hears excellent news, they are happy. When someone is in danger, they become afraid. Our daily lives are significantly impacted by our emotions. Depending on our emotions—happiness, rage, sadness, boredom, or frustration—we make choices. We pick interests and pastimes based on the feelings they arouse. Knowing our emotions can make life easier and more stable for us to manage. Don Hockenbury and Sandra E. Hockenbury argue that emotion is a complex psychological state with three separate components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioural or expressive response in their book "Discovering Psychology." Researchers have attempted to categorize the various emotional types in addition to attempting to define what emotions are. Over time, the explanations and insights have evolved. Paul Ekman, a psychologist, proposed in 1972 that six basic emotions—fear, disgust, anger, surprise, happiness, and sadness—are shared by all human societies.

The capacity to express emotion in response to an affective stimulus is known as emotional responsiveness. Having a stronger reaction to a stimulus is referred to as having increased emotional responsiveness. A lessened response to a stimulus is referred to as reduced emotional responsiveness. Any reaction shown after being exposed to the stimuli would be seen as an emotional response, whether it is suitable or not. Although emotional responsiveness applies to nonclinical populations, it is more frequently linked to people who have autism and schizophrenia. Emotional responsiveness is related to more general psychological theories of emotions. In response to external stimuli, people express their emotions. Positive affective stimuli provide pleasure-inducing emotions like happiness, while negative affective stimuli cause unpleasant emotions like disgust and dread. Facial expressions and neurophysiological processes are just two examples of emotional reactions. People, for instance, exhibit a "smile" in response to positive stimuli and a "frown" in response to antagonistic stimuli. The emotion-related sensation known as an effect is subdivided into valence and arousal categories. Valence is a term used to express how pleasant or unpleasant an experience is. Arousal is a term used to define how many external stimuli awaken a person.

Emotional granularity, according to Barrett, is the accuracy with which your brain creates particular feelings. The more emotional granularity you have, the better your brain can function. According to Barrett, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at North-eastern, "I feel unpleasant or awful" can also be expressed by people when they are angry, depressed, or afraid. However, for some people, their brains may generate pretty unique conceptions that correlate to these words, which subsequently direct their behaviour in a particular manner. Imagine an artist and a regular person examining two slightly different blue lights to better comprehend how this works. Although they are both tones of blue, the artist sees indigo and cyan whereas the average person sees both as blue. As a result, the artist is better equipped to choose appropriate complementary colour choices. In a similar vein, one who distinguishes between irritation and frustration is better able to deal with the irritation's source.

Frequently, when someone is frustrated, they are labelled as angry. While frustration and anger both have the same symptoms, frustration leads to anger over time. Human emotional reactions to a particular scenario that can be extremely painful and stressful include frustration and anger. Both human beings and animals naturally experience frustration and fury. It is exceedingly challenging to distinguish the two emotions clearly because of how closely they are related. However, using psychological justifications, it is somewhat easy to differentiate between anger and irritation. It has been noted that rage can develop from frustration and vice versa. Anger is a normal reaction to situations where we feel wronged or offended and is typically brought on by outside events, such as injustice, humiliation, disease, etc. On the other hand, frustration is displeasure with certain circumstances. A person frequently feels "frustrated" when their expectations aren't met to the extent they would like. It combines feelings of helplessness, discouragement, sadness, and disappointment. We might attempt to educate someone on a new notion, for instance. They keep failing, and when this happens, our natural emotional reaction is to become upset.

Anger vs. Frustration

Anger is a by-product of frustration, which is the major distinction between anger and frustration. Anger is the emotional outburst that results from the emotional build-up of frustration, which occurs when a person becomes increasingly irritated and unhappy with a situation over time. The emotional response that is expressed vocally and physically is anger. One of the most fundamental is that rage is swift and forceful, but frustration is patient and steady. Frustration is a silent emotion that develops internally but does not manifest externally. Anger is a more explosive emotion than sadness.

Difference Between Anger and Frustration in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison                 Anger            Frustration
Definition When someone feels wronged and offended, they may experience an emotional reaction.  It is a typical human feeling brought on by discontent and disappointment.
Nature It's rapid and violent, and it can be the result of exasperation. It is brought on by disappointment or discontent, and it typically happens gradually.
Effect It may result in restless sleep, headaches, rapid heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, laboured breathing, etc. A sense of helplessness, discouragement, low self-esteem, loneliness, quiet, etc. develops as a result.
Symptoms It can be demonstrated physically and vocally. A person has the potential to harm both other people and themselves. The signs include aggressive conduct, a desire for tranquil surroundings, etc.
Visibility Visibility It results from an accumulation of frustration and might be expressed verbally or physically.  The inward build-up of frustration does not manifest externally.

What is Anger?

Anger also referred to as wrath or rage, is a powerful uncomfortable and uncooperative emotional response to a perceived provocation, injury, or threat. Physical manifestations of rage frequently include accelerated heart rate, raised blood pressure, and heightened levels of noradrenaline and adrenaline. Some believe that the fight-or-flight response is partially triggered by the emotion of rage. When a person consciously decides to act to halt the threatening conduct of another outside force, anger takes over as the main behavioural, cognitive, and physiological emotion. The Old Norse word for anger is where the English word first appeared. Like happiness and sadness, anger is a common emotion. At some point or another, everyone becomes angry. There are various causes of anger, including suffering, embarrassment, injustice, and a host of others. Others can quickly recognize it and see it. It is a swift and hostile human emotion. It mostly serves as a reaction to an outside circumstance.

