Pardon a former writer’s semantic debate about two words: anger and indignation. As a psychologist now, I certainly deal with anger as an emotion in the therapy room. But I say we need to revive use of the word “indignation.” It has a depth of meaning that “anger” does not have.
Indignation is defined as “anger or annoyance at what is perceived to be unfair treatment.” Anger is defined as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility.” Notice that the sense of injustice or unfairness is part of the definition of “indignation.” Anger can be just “hostility,” which communicates primary aggression, while “indignation” communicates a responsive defense to aggression.
I hear many Submissives state: “I get angry too easily,” or “He just triggers me.” But instead of automatically blaming oneself for poorly controlled anger, perhaps one should flip the lens.
I prefer to look at emotions as self-protective warning signs about the behavior of others. If we feel indignant about someone else’s actions, maybe that is a big red flag from our intuition that we are being disrespected or treated unjustly.
Sure, some people flash to anger far too easily and over insignificant issues. These can be Dominators who attack or use the “fight” response when they are fearful of criticism or shame. Their anger is effective at warning others to back down. Some Submissives can also eventually attack when they are backed into a corner and feel they have no others options. When one is overly pleasing and appeasing most of the time, it leads to others being disrespectful, which eventually leads to a feeling of indignation.
So next time you blame yourself for getting angry too easily, take another look and consider whether you should instead respect and heed that feeling of indignation.
Indignation is a defense response with aggression while anger is more abusive than indignation.
So indignation is the feeling or emotion of anger.
While Anger is the actual activation? The physical act of being angry.
I consider anger and indignation to be slightly different in the intention of the angry/indignant, although they may look the same in terms of behavior. Indignation is more intentional — a choice, rather than the reactive, impulsive, explosiveness of anger. Indignation is a steely form of anger and is more moral and pro-social, aimed at protecting self or other, as opposed to anger, which is largely defensiveness at being criticized and feeling ashamed of one’s bad behavior.
Indignation is a reaction, a frustration to a perceived injustice, an injury of a concept. (Whether one is correct or if incorrect, perceive themselves to be so “…For they know not what they do.”).
Anger is a intense reaction against change of one’s character, a protection of self. (The belief that they can do/nor think incorrectly, thus any that oppose them must be their enemy at that moment.)