Anger Issues: Do You Have Them?
Anger is a normal part of the human spectrum of emotions. Everyone feels angry from time to time. Most of us probably feel some anger every day between dealing with rude drivers, dishonest coworkers, ungrateful children, or upsetting news about politics and the world. So, that’s why some people don’t even believe in the concept of anger issues. If it’s normal to feel something, how can that feeling be an issue? Well, any feeling can become an issue when it drives you to do things that permanently change your relationships (negatively) with other people. Look, everyone thinks about punching walls (or people) from time to time. But the difference between people who have anger issues and those who don’t, is that people who don’t have anger issues have mental checks and balances in play that stop them from punching. If you think you can just go through life with anger issues, you’re unfortunately wrong. Life will never feel easy or enjoyable that way. Here are signs you have anger issues.
People shut down in conversation
People shut down in conversation with you. When you’re having a debate or even a disagreement, people stop looking at you, they put their head down, or they even walk away. They stop participating in the conversation because it’s not a conversation anymore—it’s one person throwing a fit. They can sense that you’ve lost touch with your senses, so they see no point in continuing the conversation.
You say hurtful, non-productive things
You often have to apologize for saying very mean things that really had nothing to do with the argument. While arguing with a family member about money, you’ll somehow bring their marital issues or some embarrassing childhood moment into the discussion. You often hear, “What does that have to do with anything?”
You feel embarrassed after arguments
You’re often overcome by a sense of embarrassment after arguments. Your skin feels hot. You don’t want to look at anyone. You want to be alone. That’s your subconscious reacting to the fact that you didn’t behave within a normal, healthy range of actions.
People walk on eggshells near you
You notice that people walk on eggshells around you. Maybe they don’t share much with you. They go out of their way to keep the conversation positive and cheery, but rather vapid. They’re afraid of waking the beast.
People hide small mistakes from you
You often find, after the fact, that someone hid a small mistake from you for a long time, like having broken a cup or fed the dog at the wrong time. If people go out of their way to conceal little hiccups like that from you, then they like feel that your reaction would be too much to handle.
Your blood pressure is high after arguments
You notice your blood pressure go up after arguments. You get a bit dizzy. You can hear your pulse. You even get a tension headache from the blood vessels in your head dilating.
People signal to each other
You’ve noticed people giving each other some strange signal, almost like a catcher in a baseball game. They’re basically signaling to one another things like, “ Don’t bring that up around this person—she’ll go nuts.”
You’re accused of lecturing
People have told you that you don’t really have dialogues; you lecture. When you’re upset about something, people don’t feel that you give them any chance to explain themselves. You don’t ask questions or open the discussion; you make accusations and then leave the room.
You yell regularly
This one is hard for some people to swallow but, it’s actually not healthy to yell on a regular basis. I have yelled maybe…once this whole year. When you don’t have anger issues, you have a lot of other tools and skills to turn to communicate before you’d yell. Yelling is a last resort for healthy individuals, and a first one for those with anger issues.
People accuse you of believing you’re perfect
A lot of people throughout your life have told you that you think you’re perfect, or that you think you’re better than everyone else. If they’re right, then you likely have anger issues because you don’t leave room in your psyche for human error.
People look shocked during arguments
If you notice people’s facial expressions during arguments, they look shocked, offended, or disgusted. That means you’ve gone too far. It should be possible to have a disagreement, without making the other person make a face that looks as if you just committed a grotesque crime in front of them.
You often hear “You crossed the line”
You’ve been told many times throughout your life that you crossed a line. And you felt it, too. You felt that you had done or said something that you could never take back, and that permanently damaged relationships.
You make people cry
Grown people should not be making other grown people cry. That is a sign of a huge anger issue.
You’ve burned a lot of bridges
There are a lot of people whom you cannot call upon for a favor, and who you’d never list as a reference for anything. Why? Because you crossed the line with them. You let your anger get out of control with them. There is a list of people who want nothing to do with you.
Your anger has had legal implications
Your anger has driven you to do things that have had legal implications, like damaging property, or injuring a person, or spreading slander that ruined someone’s reputation.