The emotional reaction to frustration is anger. A person will eventually get aggressive and then angry when they are irritated with themselves or themselves due to any circumstance. It's likely to have a reaction when you're in danger, whether it's verbal or violent. When someone is offended or dislikes something, anger is a very swift and sudden reaction to anything. Anger is typically a reaction to something or someone outside of oneself. It can be seen and recognized. Aggressive and passive rage are two different types of anger. The degree of fury and how long it may endure vary from person to person.

While passive anger is like acting the opposite of what is expected, active rage is more easily recognized. Insomnia, heart attacks, laboured breathing, elevated blood pressure, etc. can all be symptoms of anger. A person can have an outburst of wrath because anger is frequently uncontrollable. Well, there are both positive and negative aspects to anger. It is constructive to feel furious about something wrong if it inspires you to take action. However, it will have a negative effect if something makes you furious solely out of spite or in a defensive manner.

Anger is a person's default setting when they feel aggrieved or outraged. Typically, external factors like the death of a loved one, pain, suffering, injustice, humiliation, physical ailment, etc. cause it. The two primary types of anger are aggressive and passive. Aggressive wrath can be distinguished from quiet anger, which exhibits the exact opposite style of behaviour. Heart rate, blood pressure, heavy breathing, and body temperature rise due to stress hormones, which are all physiological signs of anger. An easily annoyed individual may suffer from headaches, insomnia, and other health problems. A severe emotional outburst can result in a stroke or possibly a heart attack.

What is Frustration?

In psychology, frustration, along with wrath, annoyance, and disappointment, are common emotional reactions to resistance. A person's perceived opposition to the accomplishment of their desire or objective gives rise to frustration, which is likely to worsen when a will or aim is rejected or prevented. Frustration comes in two flavours: internal and external. Internal irritability can be caused by difficulties achieving personal objectives, desires, innate urges, and requirements, or by overcoming perceived flaws such as a lack of confidence or the end of social circumstances. Conflict can also be an internal cause of discomfort or frustration and can lead to cognitive dissonances, such as when one has competing goals that conflict with one another. External sources of dissatisfaction include circumstances that are outside a person's control, including a physical obstacle, a challenging activity, or the impression that time is being wasted.

Dissatisfaction with particular circumstances is typically what defines frustration. A person frequently feels "frustrated" when their desires are not satisfied to the desired level. A blend of hopelessness, discouragement, sadness, and disappointment characterizes this. Frustration can have several causes. Frustration can be brought on by outside forces such as an unavoidable circumstance, a challenging task, or an impossible deadline. Internal issues, such as one's objectives and desires, and the inability to realize them due to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, etc., are typically what lead to frustration. It is challenging to identify the initial cause when a person is frustrated since they frequently give indirect reactions. He or she might favour solitude, silence, antisocial behaviour, and passive-aggressive behaviour. Long-lasting annoyance, however, might subsequently cause a sudden outburst of wrath.

Frustration is an emotional reaction that a person cannot physically display. It may come from the inside or the outside. It is a slow-building emotion brought on by several things, such as disappointment and discontent with particular items or circumstances. Because it can be concealed and a person may appear to be in good spirits, it can be challenging to tell from their body language. Humans also experience frustration when they are deeply disappointed by a situation, unhappy with themselves, or indifferent to other people, things, or circumstances. Several potential internal and external factors could be the source of this annoyance. Self-confidence and self-esteem issues are internal causes. We can sabotage ourselves and have our efforts go in vain at times, which is frustrating.

External sources may include specific elements or work may be obstructed by some unexpected challenges, which is frustrating. An example of an external source would be time waste that we don't want to have. Various forms of reactions to frustration include rage, tension, sadness, self-destructive behaviour, giving up, and quitting. Once more, frustration is a positive emotion that can serve as a motivating factor. For us, using it differently can be advantageous.

Difference Between Anger and Frustration In Points

  • While frustration can come from both within and from outside, anger is typically caused by external factors.
  • Anger is a reaction to growing dissatisfaction, whereas frustration develops gradually in response to a particular disappointment.
  • In contrast to frustration, which is difficult to detect and see, anger is more immediately identified.
  • While frustration can lead to low confidence, lack of energy, low self-esteem, and other negative effects, anger can lead to heart attacks, high blood pressure, a heavy heart, and other negative effects.
  • While anger is typically evident and recognizable in a person's body language, frustration is more difficult to detect and is easier to conceal.


Frustration and anger both have negative effects on health, including insomnia, high blood pressure, a heavy heart, and headaches. Issues with loneliness, sleep, aggressive behaviour, etc. are all brought on by frustration. Both of them are detrimental and produce harmful outcomes.

Because irritation can occasionally turn into anger, it's crucial to understand the difference between the two so that we can control our rage. By doing this, we can lessen the likelihood of having an angry outburst. Disappointment and discontent are two common sources of frustration, both of which can lead to aggressive behaviour. It is possible to improve these areas and lessen frustration.



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"Difference Between Anger and Frustration." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 05 Jun. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-anger-and-frustration-890>.

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