Fear leads to anger (Says Yoda)

In this article, we will be discussing the topic: fear leads to anger. We will see how the component of fear in most of us, leads to anger issues and tantrums, gradually. We will also be answering certain questions related to anger and its manifestation. 

Fear leads to anger

The emotion of fear breeds anger. This happens out of the innate human instinct to be under control and for self-defense. When you feel threatened by a situation, person, emotion, or thought, you initially tend to fear the potential validity of the issue of fear and the consequent harm which could follow. Although, in certain situations, anger has the power to override fear. 

While fear is caused by the anticipation of a potential threat or awareness of impending danger, anger is caused by feelings of extreme displeasure, irritability, and antagonism. The most evident link between the two emotions is the inherent negativity. These adverse and negative feelings come up to the surface during stressful, hostile, or trying circumstances. 

The relationship between anger and fear

The common themes which provide a connection between anger and fear are control, conflict, purpose, and regret. The core element ruling both anger and fear is control.  Fear occurs when you feel you have lost complete control over a situation, circumstance, or person. This causes feelings of uneasiness and uncertainty which is not desirable. Inevitably, anger is expressed to regain control over circumstances or people.to

The next ruling aspect of both emotions is purpose. Both fear and anger serve unique purposes. Fear often occurs intending to avoid situations that could cause potential harm or even death, while anger serves as a motivating factor to retaliate against something or someone which causes irritation and displeasure. Most people view fear as a manifestation of weakness and anger as a manifestation of strength, which is wrong. 

Conflict is another prime factor that breeds fear, anger, or both. Conflict is something that can occur in any circumstance and varying intensities. Verbal arguments and physical fights are some of the most controversial kinds of conflicts. Both of these situations lead to fear and anger. 

Threats could arise out of fear or anger. Anyhow, the most frequent responses in the situation of conflicts are fight, flight, or freeze.

Fear leads to anger (Says Yoda)

The feeling of regret

Regret is known to be the most common link between anger and fear. Regret mostly occurs after experiencing a fear or anger induced incident, which causes you to say or do things that you would most regret about, later on. This especially happens, if the person on the receiving end is someone you truly care about. Alternatively, regret can also occur for fear of expressing anger.  Some individuals experience fear and inhibition during certain situations and this makes them feel they could have been more assertive and aggressive in those situations. 

Although regret can be quite painful and hard to deal with, it does not change the situation. Any regret should be viewed as a lesson learned and one should move forward in life, without getting stuck in those regrets. Dwelling on past events does no good to anyone.

The mental connection between emotions

Fear can be said to be the fundamental emotion that leads to the development of other emotions such as envy, anger, and disgust. Emotions are interconnected to one another. One motion usually leads to several others. For instance, if you fear someone, you may be angry with the person for making you fearful. 


When you feel confused about something, you tend to feel anxious and uncertain about the fact that you can’t choose and don’t know how to move forward. When you experience this anxiety frequently, it starts taking a toll on you and you begin to gradually develop anger towards your situation. This makes you incapable of thinking straight through things and coming to rational solutions and conclusions. 

When you find a person or a particular situation disgusting and undesirable, you will naturally feel contempt for that person or situation. This contempt turns into anger and you express extreme displeasure or anger in those situations or to those people with whom you are not comfortable. 

When you feel guilty about doing something wrong, it makes you feel anxious about being detected. Being desperate about not being able to accomplish certain goals can end up making you feel sad and frustrated. Similarly, feeling disgusted about something shameful you’ve done could make you feel repulsive and provoke feelings of embarrassment. 

In terms of positive emotions, feeling proud of an accomplishment can make you feel confident and increase your self-esteem. This further triggers emotions of relief, security, and happiness.

When you get relieved from a stressful situation, it helps you to feel grounded and calm. 

The pointer theory of emotions

According to the pointer theory of emotions, emotions are patterns of neural firing that are semantic pointers that bring together multiple representations of neural firing. These patterns include representations of the situations, appraisal of the goal relevance of the situations, physiological responses to the situation, and the individual who is experiencing the emotion. 

For one emotion to cause another, there has to be a way for one pattern of neural firing to affect another pattern of neural firing. We can observe the working of the process by breaking down the semantic pointers into neural patterns that are bound to them. 

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Mindfulness as a key (a Jedi’s perspective)

Mindfulness makes the deal for almost all of the existential crises humans seem to face in this fast-paced and reckless world. As the Jedi master Yoda quotes, “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate to suffering!.” and this is true in every sense. If you have noticed the way dictators thrived on fear for spreading their dominance and power, for suppressing those under them, you might have observed how the same fear operated in the emergence of anger, and consequently to hate.

