An anger problem can be difficult and insidious to deal with. It creeps up on you and takes hold usually without notice. And it's tricky because the damage has already been done long before anyone realizes what's going on.
I know because I'm on intimate terms with prolonged anger. I lived most of my adult life with this unkind companion. But now I'm free from its chains. And I can offer you some solid, take-home advice on recognizing an anger problem.
One of the first steps to healing and living without anger is recognizing. . . and admitting that you have an anger problem.
Your anger problem didn't happen overnight. And it won't go away overnight, either. But you absolutely can do something about it and be free from its grips.
Here are some questions to ask yourself. And one important clue concerns consistency, or frequency. Do the following tend to exist in a chronic way. Is it the ‘way you are'?
Be honest with yourself.
1. Is your anger response out of touch with the triggering event?
I'm not talking about being stressed and a little ‘snappy’ with others. We all have stressful days and sometimes aren't in the best mood. I'm talking about the kind of angry outburst over something that practically no other person would get upset about. The kind of thing that makes people drop their jaws with a puzzled expression on their face.
2. Do you feel angry when you think about certain past times, events, or significant people in your life?
Thinking about your childhood, younger years, family life when you were growing up, or those who were significant in your earlier life. Parents, siblings, relatives, friends, peers in school. Just thinking about it stirs your soul. . . you find yourself feeling angry or upset. Perhaps there isn't any particular thing you remember. Maybe there is. . . only you know.
3. Have you ever noticed that you always have this sense or feeling of anger?
There's something always there. Maybe you feel angry for absolutely no apparent reason. Or there's a subdued hint of anger that's always there. It's almost like a bear-trap that's set and just waiting to be sprung.
4. Do people ‘walk on glass’ around you?
I mean. . . everyone? People take overt measures to avoid upsetting you? Have you ever noticed it? Pay attention and answer honestly.
5. How many people have you alienated with your temper?
People don't seem to want to be with you. No one. Maybe you rationalize it and tell yourself you don't want to be around any of them. Maybe you do want to be around some of them. It can get lonely.
6. Have you ever hurt yourself, in any way, with your temper?
Can be anything. Business deals, dealing with anyone you don't know. You call customer service and have made things harder for yourself because you totally blew them out of the water. Have you done it more than once? Or. . . your raging temper has caused you to get a traffic violation because you did something in response to someone else. Have you hurt yourself more than once?
7. Has anyone ever told you that you have an anger problem? Have you heard it more than once and from different people?
If so. . . pay attention and start thinking about it.
Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed if you have chronic anger issues. If you do, it exists for definite reasons. And the reasons can be addressed and resolved. Living with chronic anger tends to rob you of certain things in life. And after all these years, I can tell you it's not worth it to remain angry. So do something about it and be happier in your life.
Ken Thompson, of http://www.writingbyken.com , is a freelance copywriter specializing in sales letter copy, articles, special ebook reports, and web content.