Difference Between Upset and Angry

People face all kinds of emotions in their life; two of the most common are being ‘upset’ and ‘angry.’


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The English language has developed such words because people can make the other person understand their feelings.

You might know the difference between upset and angry but are often confused.

These two terms may describe a similar emotion, but they have different meanings. If you are upset, that does not mean you are angry, and vice versa.

Key Takeaways

  1. Upset refers to a state of being emotionally disturbed or anxious, while angry refers to a feeling of intense displeasure or hostility.
  2. Upset may be caused by various emotions, such as sadness, disappointment, or frustration, while feelings of annoyance or perceived injustice typically cause anger.
  3. Upset is a less intense emotion than anger, and it usually does not involve aggressive behavior or verbal outbursts. In contrast, anger may result in aggressive behavior, verbal or physical outbursts, or even violence.

Upset vs. Angry

The difference between upset and angry is the meaning because angry describes a strong feeling, and the word ‘angry’ or ‘anger’ is used in extreme situations. In contrast, the word ‘upset’ can describe much smaller emotions than anger. Upset denotes when a person is experiencing sadness.

Upset vs Angry

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The term ‘angry’ is a much more intense word where if a person is angry, it means he/she can cause action intended to harm the other person or the person he/she is angry at. An angry person may be more dangerous than an upset one. However, an individual needs to control their emotions when needed.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonUpsetAngry
MeaningUpset means a person is sad or in a melancholic state. The emotion is less intense.Angry means when a person has an intense state of mind, and the feeling is much stronger than being upset.
ExamplesRajesh was upset because he had dropped his food.Sam was angry because his little brother had broken his laptop.
DangerousBeing upset can be dangerous and even affect your mental health.An angry person will not have many ideas about what action he might commit, so controlling your anger issues is significant.
Controlling EmotionsBeing upset can be controlled if you have a good patience level. If you are a motivated person, then it is an advantageous point too.Anger also can be controlled, but most people cannot do it. They end up beating someone or breaking something that is near them.
MedicationsTreatments for being upset include playing sports, jogging, etc.There are medicines available in the market to control anger.

What is Upset?

Upset means when a person is feeling a sense of unhappiness emotionally. However, that will be the adjective meaning of ‘upset.’

Upset can also be used when a person is physically unwell. Say, suppose a person’s stomach has been upset since morning. So, the term’s usage is also important and makes a difference in the sentence’s meaning.

On the other hand, if a kid tells his/her parents that he/she has failed the exams and he/she is upset about it, then it is a different meaning.

This time the word ‘upset’ means that the kid is emotionally hurt because he failed the test.

A person can be upset and angry simultaneously, but a person may not necessarily be angry when he/she is upset. Being upset is related to less intense and less strong emotions than being angry.

However, people who get upset frequently need to cure because it can hurt their mental health.

It is quite natural to get upset because everything cannot happen according to your wish, and you cannot stay upset forever.

So, controlling your emotions is another necessary step while you are upset. Many people tend to do things that go far beyond their limits when they are upset.

A person needs to keep their patience and motivation level high all the time.


What is Angry?

On the other hand, anger can also result from being upset. People become angry because they might be hurt emotionally and do not know how to control it.

The feeling of anger is stronger than being upset. So, being angry is always harmful.

In English, anger has only one meaning, indicating that someone is expressing anger to someone. Well, you might have felt anger some time in your life too.

When a person is extremely angry, you cannot predict what he/she might do to take out the feeling of anger.

Some people express their anger in the form of violence. Suppose a person is angry at someone; that person might confront the other person and beat him up.

Similarly, some people react differently when they are angry. They tend to throw things that are near them or break things that are near them.

Being angry, too, is quite normal and natural, but you need a huge patience level to master it. As mentioned earlier, being angry is always harmful because anger cannot do good to a person.


Main Difference Between Upset and Angry

  1. Being upset means a person is unhappy with less intense feelings, which are not strong, whereas an angry person expresses a strong and much more intense feeling.
  2. Both upset and angry are emotions all human beings and most living creatures in the world feel.
  3. Upset can also mean stomach upset, or a kind of disturbance can also be called upset, but angry or anger has got only one meaning.
  4. People must control these emotions as both can be dangerous in the long run.
  5. Anger or being angry will lead to grudges, revenge, and other kinds of stuff.
Difference Between Upset and Angry
  1. https://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/FullText/2006/01000/The_Role_of_Angry_Rumination_and_Distraction_in.10.aspx
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1983-03506-001
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