Anger is a very natural reaction to those situations that may cause disappointment, hurt, frustration, sadness, confusion, shame or other negative emotions. Yet, for many people, it is an extremely uncomfortable and confusing emotion.
The way we react to anger is totally related to learning either through imitation, or reward/punishment effect.
Some have learned to immediately become hostile or aggressive in response to anger and it is related tension. Others have learned to stuff, minimize, or deny anger. For this group, instead of anger, they more readily experience depression, pain, excessive guilt, and shame. Some of us have learned not to experience anger. Others believe they lose control by giving up anger.
However, when we make sense of anger and learn ways to constructively manage it, we experience new freedom and increase real control in our lives. We tap into energy that can become the driving force for intimacy or move us to right what is wrong. Most significantly, we experience increased harmony and connection in relationships with others and with ourselves.
You are invited to take the following self test to find out if anger is a problem in your life.
- I try never to get angry
- I get really nervous when others are angry
- I tell people I’ll do what they want, but then I often forget
- I say things like “yeah, but…” and “Ill do it later”
- I get jealous a lot, even when there is no reason
- I don’t trust people very much
- My anger comes on really fast
- My anger goes away very quickly after I explode
- I get very angry when people criticize me
- I get mad to get what I want
- People say I am easily hurt and oversensitive
- I can pretend to be very mad when I’m really ok
- I like the strong feelings that come with my anger
- My anger takes over and I go out of control
- I seem to get angry all the time
- I get mad without thinking – it just happens
- I become very angry when I defend my beliefs and opinions
- I become outraged about what others try to get away with
- I hang onto my anger for a long time
- I have a hard time forgiving people
- I hate people for what they have done to me.
- I get emotional and tearful when I get angry
If you answer YES to 3 or more of these questions, there is an indication you may have an anger problem that at the very least interferes with your ability to relate/bond with others. Don’t wait any longer. GET HELP.