As beings with higher intelligence and more complex emotions, we face circumstances and respond beyond the default fight, flight, or freeze responses. Sometimes we respond with a plethora of other emotions such as joy, jealousy, sadness, dismay, or even anger. Along the way, these emotions can be too much to handle—like how some people have troubles containing their anger and take it out on anyone or anything.
However, not being able to handle your anger well can ultimately damage your personal relationships with other people, so how do you know if you have anger management issues? To elaborate more on the subject at hand, we’ll break down the facts about why we get angry in the first place.
Why we become angry
We react differently depending on how unique the situation is, however, we become angry when certain circumstances unfold in the way we don’t want them to. We also become angry when we feel:
- treated unfairly
While feeling angry is only natural, it is how we cope with it that defines who we are. But some of us cannot handle anger well. If you think you may be one of these people, here are some key signs to know if you have anger management issues:
- You get angry quickly
A person with anger management issues will become stressed by the most trivial of things such as a small mistake, a disarranged piece of furniture, unwashed plates in the sink, or over a text that the other person wasn’t able to reply to within five minutes—and all of this can ultimately result in an uncontrollable outburst that isn’t even necessary in the first place.
- You tend to resort to violent behavior
Resorting to a violent outburst every single time you become mad is another telltale sign that you do have anger management issues. Such violent behaviors can involve punching someone, yelling at the top of your lungs, or shouting at someone.
- You take it out on objects
If you notice that whenever you’re angry, you tend to take it out on objects by smashing them against the wall, breaking anything that your hands can find, or punching surfaces until your knuckles bleed—then you do have a problem when it comes to dealing with your own emotions and should work to find a healthier outlet for them.
- You accuse people
You don’t even know the whole story yet but you’re already pointing fingers and accusing everyone of always plotting against you. Whether or not you have found solid evidence for your suspicion, you’re quick to blame and don’t allow anyone to express their side of the story.
- You tend to fight over the same subject repeatedly
If you find yourself repeatedly fighting over the same subject with someone, this may mean that you have troubles letting go of certain issues that you think haven’t been resolved completely. Regardless of the matter, you simply just can’t let it go for the best of the situation.
- You feel frustrated
After feeling extreme anger, you still find yourself feeling frustrated and you just don’t understand why. All you know is that you still want to continue the argument or lash out at someone or something.
- You resort to substance and alcohol abuse
Since you have troubles keeping in your intense anger, you resort to substance abuse and alcohol instead. You think it’s better to get high and drunk than to continuously be frustrated to confront the problem at hand.
- Others have complained about the way you handle your anger
People with anger management issues tend to deny it within themselves that they have an issue controlling their emotions. However, people such as your friends, family, and colleagues may be able to notice this first and this may affect your relationship with them.
- You threaten other people when you don’t get what you want
When you don’t like the situation or the way that people treat you, you tend to threaten them with harsh words or violent actions that you plan to inflict upon them. This is mostly out of fear for not being in control yourself when circumstances don’t turn out the way you want them to. You typically threaten someone as a last resort and also as a means of getting what you want.
- You find it difficult to put things into perspective
If the other party already wants to apologize and explain their side, you might find it hard to understand why your violent outburst was unnecessary for the situation. In fact, you might find it hard to relate to or empathize with other people no matter how well their situation is explained. Your friends may try to justify their side, but you always feel as if your anger was warranted.
If you think you have anger management issues, asking for help from professionals, like those at Psychologists Southern Sydney, will help you address the issue at hand. You may have underlying mental health issues that need to be treated and a therapy specifically tailored to your situation will assist you in the process.
Janice has a wealth of experience and training. She holds a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Master of Arts (Counselling), Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy (ASH) and is a Registered Psychologist at Psychologists Southern Sydney. She’s also a member of the Australian Psychological Society.