We all get angry and lash out, but having an “anger problem” is a bit different. Experts say it’s even healthy to vent your anger from time to time. These methodologies can actually prevent us from hurting others.
The real problems start when you let your anger get out of control.
Rampant anger makes you feel like you’re losing control. It can make you feel like you’re not quite yourself. It’s not the best feeling in the world. It can often take a toll on your health, your relationships, as well as your career. If this goes completely unchecked. It can even get you in trouble with the law.
If you think you’re suffering from a hidden anger problem, you’ve come to the right place. Self-awareness, recognition, and honesty are important parts of solving any problem. Being aware of your anger issues means you’ve taken the first step towards positive change.
In this article, we’ll talk about five signs you have an anger problem. We’ll also discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy feelings of anger. Once you learn to detect the difference, you can learn how to control your emotions, rather than your emotions controlling you.
Let’s get started!
Healthy vs Unhealthy Anger
Before we talk about different types of anger, we need to learn how to recognize your anger. You need to know your triggers and also know what sets your anger off. Start by asking yourself these intelligent questions:
- What situations/events/places/people make me angry?
- How can I tell when I’m angry?
- How do I react when I’m angry?
- How does my anger affect those around me?
Healthy anger is an intuitive signal that lights up when we sense that something isn’t right. If you see someone being hurt or treated unfairly, your anger acts as a catalyst to take action. So, you immediately start thinking of ways to help.
Dr. Robert M. Fraum, Ph.D. says, “Healthy anger is deliberate, proportional, and responsive to a clear and present need. [it’s] a powerful tool of human survival and adaptation.”
On the other hand, unhealthy anger hurts everyone surrounded by it, rather than helping. Remember, if you experience one or more of these behaviors from time to time, it doesn’t mean you have an anger problem. The problem intensifies according to the frequency of these behaviors and their consequences.
The following are a few ways unhealthy anger can manifest itself:
- Passive aggression
- Verbal or physical abuse
5 Signs You May Have an Unhealthy Anger Problem
If you’re wondering whether your anger levels are unhealthy or not, keep reading. You’ll find five of the most common signs of having an anger management issue.
- You Get into Arguments (aka debates) Frequently
We’re not talking about casual arguments you have with your partner or co-worker. We’re talking frequently, overblown, combative confrontation with everyone you encounter, even strangers.
Not only that, but you feel that you have to win every single argument. Not being able to back down from an argument has nothing to do with what you’re arguing about. But it has everything to do with being more domineering and in control.
If these arguments seem to come out of nowhere and quickly spin out of control, that’s a sign your anger has turned into a problem. For you and those around you.
- You’re Clearly Passive Aggressive
People often don’t relate passive aggressiveness with anger. Passive aggressiveness usually doesn’t present itself as loud or violent. It may even be communicated in an eerily calm manner.
Yet, it’s one of the most telling signs of anger management issues. The problem is that you may not even realize you’re being passive-aggressive. Not only that, but you may not even realize you’re angry. This lack of self-awareness can be super scary for those around you.
The most pressing reason is that when you’re passive-aggressive, your emotions give (you) the impression that you’re in control. For example, this could be expressed by you may avoiding conflict, being super sarcastic, or completely indifferent.
- You Often Blame Others
Blaming other people for your problems is easier than having to deal with them yourself. While you may do this unknowingly, it’s usually a sign you’re not dealing with your own problems or issues, This is also a sign of big trouble.
Another sign of a hidden anger problem is that you hold on to resentment. You stay bitter for way too long and can’t seem to forgive even over the small stuff.
- Your Anger Causes Others to Fear and Avoid You
If you usually react when you’re angry, this can make people start to avoid you whenever they get the chance. They become fearful of you and your over-the-top reactions when you’re mad. They may resort to “walking on eggshells” whenever you enter the room.
You may notice that when people talk to you, they never come too close. They may also stand with their arms crossed over their chest or they have one foot turned to face the door. This is their way of expressing their fear and anxiety when they’re around you.
- You Worry About Your Reactions
If you find yourself worrying about your reactions this shows that you might have a little bit of self-awareness. This is both good and bad news. The bad news is that once you’ve reached this stage, it’s more than likely that you have an anger problem. The good news is you’re starting to mentally acknowledge that YOU may have an anger problem. This is the first step to working through your anger issues and gaining control over your emotions.
A Final Note
If you notice yourself in one, or more, of these five signs, it means you have an anger problem. Admitting it is the first step.
The next step is to seek professional help. Remember, anger is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It may or may not be the result of suffering real trauma in your formative years.
Left unchecked, it could result in seriously damaging your life or hurting you or someone you love. It definitely could be repelling those you love or hold dear. The sooner you get the help you need, the sooner you’ll be able to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Be well + prosper,