Top 5 Indicators of Pent Up Anger

Pent up anger is when you don’t realize how angry you are until you react to a silly situation that could be ignored easily (perhaps a 3 on the frustration scale), with a full-on anger explosion (a 10 on the frustration scale). This disproportionate reaction to “the small stuff” reveals that you are harboring anger deep inside, anger from older situations, which you express when the smallest chance arises.

Are you currently suffering from pent up anger? It’s important that you recognize whether you are, because pent up anger can destroy the trust and communication in a relationship, as people will start to withdraw from a person who is completely unpredictable, like a ticking time bomb.

Here are five signs that you’re suffering from pent up anger, which then needs to be expressed in a healthy way:

  1. People often accuse you of having a “short fuse” and “blowing things out of proportion”
  2. You often feel an uncontrollable urge to lash out (sometimes in juvenile ways, like breaking things)
  3. You “see red” when things don’t go your way
  4. You’ve been told (seriously) that you need anger management classes
  5. Other people have been rejecting you or avoiding talking to you about things, out of fear that you’ll “take it the wrong way” or “jump to conclusions”

Each of these are signs that your anger needs to be addressed in your everyday life and interpersonal relationships (and perhaps also in the workplace). Right now, experiencing all of the above situations is perhaps making you to feel like you are out of control and a slave to your anger. It’s very likely that hours or days after you explode, you experience the consequences as feeling guilty, or lonely because you’re pushing people away with your anger.  

The very first thing you need to do to stop lashing out and using your anger unproductively is to identify what’s making you angry. Now, this may seem silly and easy - until you try it. Don’t just say, “They got my order wrong at the restaurant.” Really think about why the thing that’s happening has made you so angry you can’t think about what you’re doing.

A lot of times, our pent up anger lashes out at little things because we’re really feeling the pressure of something much bigger - like social stress, stress at work, money worries, relationship worries, past pain, and many others. What pressures are you under?

There are many pressures in the world, more so than ever now that the financial situation is in the dumps. Due to accelerating factors such as strong economic pressure and financial hardships, jobs becoming more scarce and in short a more competitive environment, we find ourselves feeling more and more unable to control our lives.

How many sources of pressure can you identify? Do you see any ways of dealing with those pressures? If not, you may want to start by asking yourself whether anyone else knows the pressures you’re struggling with. Struggling alone under pressure can make you angry and lonely, feeling like nobody cares about you - even if you’re the one refusing to communication your pains. How can you deal with the pressures of life without getting angry?

Everyone’s situation is different, and that means that your best long term solution is seeking out the help of a counselor who can customize your anger management practices. However, we do have five quick, short term solutions for you to use now, so that you limit the damage you’re doing to immediate family, loved ones, friends, and co-workers.

  1. Monitor your anger, week by week - At the beginning of each week, sit down and document what made you most angry the previous week. Ask yourself, what triggered your angry? What memories did it bring up? How did you manage your angry? Did you find yourself changing your mind about what you were angry about? That can happen if your anger is at a memory triggered by the event, but not the event itself.

  2. Take a time out when you start getting upset

  3. Request that the conversation be changed to a new topic

  4. Make a point of apologizing and addressing your guilt when it arises, post-explosion. In this way, you reinforce the message to your brain that your anger must be handled in a way that doesn’t hurt others.

  5. Find a group of people you can talk to about similar problems (an online community, for example) so that you can share anger management tips and also feel a better sense of “it’s not just me.”

If you’d like to learn more solutions to your pent up anger that you can implement today, saving your relationship from toxic behavior, you can visit Pent Up Anger here to receive your copy of our book, “Recover From Anger.”

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora is a well known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Sign up for free, here on her blog, to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nora. Visit her coaching site today to talk with Dr. Nora and receive a plan for action to change your life. She's ready to help!

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