- Mental Health
Managing Anger: How to Tell If You Have The Anger Problem
You May Be The One With The Anger Problem
You will always see anger in others before you see it in yourself. When someone speaks to you harshly, launches insults or begins yelling at you, there is little doubt that they are angry. Although you can easily see those signs in others, it is often hard to recognize them in yourself.
We all have blind spots in that area of our lives. Although you may view yourself as very aware of what you say and do, when it comes to anger, your awareness may be lacking. This is one of the reasons why you are so shocked when someone tells you that you have some anger issues. The first time they tell you, it is likely that you ignored what they said or dismissed it. In some cases, you may have actually blew up on the person saying something to you about your anger, yelling “I am not ANGRY!”. At that moment, there is often a shocking realization that yes, you do have some problems with your anger.
Some of the signs of your anger are obvious if you take the time to look. The first thing that you can do is look at yourself in the mirror when you are being ‘passionate’ about something. You may refer to your anger as being passionate or expressive or being stern. The hearer often knows better. They see the muscles tighten in your neck, or your nostrils flaring or your ears turning red. They can see for themselves that you are getting angry. No matter how much you deny it, the evidence is there for all to see. Denying anger when you are red-faced makes you look foolish.
Besides the look, there is also the raised voice. Since your speech is regulated by internal mechanisms, the volume you think you are speaking at is often different than what comes out. Although you want to trust your body and those internal mechanisms, they can be tricked or overridden. Since we often adjust our volume to the surrounding noise levels that are taken in, the volume of your voice may be turned up louder than you thought it was. This is common when what you are discussing is something that you have strong feelings about.
Muscle tension is another sign of anger. You may show tension in your face, your neck, or your fists. Those who are around you often know what signs to look for. You may assume that just because you can keep a poker face, that you are not angry. You are making a mistake, assuming that the lack of tension in your face or neck means that you are not angry. Rather than deny the anger, it is more helpful to learn the signals that you are getting angry. When you sense that your anger is increasing, then you can take action. Waiting until your anger levels are high often reduces the options open to you.
You may be one of those people who do not show any outward signs of anger. Just because there is no sign of your anger, does not mean that it is not there. You may have internalized your anger. Internalized anger often shows up as your heart racing, your breathing quickening, increased stomach acidity, loose bowels or nausea. If you experience such symptoms on a regular basis, you may be internalizing your anger.