Having an “anger problem” may mean that you express anger in harmful, destructive ways, not that you experience anger. That seems to be part of the human condition, and we need to be able to appropriately express anger. If your anger is hurtful to you or others, you may indeed have an “anger problem.” Take a look at this list and see if it applies to you.
1. People often say you are angry; especially the people who know you well.
2. When you get angry, it’s always someone else’s fault. (The kids are being too noisy, your spouse is late again, the boss didn’t appreciate the work you did, etc.)
3. People tell you to lighten up, relax, take it easy, have a drink or try a Valium.
4. You drink alcoholically, take drugs, or engage in addictive or dangerous behaviors.
5. You become angry while driving, this includes pointing at another driver with the second finger or cutting off another car.
6. You hit your children, your spouse or animals. Hitting can be accomplished with many different weapons, not just the hands. Whether you use your hands, words or a belt, get immediate professional help.
7. You have a rigid body structure; your neck and shoulders are tight and sore.
8. You have ulcers, insomnia, high blood pressure or frequent tension headaches.
9. You always have to win arguments or get in the last word.
10. You find yourself sleeping in a different bed than your spouse.
11. Animals and children hide from you or cross the street to avoid you.
12. Co-workers, spouses or children keep secrets from you because they are afraid of your reactions.
13. You act out anger without stopping to think how your words or actions will affect other people.
14. You have multiple divorces.
15. When someone makes you angry, you emotionally withdraw or give them the “silent treatment.”
16. When someone hurts you, you become obsessed with hurting him or her back. You may even take pride in
your ability to “get even.”
17. Forgiveness is almost impossible.
18. You never say you are sorry, except in a sarcastic voice.
19. Your children don’t return your phone calls.
20. Your family or roommate encourages you to go to work, the gym or anywhere else just to get you out of the house.
21. Reading this list makes you angry.