This brewed out hate is used further to gain glory and more power. Fear inevitably comprises the dark side of our emotional continuum, when in excess and leads to destructive behaviors and consequences.

Hence, being in the present moment, moving along with our emotions and feelings at the given moment, without reacting or ruminating, will help each one of us to delve deeper and explore the facets of our personality and learn more about them in a meaningful and flourishing way. 


In this article, we discussed the topic: fear leads to anger. We discussed how the emotion of fear leads to anger, the connection between both, the ruling aspects that characterize both the emotions, the feeling of regret, and its occurrence, the mental connection between one emotion and the other, and the pointer theory of emotions.

FAQs: fear leads to anger

Does anger come from fear?

Anger can be viewed as a form of fear. Hence, anger management is a form of fear management. There are two types of threats we all are fearful of. These are true threats and symbolic or conditioned threats. People who suffer from anger issues find it hard to deal with symbolic/conditioned threats. It requires quite an amount of effort and learning. When each one of us learns to manage our deepest fears and worries, it naturally encloses the process of anger management, which, in turn, leads to the effective management of the mind. 

Fear is a normal human emotion and evolution has wired us to be on guard, at all times. Therefore, the use of defenses to a certain point is deemed necessary and healthy. However, these defenses, after a certain limit leads to extreme anger issues and paranoia. 

What is the phobia of anger? 

Anger is a normal emotion experienced by humans. Every individual experiences it on different levels, in varying intensities. Some people find it easily manageable to control and be aware of their anger. However, certain people are extremely fearful of getting angry as when they get angry, it is often out of control and scary to witness. This condition is referred to as angrophobia, wherein, people suffering from it experiences a severe fear of getting angry rather than other people getting angry with you.

Angrophobia varies widely in its symptoms and type. From one person to another. Those suffering from this phobia go to extreme ends to avoid getting angry and as a result, they end up avoiding social situations and become inhibited and reclusive. Those who were exposed to any kind of past trauma or childhood abuse, or those who were punished for expressing their anger are more prone to developing this phobia, in the future.

What is anger a manifestation of?

Anger is an emotion that can be triggered by many situations, people, feelings, thoughts, or sensations. It could vary from stress, family problems, relationship issues, or financial issues. For some people, anger is caused by the work of underlying issues, such as alcoholism, depression, or anxiety. Anger is also a well-known symptom of many mental health conditions.

Anger is not problematic when expressed in healthy and respectable ways. However, it becomes dangerous when not in control of the individual and they end up saying or doing things that later become unforgivable regrets in their life. Uncontrolled anger is also undesirable for emotional and physical well-being. Anger is also one of the stages in grieving. It could be from the death of a loved one, loss of a job, ending of a relationship, or a divorce. It leads to feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and irritability that naturally gets transformed into anger. 

What are the three types of anger?

Anger is of three types that will determine how we react to situations that trigger the emotion of anger in us. They are passive aggression, open aggression, and assertive anger. Passive aggression is observable when people who get angry tend to deny their anger due to fear of confrontation. This is exhibited as silence, sulking, or procrastination, followed by the pretension that everything is fine. It arises from a need to be in control.

Open aggression is the right opposite of passive aggression. People who show open aggression lash out in anger and tend to react verbally and physically, hurting others and themselves. This type of anger can be observed in bullying, blackmailing, bickering, accusing, shouting, sarcasm, and criticism. Open aggression also comes out from the need to be under the control of everything.

Assertive anger is the most healthy and apt way to deal with anger, by being controlled and mindful, talking and listening, and open to helping the person on the other side to deal with the situation from getting worse. Assertive anger helps in the healthy growth of relationships and allows you to think before you speak and be open and flexible to other people’s opinions and suggestions. 

Is anger stronger than fear?

The primary nature of fear and anger is different. While fear makes you judge every situation twice and tends to inhibit yourself, anger is something that causes aggression and makes you lash out, in most instances. When you are experiencing anger, you tend to act without giving much thought to your actions, and as a consequence, it ends up hurting others and yourself. 

Anger brings out the worst in a person while fear inhibits the worst that could come out until it goes uncontrolled by the individual. However, the root cause of anger is mostly fear, which is very harmful and unhealthy, leading to further complications in one’s well-being. 

Why do I freak out when someone yells at me?

People who have endured yelling and verbal abuse for a long time, tend to get anxious and fearful when people yell or lose their temper with them. Being yelled at can trigger an anxious response because our brain recognizes such behavior as threatening and harmful. As a result, such people tend to feel extreme emotional pain, fear, and sadness. It causes them to avoid certain selected people and situations, to protect themselves from uncomfortable encounters and feelings. 




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