Hulk Smash!

“Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.” – The Incredible Hulk

We all deal with anger in different ways. Some count to ten silently. Some go for a walk until they have calmed down. And some “Hulk out.” Like the eponymous comic book character, their inner fury can only be contained for so long before it is unleashed, and then they slam doors, flip tables, and throw chairs – or at least vividly imagine doing so – until their rage subsides.

If this describes you, then you might find yourself, as many of our readers did, agreeing with the statement “When you get angry, you feel the urge to throw things around or punch walls or doors.” Although there was no majority who reported regularly feeling this urge, each trait pairing had one type that came close to having a fifty-fifty split, with the largest disparity coming between Turbulent and Assertive types (50.71% vs. 28.91% agreeing).

Which personality types are the most likely to “Hulk out”? We explore this question below:


Analysts were the only role with a slight majority of respondents who agreed that the urge to express their anger physically often came over them (55.14% agreeing). This result might surprise those who associate Analysts with cool rationality and a more scientific approach. But the scientist Bruce Banner was the mild-mannered alter ego of the brutal Hulk, and this dichotomy might be no accident. For Analysts though, who pride themselves on their intellectual prowess, these urges likely are flights of impassioned fancy. Venting reckless acts in their minds may simply be a tool they use to deal with roadblocks that their rationality can’t always solve, like social or romantic difficulties, before regaining their characteristic intellectual composure.

Also surprising might be the number of Diplomats who agreed with the statement “When you get angry, you feel the urge to throw things around or punch walls or doors” (45.86% agreeing). Although Diplomats are typically warm, accommodating, and driven by a need for harmony, their passion may be a double-edged sword. But Intuitive types are much more likely to report depending on their imagination, and much like their intellectual counterparts, Diplomats are unlikely to sully their philosophical reputations by following through on these urges.

Although some Explorers agreed that they at times felt tempted to manifest their anger physically (38.40% agreeing), the majority did not. While their natural spontaneity may sometimes lend itself to sudden flares of emotion, including anger, Explorers tend to have a more pragmatic approach to problems. They may be less likely to blow up because they understand that problems happen, and often enough, there’s no point in fighting against them. Instead, Explorers accept it and fix it.

Only a small minority of Sentinels (28.25%) agreed that they sometimes felt like “Hulking out” in response to a problem. Dedicated believers in stability and decorum, Sentinels tend to take a long-term outlook on their problems. Although this can make them inflexible, Sentinels may also be more patient when resolving situations that anger them, resisting the instinct to act rashly – if it ever occurred to them to do so at all.


The two Turbulent strategies, Constant Improvement and Social Engagement, were each split on the question of their response to anger (51.22% and 50.02% agreeing, respectively). As the name implies, Turbulent personalities tend to have tempestuous emotions that may boil over into overt, physical displays or seething fantasies.

Meanwhile, only a small minority of Confident Individualists and People Masters agreed that they sometimes felt driven to release their anger in physical ways (30.50% and 28.03% respectively). Less sensitive to stress and more confident in their ability to handle difficulties, these two Assertive strategies experience anger, but tend towards less aggressive expressions than the Turbulent strategies tend to.


Although we may ask others not to make us angry, in truth, no one “makes” us feel anything. Our feelings come from within, and the actions that we take to release those feelings are ultimately no one's responsibility but our own. But we’re all human, whether Analyst or Diplomat, Explorer or Sentinel, and sometimes the kinetic, Hulk-like display of anger, real or imagined, just seems like the right thing to do.

Remember though, that your loved ones may not always understand the source of or the need to display this kind of anger. A few short words – “I’m really upset right now, and feel like I need to vent” – can make all the difference. Better still is to find a more constructive means of venting than “Hulking out” in the truest sense. Vigorous exercise, like making use of that dusty old punching bag in the garage or calling for an impromptu game of your favorite contact sport with some friends, is likely to be far more enjoyable in the end.